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07 Apr 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 08th April, 07:10 (UK)

Where? ANZ Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers will not be televised live in the UK Australia - Nine Network, 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...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: Smith, G. Jennings, M. Jennings, Auva’a, Hoffman, Norman, Moses, Alvaro, Pritchard, Mannah, Ma'u, Edwards, Brown – Interchanges: Moeroa, Scott, Terepo, Williams – Reserves: Gower, Evans

Unavailable: Clint Gutherson, Brad Takairangi, Bevan French, Jarryd Hayne

  • Parramatta’s miserable start to the season continued as they once again failed to find their first win, this time going down to Wests. The Eels showed some promising signs in the final 20 minutes but the game was gone at this point as the Tigers ran out 30-20 winners.
  • Brad Arthur has named the same side that faced the Tigers last week although hooker Kaysa Pritchard will need to come through the concussion protocols.
  • The Eels still have plenty of work to do to get their first win of the season with them having issues on both sides of the ball. Their defence is still proving to be a problem as they missed 39 tackles whilst they have only averaged 9.5 points per game in attack.

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Anthony Griffin

Starting 13: Edwards, Mansour, Blake, Whare, Critchon, Peachey, Maloney, Merrin, Wallace, Campbell-Gillard, Kikau, Yeo, Fisher-Harris – Interchanges: Egan, Harawira-Naera, Leota, Tamou – Reserves: Katoa, Ellis

Unavailable: Tyrone Phillips, Tyrone May, Tim Browne, Sam McKendry, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Nathan Cleary

  • Penrith produced a superb performance to defeat North Queensland in Townsville last week. In their first game without stricken halfback Nathan Cleary, James Maloney stepped up and was unplayable at times as he guided his side to a surprise 14-33 win.
  • Anthony Griffin has kept faith with the same 17 that played so well last week although Trent Merrin has moved to prop with James Fisher-Harris named to start at lock.
  • Penrith were clinical with ball-in-hand last week as they overcame a Cowboys side that had 58% of the ball. The Cowboys also had 41 sets compared to the Panthers’ 34 sets but it was Penrith who were ruthless with the ball, completing 29 of those sets (85%) which resulted in 33 points.

THE PREDICTION

After Canberra claimed their first win of the season on Thursday, Parramatta head into this game as the only remaining side in the competition without a win to their name. The Eels showed some signs of life against the Tigers on Monday but it was far too late with them already well behind on the scoreboard. The Panthers on the other hand won their third game of the season with a hugely impressive performance against the Cowboys. James Maloney was in superb form and if he can continue to link well with five-eighth Tyrone Peachey, Penrith can continue to pick up wins in the absence of Nathan Cleary. The Panthers have already beaten the Eels once this season (24-14 in Round 1) and they can make it a double to keep the Eels winless.

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