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10 Mar 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 11th March, 05:10 (UK)

Where? Panthers Stadium

What channel is it on? Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels will not be televised live in the UK

Nine network, Foxtel

Where can I stream the match? N/A

https://www.foxtel.com.au/outa...

https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

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

THE LOWDOWN

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Anthony Griffin

Starting 13: Edwards, Mansour, Blake, Peachey, Watene-Zelezniak, Maloney, Cleary, Tamou, Wallace, Campbell-Gillard, Kikau, Yeo, Merrin – Interchanges: Harawira-Naera, McKendry, Leota, Fisher-Harris – Reserves: Katoa, Crichton

Unavailable: Dean Whare, Tyrone Phillips, Tyrone May, Wayde Egan

  • Penrith Panthers will be hoping to improve on last season’s seventh-place finish. They won their first play-off game against Manly but went down to defeat in the following week against Brisbane.
  • Head coach Anthony Griffin has significantly trimmed his squad ahead of the new season with Matt Moylan the biggest departure. He is replaced by James Maloney who will line up alongside Nathan Clearly in what could be a fruitful halfback combination.
  • Penrith managed to sneak into the play-offs last season by just two competition points but will have to tighten up their defence if they are to improve this season as they conceded the second highest number of points of teams that made the top eight (459).

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

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

Unavailable: Clint Gutherson, Tony Williams

  • Parramatta Eels have an impressive looking squad on paper and should be right up there at the business end of the season. The Eels finished fourth last season but lost both of their play-off games as their year ended in disappointment.
  • The Parramatta squad has plenty of depth to it, as highlighted by the likes of Kaysa Pritchard and Kenny Edwards not even making the interchange bench whilst Clint Gutherson is sidelined through injury.
  • The Eels only managed an average of 20.3 points per game last season and that is a figure they will be looking to improve with a striking backline.

THE PREDICTION

Penrith host Parramatta in an intriguing game at Panthers Stadium with both teams eager to get off to a strong start. Penrith have added James Maloney to their ranks and his partnership with Nathan Clearly will be key to the Panthers’ success. Parramatta’s backline will match anybody on their day and with some impressive forwards to match, they could be in for a successful season. This should be a high quality game with the Eels just having the edge over the Panthers.

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