Match Preview: Eels v Dragons, Round 25
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium on Monday 29 August for Round 25 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
For the last clash at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium before the redevelopment, Blue and Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made a handful of changes to his Blue and Gold side that suffered a 28-18 defeat to the Canberra Raiders last week.
Bevan French named at fullback moving Michael Gordon to the wing whilst Brad Takairangi, Beau Scott and Tepai Moeroa return to the side. David Gower joins at extended bench as Rory O'Brien (suspension) and Vai Toutai drop out of the side.
The Round 25 clash will be the final opportunity for Blue and Gold Members and fans to come out and support the side on our beloved home turf for the past 30 years, with the ground set to undergo redevelopment at the end of the season that will see it closed for a couple of years.
For the Dragons, Head Coach Paul McGregor has made a few changes to his side with half Benji Marshall dropped for young gun Drew Hutchinson to partner Gareth Widdop in the halves.
Tim Lafai replaces the suspended Taane Milne at centre and Jacob Host comes in for Russell Packer (shoulder/hip) on the bench.
The Eels enter the clash coming off two losses in the past fortnight, going down to the Brisbane Broncos and Canberra Raiders. The Dragons enter the clash coming off one loss, suffering a 42-6 defeat to the Sydney Roosters last week.
Despite both clubs out of finals contention, there is plenty of pride to play for.
The Eels hold a strong record over the Dragons at Pirtek Stadium, with 9 wins from 13 clashes at the Blue and Gold home stadium, including a 16-12 victory in 2015 in the last time these two sides met.
14 games apiece, including two draws sees the head to head battle between the two sides even, however the Eels have won the past three clashes.
Kick off is at 7pm.
Match Details: Dyldam Parramatta Eels v St. George Illawarra Dragons at Pirtek Stadium on Monday August 29. Kick off at 7pm
Televised: Fox Sports 1 – Live coverage from 6.30pm.
The History: Played 30; Eels 14, Dragons 14, Drawn 2. The Dragons have lost their past three to the Eels (remarkably all three of those were at Pirtek with the teams only meeting once per season of late) but they were undefeated in seven matches prior to that.
Parramatta Eels Squad:
1. Bevan French 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Michael Gordon 6. Clint Gutherson 7. Jeff Robson 8. Danny Wicks 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Beau Scott
Interchange: 14. Kaysa Pritchard 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Peni Terepo 17. Daniel Alvaro 18. David Gower
St. George Illawarra Dragons Squad:
1. Josh Dugan 2. Kurt Mann 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Drew Hutchinson 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack De Bellin
Interchange: 15. Will Matthews 16. Jacob Host 17. Jake Marketo 21. Luciano Leilua
Referee: Adam Gee. Assistant referee: Gavin Reynolds. Sideline officials: Michael Wise and Tim Roby. Review officials: Luke Patten. Senior review official: Bernard Sutton.