MATCH PREVIEW | Eels v Storm, Round 18
The Parramatta Eels take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday 8 July for Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
For the clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made one change to his side that came away with a 13-12 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, with back rower Tepai Moeroa called into the starting side as Kenny Edwards moves to the bench.
David Gower, Edwards, Suaia Matagi, Will Smith, Siosaia Vave, Marata Niukore, Kirisome Auva'a and John Folau have all been named on the extended bench.
For the home side, the Melbourne Storm, Head Coach Craig Bellamy has been forced to make a handful of changes to his side, with six players unavailable due to Origin duties.
The Storm will be without skipper Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Will Chambers, Tim Glasby and Cameron Munster which will see a handful of young faces in their back line.
However the Storm still boast plenty of experience up front, with Jesse Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Felise Kaufusi, Tohu Harris and Dale Finucane in their starting forwards.
New Storm recruits Nate Myles and Robbie Rochow have been named on an extended bench.
Both sides enter this clash in strong form, with the Storm entering with four wins from their last five games whilst the Eels have also won four of their last five. The Storm however sit top of the table, with 13 wins this season whilst the Eels sit eighth with nine wins.
Historically, the Storm hold a strong head to head advantage over the Blue & Gold, with 19 wins from 31 clashes, including four of the last five meetings.
Apart from the one win from four games in Melbourne, the Eels record at AAMI Park isn’t favourable.
In the last time these two sides met, the Storm came away 18-6 victors (Round 11, 2016 at Pirtek Stadium).
Kick off from AAMI Park is at 7:30pm.
Match Details: Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday 8 July. Kick off is at 7:30pm.
Televised: Fox League – Live coverage from 7.30pm (AEST).
The History: Storm v Eels – Played 31, Storm 19 wins, Eels 12 wins. History shows the Storm hold the advantage over the Eels in head-to-head match-ups. Parramatta have won just once (Round 14, 2015) in their past five meetings, and just twice in their past eight encounters. Apart from the one win in 2015, the Eels' record at AAMI Park isn't favourable with a combined for-and-against of 50-170 in four games since 2011.
Parramatta Eels squad:
1. Clint Gutherson 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Bevan French 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Cameron King 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. David Gower 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Suaia Matagi 17. Will Smith 18. Siosaia Vave 19. Marata Niukore 20. Kirisome Auva'a 21. John Folau
Melbourne Storm squad:
1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Curtis Scott 4. Cheyse Blair 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Ryley Jacks 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Slade Griffin 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14. Kenneath Bromwich 15. Nate Myles 16. Mark Nicholls 17. Joe Stimson 18. Tui Kamikamica 19. Young Tonumaipea 20. Justin Olam 21. Robbie Rochow
Match officials: Gavin Badger, Jon Stone. Officials: Jeff Younis, Chris Treneman Video Referees: Bryan Norrie, Ashley Klein.