The Courier-Mail

Moylan injury heaps misery on luckless Panthers

- CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI EELS

MATT Moylan was one of the few players guaranteed to bring Panthers fans to their feet last night against battlers Parramatta.

Sadly, the crowd of 17,821 at Pepper Stadium did just that, only to witness their star fullback assisted from the field after just 11 minutes during the 26-20 loss to the gutsy Eels.

Moylan suffered ligament damage to his right ankle and is looking at an extended peri- od on the sidelines. There were reports of him missing up to eight weeks, but more will be revealed today.

He cut a lone figure as he returned to sit on the sidelines before halftime with his right ankle heavily bandaged and a set of crutches parked beside him on a plastic chair.

It was a tough break for a kid who only a few days ago was enjoying his time with the extended NSW Origin squad, and soaking up the representa­tive build-up to Game One.

Moylan was running the ball back when collected in an awkward tackle by Eels enforcer Manu Ma’u.

He appeared to spin around on the slippery deck with Ma’u on his back.

Moylan winced in pain as he hit the ground and clutched at his right ankle.

Last night was supposed to be a celebratio­n of his 50th NRL game. Moylan’s early exit forced Panthers coach Ivan Cleary to shift Dallin WateneZele­zniak to fullback.

Watene-Zelezniak is a tidy player, but no Moylan. They missed his spark at the back when returning the ball. There was also the goal-kicking option, especially when Jamie Soward trotted off for a brief spell with a shoulder injury.

The Eels took advantage of Penrith’s injuries to race to a 14-0 lead before the hosts crossed three times in eight minutes to level the game with 20 minutes remaining.

But Parramatta’s giant winger Semi Radradra scored a brace of tries within the space of three minutes to snap his side’s five-game losing streak.

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