MATCH PREVIEW | Eels v Sharks, Round Four
The Parramatta Eels take on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 25 March.
The Eels Round Four clash will be the Blue & Gold’s first home game at ANZ Stadium in 2017, with the Eels and Sharks playing for the annual Johnny Mannah Cup.
The annual fixture honours former Eels and Sharks Player Jon Mannah, and supports the work of the Mannah Foundation, assisting young people from all walks of life.
Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made a handful of changes to his side that suffered a 26-14 defeat to the Gold Coast Titans last week, with halfback Corey Norman returning from injury whilst Frank Pritchard moves into the starting side as Tepai Moeroa is ruled out via suspension.
Arthur’s eight man extended bench includes Nathan Brown, Daniel Alvaro, David Gower, Siosaia Vave, Rory O’Brien, Cameron King, Kirisome Auva’a and Jeff Robson.
If named in the final 17, Vave will make his Parramatta Eels Club debut becoming player number 785.
For the Sharks, Head Coach Shane Flanagan has named a line up looking to bounce back from a 16-10 loss to the Dragons in Round Three.
New signing James Segeyaro features in an extended bench for the Sharks which also includes Gerard Beale and Edrick Lee as Kurt Capewell and Sosaia Feki have been named in the starting side.
The Sharks have had an up and down start to the season, with an 18-26 defeat to the Broncos in Round One before a 42-16 victory over the Canberra Raiders.
In the last time these two sides met, Round 17, 2016, the Cronulla Sharks had a come from behind victory, coming away 10 point winners in the clash, however the Eels side lines up much differently in 2017.
In the last 10 clashes, both sides have won five games each, however the clubs have only met once in each of the past two seasons with the Sharks claiming the last two games. The Eels last victory over the Sharks was in 2014.
The Eels have a lot to prove this game, and will be looking for a determined performance after their disappointing showing in Round Three against the Gold Coast Titans, and will be spurred on by the Blue & Gold in their first home game of the season.
The clash is the fifth annual Johnny Mannah Cup. Click through for all the details on the activities planned and how you can donate.
Kick off is at 7pm.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 25 March. Kick off at 7pm.
Televised: Fox Sports – Live from 7pm.
The History: Played 82; Eels 39; Sharks 43.
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 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Beau Scott
Interchange: 14. Nathan Brown 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. David Gower 17. Siosaia Vave 18. Rory O'Brien 19. Cameron King 20. Kirisome Auva'a 21. Jeff Robson
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks squad: 1. Jack Bird 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Kurt Capewell 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Valentine Holmes 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Chris Heighington 16. Jeremy Latimore 17. Joseph Paulo 18. Tony Williams 19. Gerard Beale 20. James Segeyaro 21. Edrick Lee
Match Officials: Referee: Matt Cecchin. Assist Referee: Chris James. Touch Judges: Rickey Mcfarlane and Jason Walsh. Review Official: Ben Galea. Senior Ro: Bernard Sutton.