Match Preview: Eels v Dragons, Round Eight

The Parramatta Eels take on the St. George Illawarra Dragons at the second ever NRL game at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday afternoon (5 May) in round eight of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Coming off a 28-14 loss to the Newcastle Knights last week, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has made just the one change to his seventeen with prop forward Daniel Alvaro returning from concussion protocols in the starting side, shifting Peni Terepo back to the bench alongside Tim Mannah, Oregon Kaufusi and Manu Ma’u.

Ray Stone, Kane Evans, Josh Hoffman and George Jennings are named on the reserves.

For the Red V, Head Coach Paul McGregor winger Mikaele Ravalawa returns to the starting side after beginning last week's loss to the Sydney Roosters from the interchange. Zac Lomax shifts from the wing to the centre and Euan Aitken drops back to the bench.

With both sides coming off a loss last week, the Dragons suffering a 20-10 defeat in their traditional ANZAC Day clash against the Roosters, Sunday afternoon looks to be an interesting clash.

The Dragons matched it with the Roosters for the most part of the clash but were unable to run down the Premiers where as the Eels also found themselves on the back foot early, giving away a 20-0 deficit and failed to run down a determined Knights side in front of their loyal home fans.

Historically, the Eels hold a slight head to head advantage over the Dragons with 18 wins from 35 games. The Eels won the last time these two sides met, a 40-4 victory at ANZ Stadium in 2018 whilst also boast 7 wins from their last 8 clashes.

In the only game played at Bankwest Stadium, the Eels came away 51-6 victors and they will be looking to rebound back into the winners column in front of their Members and fans.

The battle of the halves look to be an interesting contest with Mitch Moses and Jaeman Salmon going up against Corey Norman and Ben Hunt, with the Red V five eighth coming up against his former side for the first time.

Young hooker Reed Mahoney has impressed in 2019, currently sitting second in the NRL in tackles made (339) with the only man above him his opposite number 9, Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes (340).

The battle of the props will also go a long way in determining the clash with Daniel Alvaro and Junior Paulo going head to head with James Graham and Paul Vaughan.

The game will kick-off at 4:05pm, and will follow the Canterbury Cup NSW curtain-raiser between Wentworthville and the Dragons at 1:40pm.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan Pereira
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Zac Lomax
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Brad Takairangi
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Jaeman Salmon
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Daniel Alvaro
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 James Graham
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Marata Niukore
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Tepai Moeroa
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Blake Lawrie

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Peni Terepo
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Euan Aitken
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Manu Ma'u
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Jacob Host
  • Interchange for Eels is number 19 Kane Evans
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Luciano Leilua