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Parramatta, clinging to a spot in the top four, desperately need to shake off a case of late-season wobbles so a date with Brisbane comes at the perfect time.

The Eels have scored just two points and conceded 58 to finals rivals South Sydney and Penrith in losing two of their past three outings.

With fifth-placed Canberra breathing down their necks the Eels must resume business as usual and get the job done against Brisbane and derby rivals Wests Tigers if they want to hold on to the double chance.

In contrast season's end can't come quickly enough for Brisbane who slumped to a club-record ninth straight loss against the Titans and don't look as if they know where their next win is coming from. 

The rundown

Team news

Eels: Kane Evans and Andrew Davey have come into the starting side an hour before kick-off with Junior Paulo and Shaun Lane going to the bench.

Reed Mahoney will play after he got through the side's final training run on Friday morning. The Eels have outscored the Broncos 92-6 in their past two clashes.

Haze Dunster and Stefano Utoikamanu were cut from the reserves 24 hours before kick-off. George Jennings and Daniel Alvaro were the last two cuts an hour before kick-off.

Broncos: The Broncos are 1-17. An all-new front row with hard-working prop Payne Haas out for family reasons and Rhys Kennedy suspended. Ben Te'o and Joe Ofahengaue are set to take their places.

Five-eighth Sean O'Sullivan has been dropped. Brodie Croft was poised to return but suffered a head knock at training so Tyson Gamble will start in the halves. Jamil Hopoate and Ethan Bullemor are back on the interchange.

O'Sullivan and Pride Petterson-Robati were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. Jesse Arthars and Kobe Hetherington were cut an hour before game time.

The Broncos are one point away from having the worst defensive record in the club’s history.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Darius Boyd
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
    Centre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 Richard Kennar
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Jai Field
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Tyson Gamble
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Tom Dearden

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Joe Ofahengaue
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Issac Luke
  • Prop for Eels is number 16 Kane Evans
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Ben Te'o
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 David Fifita
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Andrew Davey
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Alex Glenn
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 Patrick Carrigan

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Cory Paix
  • Interchange for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Jamil Hopoate
  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Will Smith
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Xavier Coates
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Ethan Bullemor

Match Officials

  • Referee: Henry Perenara
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Shaun Lane v David Fifita: The slender Eels back-rower will be tasked with stopping the runaway freight train that is David Fifita. Brisbane's extravagantly talented big man represents one of the few Broncos routes to points and is a threat to cause havoc whenever he has the ball.

The well-travelled Lane can pose his own questions in attack but containing Fifita will be his No.1 assignment on Friday. 

Stat attack

Parramatta begin with a huge advantage in the field-position battle. Fullback Clint Gutherson leads the NRL in kick-return metres, just under 300m ahead of the next best, and another four Eels are scattered through the top 50. Meanwhile, Brisbane don't have a single representative in that cohort. As a team Parramatta rank third (3828m) while Brisbane are dead last (2464m).