Match Preview: Eels v Cowboys, Pirtek Stadium
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels will take on the North Queensland Cowboys at Pirtek Stadium on Monday night (8 June) and the Blue and Gold will enter the Round 13 clash with plenty of confidence after a 26-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers last week.
The Eels snapped a five game losing streak last week, with Eels halfback Chris Sandow in commanding form as he lead and steered the Blue and Gold around the park on his way to Man of the Match honours.
Head Coach Brad Arthur has made just the one change to his line-up with David Gower returning from injury replacing Joseph Paulo.
Arthur has also named Junior Paulo in the starting side, swapping with Eels forward Danny Wicks who will come off the bench.
The Eels enter the clash with plenty of confidence after their Round 12 win and the Blue and Gold will be buoyed by returning to Pirtek Stadium, where the Cowboys have not performed well at, losing their past 7 of 10 games at the Stadium.
The Cowboys however will also enter the clash with their confidence high.
After winning their last 9 games, the Cowboys benefited from a long turnaround this week providing a long recovery for their Origin stars Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Michael Morgan.
The Cowboys were lucky to come away with a victory last week, scoring a try in the final minute to earn a two point victory over Manly, and the Blue and Gold will be confident of ending their winning streak.
The Cowboys have just the one addition to their side with utility Rory Kostjasyn named on an extended bench.
Kick off is at 7pm.
Match Details: Dyldam Parramatta Eels North Queensland Cowboys, Pirtek Stadium. Monday 8 June, kick off at 7:00pm
Televised: Fox Sports 1 – Live 7pm
The History: Played 31; Eels 13, Cowboys 17, Drawn 1. The last time these two sides met, the Eels came away with a 18-16 victory in Round 13, 2014 at Pirtek Stadium. The Cowboys have typically had it tough against the Eels in Sydney, losing seven of their last 10.
1. Reece Robinson 2. Semi Radradra 3. William Hopoate 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Ryan Morgan 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Junior Paulo 9. Nathan Peats 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Anthony Watmough
14. David Gower 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. Danny Wicks 17. Pauli Pauli
1. Lachlan Coote 2. Matthew Wright 3. Justin O'Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Matthew Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Ray Thompson 15. John Asiata 16. Ben Hannant 17. Sam Hoare 19. Rory Kostjasyn
Eels Dangers: Chris Sandow. The halfback was back to his best last week, steering the Blue and Gold around the part in their victory over the Panthers. Sandow had a total of 463 kicking metres to go along side his 17 tackles and two try assists earning him Man of the Match honours.
The electrifying Semi Radradra was also back to his best last week, bagging two crucial tries and continued to look dangerous every time he had the ball in his hands. Back at Pirtek Stadium, the big left winger will be looking to add to his try scoring tally of seven this year.
Cowboys Dangers: The halves pairing of Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston. The halves have been in impressive form all year and have been their standouts in 2015 and have been a major part of the Cowboys 9 game winning streak. Morgan has crossed for seven tries this season, whilst Thurston has two four pointers to his name, adding to his 36 goals and three field goals.
Forwards James Tamou and Matt Scott have also been in dominating fashion the past few weeks. Both front rowers were outstanding in Origin I and they have continued on their strong form since returning from that arena.
Match Officials: Referee – Gavin Badger; Assistant Referee – Chris Sutton; Touch Judges – Grant Atkins & Brett Suttor; Video Referees – Steve Clark & Henry Perenara.