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Dyldam Parramatta Eels assistant coach Steve Murphy has described the Round 18 match up with the Warriors as a matter of defence in this week’s Unibet game day preview.

With both sides known for their ability to find the try line, Murphy pointed to stopping points as the key to a win in Round 18.

“I think we’re two very evenly-matched teams, especially ball in hand,” Murphy said.

“Shaun Johnson’s been in dynamic form. [Ben] Matulino’s got a strong carry, great offload, [Konrad] Hurrell at the back, they’re a quality football team.”

“We both like to play an expansive style of football, so depending on the conditions, whoever controls the ball best will give themselves a chance.”

“You’re probably right in saying the team that defends the best this week will probably get the result.”

And while the Warriors welcome bad Ben Matulino to their side, the Eels will be without co-captains Tim Mannah and Jarryd Hayne.

“They’re quality players obviously,” Murphy said about his side’s co-captains.

“Jarryd’s been one of the best players in the competition all year and he’ll sorely be missed, but at the same time Chrissy [Sandow] was outstanding for us against the Bulldogs and I think he’ll do another fantastic job there.”

“Willie Tonga comes in was Captain and he’s been tremendous for the younger players since day one. We’re really pleased for him that he gets his opportunity as Captain this week.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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