The round five premier league battle at The Swamp on Saturday between the two unbeaten teams ended in a 14-all draw.
The Clive Nicholas-coached Eels took an early lead heading into the break with a 10-0 advantage. The hosts maintained their momentum, scoring their third try early in the second half to extend their lead to 14-0.
But the Darren Piri-coached Panthers remained calm and took advantage of Eels’ indiscipline to score three tries to level the match. Despite the draw, the Eels maintain their slender lead (on points difference) on the points table, followed by the Panthers.
In the other premier matches, Ngatangiia Matavera Sea Eagles defeated Aitutaki Sharks 28-20 while defending champions Titikaveka Bulldogs edged TKV Warriors 24-22 in a close tussle at the Happy Valley.