Game Preview: Knights v Eels, Round Seven
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels will travel to Hunter Stadium for their Round Seven clash against the fifth placed Newcastle Knights, and the Eels will be looking to rebound after two disappointing performances against the Tigers and Titans.
The Eels have named Richie Fa’aoso on an extended bench for an otherwsise unchanged lineup and the Blue and Gold will be buoyed and desperate for the two points as they celebrate Eels captain Tim Mannah and halfback Chris Sandow 150th NRL First Grade appearance.
The Eels have shown they can score points and defend their line, however they have been inconsistent in the last two weeks and Head Coach Brad Arthur will be looking for a complete 80 minute performance from his side this weekend.
The Newcastle Knights started their 2015 season in hot fashion with victories in their opening four rounds, however the side has dropped its last two games against the Sharks and Dragons.
The Knights Tyler Randell returns to the Knights interchange which also contains young gun Sione Mata'utia.
With both side desperate for two points and a victory, the clash at Hunter Stadium should go down to the wire.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights, Hunter Stadium. Sunday 19 April, kickoff at 4pm.
Televised: Channel 9, Live, 3.30pm.
The History: Played 46; Knights 26, Eels 19, Draw 1. The Knights have won the past seven clashes against the Eels and their last head to head saw the Knights come away victors, 42-12, in Round 25 of 2014.
1. William Hopoate 2. Bureta Faraimo 3. Ryan Morgan 4. John Folau 5. Reece Robinson 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Darcy Lussick 9. Nathan Peats 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma'u 12. David Gower 13. Anthony Watmough
Interchange: 14. Isaac De Gois 15. Joseph Paulo 16. Danny Wicks 17. Peni Terepo 18. Richie Fa'aoso
1. Kurt Gidley 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. Korbin Sims 11. Chris Houston 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jeremy Smith
Interchange: 14. Tyler Randell 15. David Fa'alogo 16. Joseph Tapine 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Sione Mata'utia
Eels Dangers: Danny Wicks. The Eels forward has been dominant in his performances in 2015 and the prop has had a significant impact off the bench with 102m from his 10 hit ups, 25 tackles and a try to his name from his 44minute performance last week.
Halfback Chris Sandow will also be looking for a big game in his 150th NRL First Grade performance. The number seven will be looking to return to the form that Eels fans saw against the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs and guide the Blue and Gold to a victory in his milestone match.
Knights Dangers: Knights winger Akuila Uate was impressive last week with 162m, two tackle busts and a try to his name in the Knights clash against the Dragons. The Fijian flyer will be looking for another strong performance back in front of a vocal Newcastle crowd.
Match Officials: Referee – Adam Devcich; Assistant Referee – David Munro; Sideline Officials – Brett Suttor and Phil Henderson; Video Referees – Steve Clark and Luke Phillips.