The Parramatta Eels are reaching a crucial point in their quest for an NRL premiership, as the halfway mark of the season nears.
The Blue and Gold will take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night, hoping to break a three game losing streak.
While the Rabbitohs are looking to extend their winning form, having won 10 of their 11 games.
Here are five things you need to know about the Round 12 match up.
Match: Eels v Rabbitohs
Round 12 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
First round during State of Origin
Round 12 marks the first of two ‘split round, which is played in the lead up to State of Origin games.
The top of the table Rabbitohs are looking a bit depleted, missing four players to Origin including Damien Cook, Cody Walker, Cameron Murray and Dane Gagai.
It’s a better time than ever for the Eels to come up against Souths, as they aren’t missing any players to representative duties.
Eels looking to snap three game losing streak
The Eels are clinging to the top eight and will need to get a win to continue being premiership contenders.
The Blue and Gold have lost their last three games and have a tough few weeks of competition ahead of them, playing teams who are in form.
After being slightly rattled by the slippery night time conditions at Bankwest Stadium last round, the Eels trained at the ground on Tuesday night to get a better grip on what they’re up for.
As mentioned, the Rabbitohs are missing four players to State of Origin this round.
The changes pave the way for Adam Doueihi who will play at centre; Connor Tracey will debut at five-eighth while fellow debutant Billy Brittain is named at hooker. Junior Tatola has been named at lock and Bayley Sironen joins the bench.
They are also without the injured Alex Johnston and Braidon Burns.
However, they are boosted by the naming of Adam Reynolds in the halves, after fears he suffered a fractured fibula.
The Eels line-up has again been shaken up, as the team searches for form.
Tim Mannah, Brad Takairangi, Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings have been moved to the reserves.
Michael Jennings returns to left centre after recovering from a calf injury and Blake Ferguson goes back to the right wing, with Josh Hoffman at right centre.
Kane Evans moves up from Canterbury Cup to start at prop and Manu Ma’u will start in the back row.
Tepai Moeroa is back from concussion in the lock position.
Head to head stats
The Rabbitohs have the upper hand when it comes to the teams’ recent encounters.
The Red and Green won both clashes last season, getting over the Eels 26-20 and 42-24.
However the Eels did win the three previous games in 2016/17.
Moeroa’s 100th NRL game and Moses’ 50th for Eels
Tepai Moeroa made his way up through the Parramatta Eels juniors, before launching his NRL career in 2014.
The second rower will notch up his 100th NRL game against the Rabbitohs on Friday night, which ironically is the team he scored his debut try against.
Mitch Moses also clocks up a milestone in Round 12, playing his 50th game in Eels colours.
The half moved across to Parramatta in 2017 from the Wests Tigers.