When Penrith did battle with Parramatta at Centrebet Stadium last year, it turned out to be one of the most damatic matches of the season, with Lachlan Coote scoring a remarkable try on the bell to send the game into golden point extra time.
Luke Walsh would go on to kick a match-winning field goal, stunning Parramatta and destroying celebrations of Nathan Hindmarsh’s 300th game.
Panthers skipper Luke Lewis said he’s hoping to avoid extra time this time around.
“It’d be nice to have the game in our hands a little bit earlier than that,” he said.
“It’s always a pretty tight game between us and Parramatta, especially here [at Centrebet Stadium], and the boys love playing in it and we’re all looking forward to Saturday night… hopefully it’s a good one for us.”
Lewis is wary of an Eels side that has shown at different times this year that they can score points quickly.
“I think they’re playing some pretty good football in patches and they haven’t put a full 80 minutes together but when they do put it together they can score some points,” he said.
“We need to train hard this week and get our game right for Saturday night.”
Lewis’ NSW Origin team-mate, the hard-hitting Tim Grant, said he’s ready for a spiteful battle with Penrith’s arch rivals.
“I grew up playing against Timmy Mannah and guys like that so it’s always a special occasion,” he said.
“I’m feeling good… I’m ready to go.”