Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is demanding answers and has labelled the state of the field at Parramatta Stadium “disgraceful” following his side’s thumping of the Eels last night.
The Panthers were clinical and disposed of the Eels 39-6, but much of the post-match talk has been about the state of the surface. It comes after Nathan Smith suffered a serious ankle injury in the opening minutes of the game.
Cleary said he couldn’t be sure if Smith’s injury was in part caused by the surface but confirmed the Panthers had made an official complaint, and claimed the Toyota Cup match was stopped at one point because of the quality of the ground.
“The state of the field was disgraceful,” Cleary said.
“If we’ve lost a bloke for a long time… we’re not happy about it.
“It’s just not up to NRL standard, not even close.”
Captain Luke Lewis said: “In the middle it was like running on a bit of sand.”
When it came to the actual footy, Penrith had it all over a pathetic looking Parramatta.
The Eels had no answers as Penrith rushed to a 23-0 half-time lead and went on with the job in the second half.
New recruit Etu Uaisele scored three tries for the Panthers, while Michael Jennings kept his brilliant return to form rolling along with an excellent four-pointer.