Eels v Titans, Round 21 Match Preview
The Parramatta Eels take on the Gold Coast Titans at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 4 August in Round 21 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur welcomes George Jennings back into the team, among many changes, following one week injured on the sideline.
Kaysa Pritchard (shoulder, season) and Daniel Alvaro (knee, Round 24) are replaced by Reed Mahoney and Tim Mannah in the starting 13.
Parramatta has a new look bench which includes Jaeman Salmon to make his NRL debut, Kane Evans, Peni Terepo and Brad Takairangi.
Will Smith, David Gower, Greg Leleisiuao and Ray Stone are the reserves.
The Titans named the same 17 players that defeated the New Zealand Warriors 36-12 on the Gold Coast last week.
Everyone in their backline, except Ash Taylor, scored a try. Phillip Sami got a double.
The Warriors held a 12-8 lead at halftime, but from the moment the second half started Gold Coast shut out New Zealand and scored 28 points.
For the Eels, they went on a dominating run of their own against the top-four placed South Sydney in the first half to build a 20-6 lead.
Switching between the wing and fullback positions, Jarryd Hayne applied his trademark midfield line splitting burst to score a try and continue what's been a strong run of form.
Saturday will be the first time Hayne lines up against his old club since he joined Parramatta for the 2018 season.
Hayne last played the Gold Coast in 2014 and scored two tries to secure the Blue & Gold a 24-18 win.
In Round 24 last season, the Eels beat the Titans 30-8 on the back of a 24-0 lead after 54 minutes.
A Parramatta win could draw them level on the competition ladder with three other teams on five wins (before the start of Round 21); the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Manly Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys.
Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Jarryd Hayne, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Siosaia Vave, 9 Reed Mahoney, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Marata Niukore, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14 Jaeman Salmon, 15 Kane Evans, 16 Peni Terepo, 17 Brad Takairangi
Reserves: 18 Will Smith, 19 David Gower, 20 Greg Leleisiuao, 21 Ray Stone
Winger George Jennings (groin strain) returns, allowing Jarryd Hayne to shift back to centre and Brad Takairangi to the bench. Reed Mahoney starts at hooker for Kaysa Pritchard (shoulder) with Jaemon Salmon to debut as the bench utility. Tim Mannah starts at prop with Daniel Alvaro (knee/concussion) out. Kane Evans has been recalled on the bench with David Gower dropping to the reserves.
Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Konrad Hurrell, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Alexander Brimson, 7 Ash Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Keegan Hipgrave, 13 Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Moeaki Fotuaika, 16 Jack Stockwell, 17 Will Matthews
Reserves: 18 Leilani Latu, 19 Brendan Elliot, 20 Jai Whitbread, 21 Kane Elgey
Head-to-head: Played 17; Titans 11 wins, Eels 6 wins
Previous result: Eels won 30-8 at ANZ Stadium in round 24, 2017
Matches at venue: Played 1; Parramatta 1, Titans 0
Points per game: Eels 15.1; Titans 19.4
Points conceded per game: Eels 22.4; Titans 24.4
Televised: Live on Fox League
Radio: ABC, 2GB