Eels v Bulldogs, Round 23 Match Preview

The Parramatta Eels clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Thursday 22 August in Round 23 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Following a 36-12 victory over the Titans last week, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur has named a 21 man squad, welcoming back Junior Paulo in the front row after he was ruled out an hour before kick off last week.

The return of Paulo in the starting side sees Daniel Alvaro return to the bench alongside Peni Terepo, David Gower and Marata Niukore.

Tepai Moeroa, George Jennings, Stefano Utoikamanu and Jaeman Salmon are the reserves.

Coming off a 14-6 victory over the Rabbitohs last week, opposition Head Coach Dean Pay has named an unchanged line up for the clash.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is at fullback, Kieran Foran and Lachlan Lewis in the halves and a forward pack including Aiden Tolman, Dylan Napa, Josh Jackson, Corey Harawira-Naera and Adam Elliott.

Jack Cogger, Renouf Toomaga, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Chris Smith are on the bench with Danny Fualalo, Morgan Harper, Michael Lichaa and Ofahiki Ogden the reserves.

The Eels enter this clash in good form, but will not want to underestimate their opponents. The Eels will be searching for their fifth consecutive victory and enter the clash with seven wins from their last eight games.

For the opposition, the Bulldogs enter this clash on a three game winning streak, with victories over the Panthers, Wests Tigers and Rabbitohs in the last month.

Historically, the battles between the two sides are traditionally fiery affairs and Thursday's clash might be closer than expected. In the last time these two sides met, the Eels came away 36-16 victors at ANZ Stadium in round two of the 2019 season.

Leading 10-0 after 15 minutes, the Doggies didn't score again until the 63rd minute, as Parra scored six unanswered tries for a 36-16 victory. Blake Ferguson and Clint Gutherson crossed for two tries apiece, while Moses kicked 6/6 conversions.

Mitch Moses has copped his share of criticism over the years but he has the Eels humming along nicely and appears to be enjoying his partnership with five-eighth Dylan Brown. Dogs duo Kieran Foran and Lachlan Lewis have a tough task on their hands against Parra's halves.

Most people expected the Eels to struggle in the absence of injured winger Blake Ferguson, the Eels have won four in a row. Mitch Moses needs to stay sharp and keep playing at a high level, while the forwards can't afford to take the night off against the likes of experienced campaigners Dylan Napa, Aiden Tolman and Josh Jackson.

Eels winger Maika Sivo has scored 16 tries to be second in the NRL, while Mitch Moses leads the competition in try assists (24), kicks (291) and kick metres (8,111). Hooker Reed Mahoney is second in tackles made (1,013) behind Cameron McInnes (1,032).

Kick off is at 7:50pm.

Match: Eels v Bulldogs

Round 23 -

Full Time
Eels

Home Team

Eels

Scored 6 points
Bulldogs

Away Team

Bulldogs

Scored 12 points

Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS