Plenty of punters have backed Penrith and Parramatta to fight out the NRL wooden spoon.
They might have been reaching into their kicks a bit more after the Eels and Panthers fought out a 10-10 draw in a defence-orientated game in Penrith’s final trial for the season at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday.
But not much could be gleaned, given the conditions.
Chris Sandow set up two tries for Parramatta and new co-captain Jarryd Hayne scored one of them, from a bomb.
Penrith’s two tries came from an intercept and a kick.
They struggled for creativity without regular halfback Luke Walsh, but he should be back for the first NRL game against Canberra at home.
It was willing enough and the boys had fun in the slush.
Panther prop Tim Grant and the Eels’ Tim Mannah exchange blows as they enjoyed a bit of biff/fisticuffs/Larry Dooley.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary was pleased enough with the run.
‘‘I will say we are in a rebuilding phase, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think we can have a successful year,’’ he said.
‘‘I will say we’re in a much better position to start this season than last year.''