Five things - Eels v Dragons, Round 20

The Eels need to win away from home to prove they’re true premiership contenders and Sunday afternoon will be the real test.

The 6th placed team plays the 14th placed St George Illawarra Dragons at Jubilee Oval in Round 20.

It was the Eels who tasted victory in the team’s first clash of the year with a convincing 32-18 win in Round 8 at Bankwest Stadium.

Here are five things you need to know about the game.

Away game challenge for Eels

The Eels will be looking to improve their record on the road this year, with a 3-6 record away from home. One of those wins was at Bankwest Stadium, one at ANZ Stadium in Round Two and at Penrith in the opening round of the season. 

Sunday’s clash is set to be a real challenge, after the Dragons almost upset the Rabbitohs last week.

The Eels need to prove they’re premiership worthy with a gutsy win away from home.

Eels edging closer to top four

The Blue and Gold are within reach of the top four, currently sitting 6th on the ladder and four points away from the top four.

If they can string some wins together in the home stretch of the season, they have every chance of making the top four.

The Eels can boast some of the best attack in the competition, but they have to improve their defence consistency. 

Team changes

The Eels are still without Blake Ferguson who is nursing a knee injury but welcome back centre Michael Jennings who has been sidelined for three games with a knee injury.

His return pushes Brad Takairangi to the wing and Ethan Parry out of the side.

Shaun Lane also returns from a finger injury to the starting line-up, with Marata Niukore moving to the bench and Oregon Kaufusi dropping out of the side.

There are just two changes to the Dragon’s 17 after last week’s game.

Josh Kerr and Matt Dufty have been dropped to the reserves, making way for Patrick Kaufusi and Jeremy Latimore on the bench.

Past clashes

The Eels have enjoyed success against the Dragons in recent years, winning seven of their past eight clashes.

They already have the first scalp this season with a comfortable 32-18 win at Bankwest Stadium in Round 8.

However the Eels haven’t won at Kograh since 2009 and will have a point to prove.

Stats

The Eels have a handful of players leading the NRL statistics in different areas.

Mitch Moses is first in the competition for try assists, kick metres and kicks.

He is also close to the top for goals and points scored.

The Dragon’s Cameron McInnes is also up there when it comes to tackles, receipts and dummy half runs.