2018 NRL – Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 02nd June, 10:35 (UK)

Where? ANZ 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-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=EELS1318

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: French, Hoffman, M. Jennings, Takairangi, G. Jennings, Gutherson, Moses, Alvaro, King, Vave, Ma’u, Moeroa, Terepo – Interchanges: Smith, Matagi, Gower, Niukore – Reserves: Brown, Auva’a

Unavailable: Jarryd Hayne, Tony Williams, Kaysa Pritchard, Tim Mannah, Beau Scott, Corey Norman

  • Parramatta remain rooted to the foot of the NRL ladder after they went down to Brisbane last week. The Eels were competitive but didn’t ever really look like winning as they ended up on the wrong end of an 18-10 scoreline.

  • Corey Norman is out so Bevan French reverts to fullback with Josh Hoffman coming into the side on the wing. Nathan Brown has recovered from an ankle injury and could be a late call-up from the reserves.

  • The Eels made more metres, bust more tackles and forced three drop outs but their 14 errors prevented them from turning that good work in to points. They only completed 31 of 41 sets for a completion rate of 76% with Parramatta missing the opportunity to claim a valuable win.

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Sio, S. Mata'utia, Denniss, Kenny-Dowall, Watson, Cogger, Lillyman, Griffin, D. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra – Interchanges: Levi, Heighington, Buhrer, King – Reserves: Yates, Meaney

Unavailable: Tautau Moga, Mitchell Pearce, Brock Lamb, Jacob Saifiti, Nathan Ross

  • Newcastle’s poor run of form continued as they were soundly beaten by Cronulla as the Knights put in one of their worst performances of the season. The Sharks ran in nine tries with them proving far too good for the Knights as they romped home with a 10-48 scoreline.

  • Herman Ese’ese is suspended so Jacob Lillyman starts at prop and Josh King coming onto the bench. Nathan Ross misses out with a groin injury with Corey Denniss coming into the centres in his place.

  • The Knights have the best completion rate in the NRL this season with an average of 80%. They weren’t too far off that against the Sharks (78%) but their problem was that they only had 27 sets with the Sharks having ten more with 37.

THE PREDICTION

These two teams are both struggling to find a win at the minute as they head into this contest with four-game losing streaks. The Eels have been stuck at the bottom of the table all season whilst the Knights’ recent run has seen them tumble after a promising start to the season. The Eels are already out of finals contention whilst the Knights can’t afford to lose much more ground with them coming into this game four points outside of the top 8. With both teams so low on form and confidence, it could go either way but the Eels just get the nod.