The Parramatta Eels will face the Brisbane Broncos at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday 15 September in an elimination final.
For the do or die clash, Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur welcomes the return of Nathan Brown from suspension however will be without prop Kane Evans who was banned for one match on a careless high tackle charge.
The Eels back line remains unchanged with captain Clint Gutherson at fullback and Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses in the halves. Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson named on the wings with Michael Jennings and Waqa Blake in the centres.
Brad Takairangi, Daniel Alvaro, Ray Stone and Marata Niukore were named on the bench whilst Tepai Moeroa, Will Smith, Peni Terepo and Josh Hoffman were named as the reserves, with a team change coming with Evans absence.
For the opposition, Head Coach Anthony Seibold welcomes back Joe Ofahengaue after missing two games with a calf injury so Patrick Carrigan goes back to the bench and Rhys Kennedy drops to the reserves.
Centre Gehamat Shibasaki has been named on the bench for his 12th game of 2019 at the expense of Izaia Perese.
Match: Eels v Broncos
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Historically, the Broncos hold a slight head to head advantage over the Blue & Gold, with 33 wins from 56 games, but the Eels have won three of the last five clashes.
When they met earlier this year at Bankwest Stadium, the Eels easily accounted for the Broncos with a 38-10 victory in Round 14, however they suffered a one point defeat (17-16) in Round 24 at Suncorp Stadium.
The record at Bankwest Stadium is a strong one for Parramatta, holding a 8-2 record at the ground this season. On the road, the Broncos hold a 5-7 record this season.
We have won all four games played in daylight hours and have averaged 34 points in daytime games at Bankwest, compared with 22 at night.
Coming into the clash, the Eels form line is a dominant win over the Sea Eagles in Round 25, however two losses to the Bulldogs and Broncos in the fortnight prior.
For the Broncos, they have an inconsistent form line over the past six weeks (three wins, three losses) including a 30-14 defeat to the Bulldogs last week.
The battle of the men in the middle will go a long way in determining who progresses through to next week.
The Broncos strength is young and enthusiastic pack, led by Payne Hass, David Fifita and Matt Lodge. Haas has made over 200 metres eight times in his past nine starts while David Fifita’s try, two line breaks and 15 buses proved the difference against the Eels two weeks ago.
Off the back of their go forward, Anthony Milford has improved his impact in the game, leading the way with 13 assists since switching from halves to fullback.
Sterlo's Parra Preview | Eels v Broncos, Elimination Final
For the Eels, halfback Mitch Moses will be pivotal, boasting an NRL-high 24 try assists.
The Blue & Gold back line is a strength at Bankwest Stadium with wingers Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson making plenty of tough, metres early and finding the try line regularly.
Sivo claimed 20 tries during the regular season, including 10 at the ground and his first career hat-trick last week.
The Eels are also averaging 1750 run metres over their past five games and have gained more metres than their opponents in seven straight games dating back to their Lottoland loss in round 18. Brisbane are averaging 1570 metres over their past five and have out-run their opponents just once in the past month.