The Parramatta Eels take on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday 5 May in Round Nine of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
After coming away with a 24-22 victory over the Wests Tigers last week, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made just the one forced change to his line up with Tony Williams ruled out with a season ending ACL injury
Seeking their third win of the season, Tepai Moeroa returns to the Eels from injury in place of Williams, named in the starting side.
Will Smith, Kenny Edwards, David Gower, Tim Mannah, Cameron King, Beau Scott, Josh Hoffman and Marata Niukore form the extended bench.
For the Cronulla Sharks, who are also looking for their third straight victory after wins over the Panthers and Titans in the past fortnight, Head Coach Shane Flanagan has named a line up without Josh Dugan, Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis who have all been ruled out with injury.
Matt Moylan moves into the halves seeing Valentine Holmes named at fullback, Siosaia Feki recalled on the wing and Kurt Capewell retaining his spot in the back row. Wade Graham has been named to start (pending a fitness test on his injured hamstring) pushing Scott Sorensen to the bench.
Historically, the Sharks hold the head to head advantage over the Eels, including 22 wins from 36 games at the venue. The Eels have lost the last four meetings between the two sides, including not tasting victory at the Sharks’ home ground in four years.
In the last time these two sides met, the Sharks came away 14-4 victors in Round Three earlier this season. However the Sharks, who fielded a vastly different line up, came across an Eels side searching for their first victory and with one try a piece, five goals from Chad Townsend proved the difference in the dour affair.
Kick off is at 7:30pm.
Match Details: Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels, Southern Cross Group Stadium, Saturday 5 May. Kick off at 7:30pm
Head-to-head: Played 84; Sharks 45 wins, Eels 39 wins
Matches at venue: Played 36; Sharks 22 wins, Eels 14 wins
2017 result: Sharks won 20-6 at ANZ Stadium in round 4
Points per game: Sharks 15.5; Eels 14.3
Points conceded per game: Sharks 18.4; Eels 23
Televised: Live on Fox League
Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Edrick Lee, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Kurt Capewell, 12 Wade Graham (c), 13 Joseph Paulo
Interchange: 14 Jayson Bukuya, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Avagalu Seumanufagai, 17 Scott Sorensen 18 Kurt Dillion, 19 Jack Williams, 20 Trent Hodkinson, 21 Braden Uele
Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Suaia Matagi, 11 Manu Ma'u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Peni Terepo
Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Kenny Edwards, 16 David Gower, 17 Tim Mannah (c) 18 Cameron King, 19 Beau Scott, 20 Josh Hoffman, 21 Marata Niukore
Match Officials: Referee: Adam Gee and Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski, Touch Judges, Jeff Younis and Rohan Best, Review Official: Ben Galea and Hared Maxwell.