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Cronulla have had the wood on Parramatta in recent years but the Eels got the better of them in 2020 and are coming into this game unbeaten after a strong start to this season.

The Sharks had won six of their previous seven clashes with Parra before last year's 14-12 loss in round 13 in which the Eels scored one less try than their opponents but got home on the back of a Mitchell Moses penalty goal.

Brad Arthur's side kicked off 2021 with a comeback win over Brisbane but were more impressive last Thursday when they vanquished premiers Melbourne in a slugfest at Bankwest Stadium.

Eels v Sharks

The rundown

Team news

Eels: In the only change to the 17, Ryan Matterson (concussion) will not play after his heavy head knock in the impressive win over Melbourne. 

Matterson is replaced in the starting back row by impressive off-season recruit Isaiah Papali'i. That brings Ray Stone, who makes his NRL return from a knee injury, onto the bench.

The Eels will be without centre Waqa Blake for at least a month after he suffered a calf injury at training last week while Bryce Cartwright (broken jaw) and Michael Oldfield (knee) are scheduled to return between rounds four and six. 

Haze Dunster and Joey Lussick were trimmed from the reserves list on game day after Jordan Rankin and David Hollis were left out 24 hours before the match.

Parramatta have a 76 per cent winning record at Bankwest Stadium.

Sharks: Utility Connor Tracey will step up from the interchange to replace centre Mawene Hiroti, who was subbed out for Tracey just after half-time in the loss to Canberra.

Hiroti, who stepped in for the suspended Jesse Ramien in round two, has slipped all the way out of the 17 with Teig Wilton promoted to take Tracey's place on the interchange.

It will be at least a month before we see Royce Hunt (knee) and Siosifa Talakai (shoulder) who have had their returns delayed after initially being expected back early in the season.

Ramien will return from suspension in round five while star half Shaun Johnson is due back in round seven or eight from an Achilles injury.

Hiroti and Andrew Fifita were cut from the reserves an hour before kick-off after Nene Macdonald and Braydon Trindall were the two players omitted on Friday night.

The Sharks have won six of their past eight games against the Eels.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Josh Dugan
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata Niukore
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Connor Tracey
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad Townsend


  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Braden Hamlin-Uele
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby Rudolf


  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Teig Wilton
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Keegan Hipgrave
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Aiden Tolman
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Will Smith
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Ray Stone
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Billy Magoulias

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Nathan Brown v Toby Rudolf: Two locks who hold the key to their team's fortunes. If you'll pardon the pun.

Neither player will take a backward step - Brown is built low to the ground but has a habit of getting under the skin of opponents while Rudolf is a towering forward who tends to run over the top of his rivals.

Stat attack

Maika Sivo has scored 39 tries in just 48 appearances for Parramatta in a little more than two seasons in the Telstra Premiership, including two pearlers in last week's win over the Storm.

Despite driving rain, Sivo showed superb skill to collect each kick in the wet conditions, particularly his second try late in the game which brought Melbourne to their knees and the Bankwest Stadium fans to their feet.


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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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