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04 May 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs Parramatta Eels Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 05th May, 10:35 (UK)

Where? Southern Cross Group Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

SHARKS

Head Coach: Shane Flanagan

Starting 13: Holmes, Feki, Ramien, Leutele, Lee, Moylan, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Capewell, Graham, Paulo – Interchanges: Bukuya, Segeyaro, Seumanufagai, Sorensen – Reserves: Dillion, Williams, Hodkinson, Uele

Unavailable: Sione Katoa, Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Josh Dugan

  • Cronulla edged a tight game with Gold Coast last week to record back-to-back wins. Chad Townsend kicked a drop goal with two minutes left to put his side 9-10 ahead with the Titans unable to respond.
  • Josh Dugan suffered a foot injury last week and will miss around a month. Valentine Holmes reverts to fullback with Sosaia Feki returning on the wing. Wade Graham has been named in the back-row but must pass a fitness test to make the side with Kurt Dillion the man to make way.
  • The Sharks are steadily improving but their attack remains a cause for concern. They have scored the joint-second fewest points so far this season with just 124 points at an average of 15.5 per game.

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: Gutherson, French, M. Jennings, Takairangi, G. Jennings, Norman, Moses, Alvaro, Pritchard, Matagi, Ma'u, Moeroa, Terepo – Interchanges: Smith, Edwards, Gower, Mannah – Reserves: King, Scott, Hoffman, Niukore

Unavailable: Nathan Brown, Kirisome Auva’a, Jarryd Hayne, Tony Williams

  • Parramatta secured their second win of the season as they went back-to-back with a win over Wests last week. In a closely fought game, the Eels got themselves ahead with 11 minutes left in the contest and managed to see the game out for a 24-22 win.
  • Brad Arthur has been forced into making a change to his side with Tony Williams ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury last week. He is replaced by Tepai Moeroa in the back-row.
  • The Eels are really starting to show signs of life and last week’s win will be a big confidence booster. They completed at 80% whilst making 43 tackle breaks as they caused the Tigers problems with ball-in-hand.

THE PREDICTION

Parramatta still prop up the NRL ladder but secured their second successive win last week as they begin their assault on the top 8. They now sit just four points behind and will be hoping to close that gap with another win here. They face a Sharks side that has also won two games in a row but must contend with the loss of Josh Dugan at fullback. Valentine Holmes hasn’t had the best of times when playing there this season and will need to put in a much improved performance. This game could go either way but the loss of Dugan might be too much for the Sharks with the Eels capable of claiming their third win in a row.

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