Storm v Eels, Round 23 Match Preview
The Parramatta Eels take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Friday 17 August from 7:55pm in Round 23 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur named Tim Mannah again after missing last week's match against the Dragons.
Kane Evans picked up a calf injury which has him scheduled to be ready for Round 24, providing the chance for Oregon Kaufusi to make his debut from the bench. Oregon has no relation to Storm player Felise Kaufusi.
After a 40-4 win against the Dragons last week, the Eels are sticking with a new spine combination including Corey Norman, Jaeman Salmon, Mitchell Moses and Reed Mahoney.
Parramatta has won three of their last four matches and is no longer on the bottom of the ladder.
Melbourne will be without Ryan Hoffman, Joe Stimson picks up the available starting spot in the second row.
At AAMI Park the Eels have won two of their last three matches, with the loss (18-16) being the last time they met the Storm in week one of the 2017 finals.
Leading into this fixture Melbourne has lost their last two matches. They were beaten by the South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-20 at ANZ Stadium and 17-14 at home to the Cronulla Sharks last Sunday.
Jarryd Hayne has scored nine tries in his last eight matches and comes up against the side he and the Eels played in the 2009 grand final.
A win for the Eels gives them the chance to level with the currently 12th and 13th placed Manly Sea Eagles and Gold Coast Titans respectively (as of before the start of the round). Those two teams do battle on Friday at 6pm.
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Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Jahrome Hughes, 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Joe Stimson, 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14 Cheyse Blair, 15 Tim Glasby, 16 Christian Welch, 17 Kenneath Bromwich
Reserves: 18 Brandon Smith, 19 Tui Kamikamica, 20 Albert Vete, 21 Brodie Croft
Cheyse Blair replaces the injured Ryan Hoffman (hamstring) on the bench.
Eels: 1 Corey Norman, 2 Jarryd Hayne, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Clinton Gutherson (c), 5 George Jennings, 6 Jaeman Salmon, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Siosaia Vave, 9 Reed Mahoney, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Marata Niukore, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14 Oregon Kaufusi, 15 Peni Terepo, 16 David Gower, 17 Brad Takairangi
Reserves: 18 Josh Hoffman, 19 Bevan French, 20 Ray Stone, 21 Cameron King
Tim Mannah replaces Kane Evans in the front row while Oregon Kaufusi is named to debut off the bench in place of Will Smith.
Head-to-head: Played 33; Storm 20 wins, Eels 13 wins
Previous result: Storm won 18-16 at AAMI Park in Finals Week 1, 2017
Matches at venue: Played 6; Melbourne 4, Parramatta 2
Points per game: Storm 23.3; Eels 15.7
Points conceded per game: Storm 15.7; Eels 21
Televised: Live on Nine and Fox League
Radio: ABC, 2GB