Match Preview: Eels NYC v Wests Tigers
The Dyldam Parramatta Eels Holden Cup side take on the Wests Tigers in the first of a Holden Cup double-header on Sunday 11 September at Allianz Stadium.
For the must-win clash, Blue and Gold Head Coach Luke Burt has made three changes to his line up that came away with a dominant 32-18 victory over the New Zealand Warriors in Round 26 of their compeititon, with winger Jermaine Mati-Leifi replacing Kelepi Manu, Troy Dargan named at halfback shifting Michael Doolan to the bench.
Reed Mahoney joins an extended bench alongside doolan, Kurt De Luis, Tom Field and Jye Challenor.
For the Wests Tigers, Head Coach Willie Peters welcomes back two of their biggest stars in hooker Jacob Liddle and half Veiru Mapesone for the Elimination Final along with fullback Luke Sharpe and forward Esan Marsters.
The Eels enter the clash with just one win from their past four clashes, sliding to seventh on the ladder heading into the Finals series. However with Mati-Leifi set to return, the winger will be hoping to continue on his try scoring run after finishing third in the NYC try-scoring charts with 21 four pointers.
The Wests Tigers come into the clash off the back of consecutive draws.
The Eels however will enter the clash with plenty of confidence, after coming away 40-4 and 25-18 victors in the regular season over the Wests Tigers.
Kick off is at 11:10am with live coverage on Fox Sports 1 from 11am.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels side
1. Mason Cerruto 2. James Gammidge 3. Tuimavave Afualo 4. Atini Gafa 5. Jermaine Mati-Leifi 6. Dean Matterson 7. Troy Dargan 8. Alex Twal 9. Denzal Tonise (c) 10. Jamie Stowers 11. Jack Morris 12. Tyrell Fuimaono 13. Tom Amone
Interchange: 14. Michael Doolan 15. Kurt De Luis 16. Tom Field 17. Jye Challenor 18. Reed Mahoney
Wests Tigers side
1. Luke Sharpe 2. Roman Ioelu 3. Toa Mata’afa 4. Tony Tali 5. Obed Karwhin 6. Veiru Mapesone 7. Daniel Roberts 8. Ray Stone 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Taniela Paseka 11. Esan Marsters 12. Mark McCormack 13. Jack Wheelhouse (c)
Interchange: 14. Daniel Peck 15. Jakob Giles 16. Trent Pye 17. Pio Sokobalava