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Match Preview: Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights

MatchPreview

The Parramatta Eels take on the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on Friday 11 August in Round 23 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

For the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made just the one change to his side that came away with a 20-4 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week with Tepai Moeroa returning to the starting side.

Daniel Alvaro, Kenny Edwards, Suaia Matagi, Peni Terepo, David Gower, Will Smith, Frank Pritchard and Josh Hoffman have been named on the extended bench.

For the Knights, Head Coach Nathan Brown has named Dane Gagai at fullback with Nathan Ross ruled out through injury.

Joe Wardle shifts to centre with Shaun Kenny-Dowall returning on the wing in place of Chanel Mata’utai.

Heading into the clash, the Eels currently sit equal third on the ladder, and enter the clash with a six game win streak. The Knights, have won their past two games, with victories over the St. George Illawarra Dragons and New Zealand Warriors, the first time achieving back to back victories since 2015.

Just two points behind the fifteenth placed Wests Tigers, the Knights will be desperate to avoid the wooden spoon.

Historically, the Knights hold a slight head to head advantage, with 26 wins from 48 clashes, however the Eels have won the last two meetings. However before that, the Knights won the prior seven.

At ANZ Stadium, the Eels have nine wins from their last ten games, whilst the Knights have won just one game from their past six visits.

In the last time these two sides met, Round 13, 2016, it took a try saver in the final minutes of play from debutant Bevan French to secure a 20-18 victory.

The clash will be a special occasion for Blue & Gold co-captain Tim Mannah who is set to play his 200th NRL clash whilst Kirisome Auva'a is set to play his 50th NRL clash.

Kick off is at 6pm.

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Match Details: Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on Friday 11 August. Kick off at 6pm.

Televised: Fox Sports – Live from 5.30pm.  

The History: Played 48; Eels 21; Knights 26; Drawn 1. The Eels have won the past two meetings but Newcastle triumphed in seven straight prior to that. The Eels have an excellent recent record at ANZ Stadium with nine wins from their last 10. The Knights have just one win from their past six visits.  

In the last time these two sides met, Round 13, 2016, it took a try saver in the final minutes of play from debutant Bevan French to secure a 20-18 victory.

Parramatta Eels squad: 1. Bevan French 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Kirisome Auva’a 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Siosaia Vave 9. Cameron King 10. Tim Mannah (c) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown

Interchange: 14. Daniel Alvaro 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Suaia Matagi 17. Peni Terepo 18. David Gower 19. Will Smith 20. Frank Pritchard 21. Josh Hoffman

Newcastle Knights squad: 1. Dane Gagai 2. Ken Sio 3. Joe Wardle 4. Peter Mata'utia 5. Shaun Kenny-dowall 6. Brock Lamb 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jamie Buhrer 10. Josh King 11. Sione Mata'utia 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett

Interchange: 14. Danny Levi 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Sam Stone 17. Luke Yates 18. Jack Cogger 19. Mickey Paea 20. Brendan Elliott 21. Chanel Mata'utia

Match officials: Referee: Henry Perenara; Assistant Referee: Chris Butler; Touch judges: Rickey McFarlane and Jason Walsh; Review Official: Ben Galea; Senior RO: Jared Maxwell.