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NRL: Eels smash Panthers in trial game

The Parramatta Eels warmed up for the 2022 NRL season in style after thumping reigning premiers Penrith 36-0 on Saturday.

The Eels are priced at 5/2 to finish in the top four of the NRL and can take plenty of heart from the win after putting out a near full-strength side.

Arthur delight

It has been a tough off-season for the Eels who have failed to retain five key players after they agreed deals with NRL rivals for the 2023 campaign.

But two of the star players that have committed, skipper Clint Gutherson and Mitch Moses, both starred in the rout against the Panthers to prove they are a real threat heading into the new campaign.

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Coach Brad Arthur accepts it was only pre-season but he could not be happier with how the game panned out.

"It was about our identity, the style of football we want to play," said Arthur. "I felt like we built really good pressure in the first half and we were probably a bit loose in the second half.

"But it was nice for our systems to hold up, we have done a bit of work on it. But the real stuff starts in a few weeks."

Weakened Panthers

The Panthers were missing star players including Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Dylan Edwards but coach Ivan Cleary accepts the performance was still not good enough.

"Today was disappointing, that's putting it lightly," Cleary said. "Totally outplayed in every area.

"For whatever reason we didn't turn up with the right attitude today. I take responsibility for that. Parramatta did and they played really well.

"It was a pretty good lesson today regardless of who you have or who you play, if you don't turn up with the right attitude that can happen."

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