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Five Things - Eels v Warriors, Round 19

The Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors have offered similar form this NRL season, struggling with consistency.

While the Warriors are coming off a good win over the Sharks, the Eels will be hungry to make up for their performance against the Sea Eagles in Round 18.

Here are five things you need to know about Saturday’s Round 19 game at Bankwest Stadium.

First clash for Eels and Warriors this year

Round 19 will be the only time the Eels and Warriors face-off in the normal Rounds of the NRL this season.

It’s a crucial match up with the Blue and Gold just inside the top eight and the Warriors just outside.

Both teams have been hot and cold this season and need to start proving they’re deserving of a finals berth and can manage to string together some wins.

Bankwest the Eels' fortress

The Eels have sent a strong message that Bankwest Stadium is their home this season, winning five of their six games there.

However, the players can’t let the good record go to their heads and rely on the home ground advantage.

Wins are crucial right now, as we head into the pointy end of the season and finals teams are decided.

Halves head-to-head

Mitchell Moses has been very reliable for the Eels this season, controlling the team around the park, but last week wasn’t his best day out against the Sea Eagles.

He faces Blake Green who is coming off a good win.

However Moses dominates when it comes to playing statistics.

He leads the NRL for try assists (18), while Green is much further down the table in 29th spot with 7 try assists.

Moses also has more points (135) than Green who hasn’t made the NRL’s top 50-point scorers list.

The Eels’ number 7 is also in the top five for kick metres and goal kicking.

Waqa Blake to debut in Eels colours

A month after signing with the Eels, Waqa Blake will make his debut for the Blue and Gold.

The centre was granted a mid-season release from the Penrith Panthers.

He hasn’t laced up the boots since May, when he suffered a knee injury.

The 24-year-old has played 88 NRL games and plays at right centre, with his size and speed a huge asset for the Eels.

Team changes

As mentioned, Waqa Blake has been named in the centres to make his debut for the Eels.

Ethan Parry was named in the reserves earlier in the week with Josh Hoffman named on the wing, however 24 hours out from the clash, Parry has been recalled into the starting side.

Jaeman Salmon has been shifted to reserve grade while Blake Ferguson remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Marata Niukore comes into the starting line-up for second rower Shaun Lane who has a hand injury.

Forwards Oregon Kaufusi and Daniel Alvaro have been recalled to the bench.

The Warriors top try scorer Ken Maumalo returns to the wing after a week off injured, whilst Kodi Nikorima was ruled out 24 hours out from the clash with Chanel Harris-Tavita named in his place.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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