Monday 20 March 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Rugby league, Sports
The match played under heavy conditions following a torrential rain in the opening half saw the home side race away with a healthy 20-6 lead at the break.
Buoyed by their home support, the Panthers came hard and fast early and were aggressive in defence.
Their quick play from the dummy half and quick hands in the backs caught the Eels napping in the opening quarter of the match.
The Eels settled late in the opening half and started to look dangerous but the massive rain took a toll on the players, testing their skills and commitment.
In the second spell, players fought tooth and nail while adjusting to the slippery conditions. However ill-discipline started creeping in from both teams resulting in sin bins.
The Panthers extended their lead while the Eels managed to score their second try as the host held on to win 34-12.
In the other premier men’s match held on Friday, Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles defeated Titikaveka Bulldogs 36-24 at Nukupure Park.
In the women’s match held on Friday at Raemaru Park, Arorangi, Lady Bears beat Lady Eels 12-4 to finish second after round one competition behind the unbeaten Lady Panthers.