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23 Mar 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 24th March, 08:30 (UK)

Where? ANZ Stadium

What channel is it on? UK – Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks will not be televised live in the UK Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK – N/A Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=EELSANZ18

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: French, Hoffman, Jennings, Hayne, Auva'a, Norman, Moses, Alvaro, King, Mannah, Ma'u, Moeroa, Brown – Interchanges: Scott, Edwards, Matagi, Evans – Reserves: Smith, Terepo, Gower, Pritchard

Unavailable: Clint Gutherson, Tony Williams, Brad Takairangi

  • Parramatta were humiliated by Manly last week as the Eels conceded nine tries and failed to register a point for themselves as they went down 54-0.
  • Despite last week’s hammering, Brad Arthur has only made a few changes to last week’s team with Brad Takairangi dropping out through injury and Will Smith making way for Beau Scott and Kenny Edwards.
  • Plenty of things went wrong for Parramatta last week but they only had 31% possession which equated to just under 17 minutes on the ball. They must be smarter on the ball if they are to bounce back from last week’s hammering.

SHARKS

Head Coach: Shane Flanagan

Starting 13: Dugan, Feki, Ramien, Leutele, Holmes, Hodkinson, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Bukuya, Graham, Gallen – Interchanges: Capewell, Segeyaro, Seumanufagai, Paulo – Reserves: Dillon, Williams, Lee, Lewis

Unavailable: Sione Katoa, Matt Moylan

  • Cronulla couldn’t hold on to a 14-0 lead over local rivals St George as they went down 16-20 last week. The Sharks spent the majority of the game in the lead but a strong second half showing from the Dragons sealed the win.
  • Josh Dugan will start at fullback with Valentine Holmes reverting to the wing after a poor start to the season. Matt Moylan is out with a hamstring injury so Trent Hodkinson will make his club debut in the halves.
  • Cronulla missed 40 tackles in last week’s game with St George missing just 13. The Sharks will need to tighten up their defensive effort this week but face a side that missed 50 tackles themselves last week.

THE PREDICTION

Two winless teams in Parramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks meet this week with both needing big defensive improvements on last week’s efforts. The Eels were hammered 54-0 by Manly and whilst the Sharks only lost by four points to St George, they were sloppy in defence. These two missed a combined 90 tackles between them last week and if either side gets close to their total for last week, they are likely to be on the receiving end of another defeat. Neither side have won a game this season and the switch of Dugan to fullback may help the Sharks chalk up their first win.

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