MATCH PREVIEW: Eels v Dragons, R15, ANZ Stadium
The Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 18 June in Round 15 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made two changes to his side that suffered a defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys in Darwin last week, with Kirisome Auva’a recalled on the wing in place of an injured Nathan Davis whilst Daniel Alvaro has been named in the starting side, shifting prop Suaia Matagi back to the bench.
Arthur has also named an extended bench of Beau Scott, Matagi, Kenny Edwards, Will Smith, Marata Niukore, John Folau, Siosaia Vave and Michael Jennings.
Norman and Moses will play just their second game together in the halves after last week’s first time pairing against a JT inspired Cowboys side.
For the Dragons, head coach Paul McGregor has been forced to make changes to his side that suffered a 16-2 defeat to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, with NSW Blues pair Tyson Frizell and Josh Dugan both unavailable due to representative honours.
Experienced Jason Nightingale replaces Dugan in the number one jersey seeing Kalifa Faifai Loa called on to the wing. Forward Tariq Sims moves into the starting side with Jacob Host joining an extended bench that also includes Leeson Ah Mau, Hame Sele, Taane Milne, Jai Field, Tyrone McCarthy, Blake Lawrie and Will Matthews.
In the last two these two sides met, Round 2, 2017 at Dragons’ WIN Stadium, the Blue & Gold put in a complete 80 minute performance, claiming a 34-16 victory as winger Semi Radradra starred with four tries that night. However the Eels have struggled for consistency since then.
The Dragons also enter the clash with some inconsistent form. After going on a string of five victories following the Round 2 clash, the Dragons have had 2 wins, four losses and a bye.
The Eels have won their past five clashes against the Dragons and hold a narrow lead in overall results between the two clubs. At ANZ Stadium, the games are split two a piece.
Kick off to the Round 15 clash on Sunday 18 June is at 4pm.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v St. George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 18 June. Kick off is at 4pm.
Televised: Channel Nine – Live from 4pm. Fox Sports – Live from 3.30pm.
The History: Played 32; Eels 16; Dragons 14; Drawn 2. The Eels are currently enjoying a five-game winning run over the Red V. The Dragons have won just two of their past eight games at ANZ Stadium.
Parramatta Eels squad: 1. Bevan French 2. Semi Radradra 3. Brad Takairangi 4. Clint Gutherson 5. Kirisome Auva'a 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. Beau Scott 15. Suaia Matagi 16. Kenny Edwards 17. Will Smith 18. Marata Niukore 19. Siosaia Vave 20. Michael Jennings 21. John Folau
St. George Illawarra Dragons squad: 1. Jason Nightingale 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Kurt Mann 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Kalifa Faifai Loa 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tariq Sims 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin
Interchange: 14. Jacob Host 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Hame Sele 17. Taane Milne 18. Jai Field 19. Tyrone McCarthy 20. Blake Lawrie 21. Will Matthews
Match officials: Referee: Grant Atkins; Assistant Referee: Chris Sutton; Touch judges: Michael Wise and Jarrod Cole; Review Official: Bryan Norrie; Senior RO: Ashley Klein.