Match Preview: Eels v Raiders, Round 26
Dyldam Parramatta Eels Assistant Coach Peter Gentle has spoken about the team’s loss to the Cronulla Sharks and how they plan on turning it around this week when they take on the Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium for their final game of the 2015 season.
The Eels were beaten in the last 10 minutes against the Sharks after losing key players Manu Ma’u and Tepai Moeroa during the game, however both forwards have been named to take on the Raiders with Head Coach Brad Arthur naming an unchanged line up.
“Oh it hurts you, losing Manu early and then Tepai just after half time,” Gentle said.
“Each back rowers, pretty much strike weapons for us.”
“We were good enough still to get our nose in front and we need to be better at finishing games off, which Brad’s already spoken about.”
While the loss of both players made it difficult for the team, strong performances from Captain Tim Mannah, Daniel Alvaro, Isaac De Gois and Junior Paulo kept the Eels competitive right up until the end of the game.
“The middle unit were strong and they need to be strong again this week,” he said.
“Against a pretty experienced Sharks pack they did a good job.”
The Canberra Raiders enter the clash with confidence after a convincing victory over the Penrith Panthers last week and will also be looking to finish their season with a win.
“They’re a big side who like to roll forward through the middle so we need to control that middle,” Gentle said of the Canberra side.
“They’ve got plenty of speed to play off the back of that, so it starts and ends in the middle.”
However with the Raiders missing strike players Blake Austin and Jack Wighton, they face a difficult task of taking on the Blue and Gold at Pirtek Stadium.
With it being Blue and Gold Army round, the Eels are encouraging Members and fans to come out and support the boys on Sunday in their last game of the year.
“We were hoping to do a job for the fans last week and the 11 000 there, they made a racket when we got into the game so we’d like to see a few more there this week and be a little bit louder and hopefully we can get the result for you.”
Gates at Pirtek Stadium open at 11:30am this Sunday with NRL kick off at 2pm. Under 20’s kick off at 11:45am.
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Match Details: Dyldam Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday 6 September. Kick off at 2pm.
Televised: Fox Sports, Live, 2:00pm.
The History: Played 50; Eels 25, Raiders 25. Last time these two met the Raiders ended the Eels' 2014 season with a 33-20 point victory at Canberra Stadium.
1. Reece Robinson 2. Semi Radradra 3. William Hopoate 4. Ryan Morgan 5. Bureta Faraimo 6. Corey Norman 7. Luke Kelly 8. Junior Paulo 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. David Gower
Interchange: 14. Pauli Pauli 15. Darcy Lussick 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Peni Terepo
1. Sisa Waqa 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Brenko Lee 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Mitchell Cornish 7. Sam Williams 8. Frank Paul Nuuausala 9. Josh Hodgson 10. David Shillington 11. Josh Papalii 12. Jarrad Kennedy 13. Shaun Fensom
Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Luke Bateman 16. Paul Vaughan 17. Shannon Boyd
Match Officials: Referee: Adam Devcich. Assistant Referee: Chris James. Touch Judges: Brett Suttor, Anthony Eliott. Video Referees: Shayne Hayne, Daniel Irvine.