Match Preview: Eels v North Queensland Cowboys, Round Nine
The Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday 28 April for Round Nine of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
For the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has named one change to his side that came away with a 18-12 over the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Round 8 of the competition, with Kenny Edwards named in the halves alongside Corey Norman, replacing Brad Takairangi who has been ruled out with injury.
Arthur's extended bench includes Beau Scott, Daniel Alvaro, David Gower, Siosaia Vave, John Folau, Will Smith, Marata Niukore and Cameron King.
For the home side, Head Coach Paul Green has named the same seventeen players that came away with a 24-12 victory over the Newcastle Knights, including utility Ray Thompson, who was a late inclusion last weekend.
Regular halfback Johnathan Thurston – who has missed the last two games with a calf injury – has been named in the extended 21-man squad, along with forward Shaun Fensom (ankle).
The Eels are coming off two consecutive wins and will enter the clash with plenty of confidence as they sit just one win outside the top eight.
The Cowboys, who are sitting just outside the top eight, will be looking for their sixth win of the season against the Blue & Gold, and will be full of confidence after a win at home over the Newcastle Knights last week.
Before last week’s victory, the Cowboys lost their previous two clashes.
Historically, the Eels hold a slight head to head advantage over the Cowboys from their past 35 clashes. However, the Cowboys have been dominant at home, claiming victories in their last three games including a 32-16 win over the Eels in Round 8, 2016.
Kick off is at 7:50pm.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday 28 April. Kick off is at 7:50pm.
Televised: Channel Nine and Fox League – Live coverage from 7.30pm
The History: Played 35; Cowboys 16; Eels 18; Drawn 1.
The Eels only just edge the Cowboys in their overall head-to-head record from their 35 meetings, although the Cowboys have been dominant at home, having won their last three games against the Eels there.
In the last time these two sides met, which occurred in Round 8, 2016 at 1300SMILES Stadium, the Cowboys came away 32-16 victors.
Parramatta Eels squad: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Josh Hoffman 6. Kenny Edwards 7. Corey Norman 8. Suaia Matagi 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah (c) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. Beau Scott (c) 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. David Gower 17. Siosaia Vave 18. John Folau 19. Will Smith 20. Marata Niukore 21. Cameron King
North Queensland Cowboys squad: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. John Asiata 7. Michael Morgan 8. Patrick Kaufusi 9. Blake Leary 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Ethan Lowe 16. Ben Spina 17. Corey Jensen 18. Johnathan Thurston 19. Ben Hampton 20. Sam Hoare 21. Shaun Fensom
Match officials: Referee: Dave Munro. Assistant referee: Alan Shortall. Touch Judges: Dave Ryan and Tyson Morel. Review officials: Jared Maxwell and Ben Galea.