Match Preview | Eels v Dragons, Round Two
The Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium on Sunday 12 March for their Round Two clash of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership.
Arthur has named the same 1-17 players that defeated the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (20-12) in Round One of the NRL Telstra Premiership, however has made changes to his extended interchange bench.
Arthur has called in George Jennings and Marata Niukore into the side for the first time, alongside Nathan Brown, Rory O’Brien, Daniel Alvaro, Frank Pritchard, David Gower and Cameron King on the bench.
For the Dragons, who are coming off a convincing 42-10 victory over the Penrith Panthers, Head Coach Paul McGregor has also named an unchanged 17, adding Luciano Leilua to the Red V reserve list.
The Dragons forwards laid a strong platform in their victory last week with prop Russell Packer (174m) and new recruit Paul Vaughan (189m) leading the way. Lock Jack de Bellin starred with (155m, five offloads, seven tackle busts and a try) whilst back rower Joel Thompson (108m) crossed for a hat-trick of tries.
In the Eels engine room, co-captain Tim Mannah led the way with 173m whilst fellow prop Suaia Matagi made a barnstorming 151m.
In the last clash against the Dragons, Round 25, 2016 – the last game at Pirtek Stadium, the Blue & Gold came away 30-18 victors.
In fact, the Eels have won the last four against the Dragons. It was in 2013 when the Dragons last beat the Eels, coming away 32-12 victors at WIN Stadium.
The Eels clash is the third game in a triple header at WIN Stadium this weekend, with the Eels NYC and Wenworthville Magpies Intrust Super Premiership NSW sides also in action.
The NRL kicks off at 6:30pm.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium on Sunday 12 March 2017. Kick off at 6:30pm.
Televised: Fox Sports – Live from 5.30pm.
The History: Played 31; Dragons 14, Eels 15, Drawn 2. Parra have won four in a row against the Red V but haven't won in Wollongong since 2001. In the last time these two sides met, the Eels came away 30-18 victors at Pirtek Stadium. The Dragons last defeated the Blue & Gold in 2013, 32-12 at WIN Stadium.
Parramatta Eels squad: 1. Bevan French 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Josh Hoffman 6. Clint Gutherson 7. Corey Norman 8. Suaia Matagi 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah (c) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Beau Scott (c)
Interchange 14. Nathan Brown 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. Rory O’Brien 17. Frank Pritchard
Reserves 18. David Gower 19. Cameron King 20. George Jennings 21. Marata Niukore
St. George Illawarra Dragons squad: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (c) 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin
Interchange 14. Tariq Sims 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Jacob Host 17. Jai Field
Reserves 18. Kurt Mann 19. Taane Milne 20. Luciano Leilua 21. Hame Sele
Match Officials: Referee: Dave Munro; Assistant Referee: Chris Sutton; Touch judges: Rohan Best and Phil Henderson; Review Official: Ben Galea; Senior RO: Ashley Klein.