Northern Eagles vs Penrith Panthers
Round 26 - 09/8/2002 2:30:00 PM
Complete self-destruction in the final match has cost the Eagles a spot in the Semi Finals. Needing a win to cement their spot the Eagles just didn’t aim up in defense. To make matters worse the Dragons played out of their skin against a depleted Knights side crushing any hope of the Eagles sneaking in.
It is a very disappointing day for the Eagles after what has been such a great season both on and off the park.
The Panthers took control of the match early racking up 16 unanswered points in the opening few minutes, and while Steve Menzies hit back with a great re-gather from a Jason Ferris banana kick it only inspired the Panthers to try harder.
Everything the Panthers did turned to gold. Down 44-6 at half time the Eagles were pretty much gone. When the Panthers scored first it was obvious that the Eagles weren’t going to make it back.
Midway through the second half the Eagles saved a bit of face with Dunley, Miles, Creary and Shipway all crossing but it was too little to late as the Eagles were nailed 5 tries to 12.
Hopefully the disappointment of missing the finals at the last hurdle will inspire the team to come back bigger and stronger. It will be a great day when the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles walk back out on to Brookvale Oval next season.
Penrith Panthers: 68 (Tries: Lewis3, Wesser 3, Girdler 2, Cross, Waterhouse, Hopkins, Gower. Goals: Girdler 9/11)
Northern Eagles: 28 (Tries: Menzies, Dunley, Miles, Creary, Shipway. Goals: Ferris 4/5)
Unforced Errors: Northern Eagles 14 - 5 Penrith Panthers
Penalties Conceded: Northern Eagles 7 - 6 Penrith Panthers
Aaron's Eagle Man of the Match: Jason Ferris
Sin Bins and Send Offs: -
Referee: Steven Clarke