2018 NRL – Parramatta Eels vs St George-Illawarra Dragons Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 11th August, 10:35 (UK)

Where? ANZ Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Parramatta Eels vs St. George-Illawarra Dragons 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-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=EELS2218

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: Norman, Hayne, M. Jennings, Gutherson, G. Jennings, Salmon, Moses, Vave, Mahoney, Gower, Niukore, Moeroa, Brown – Interchanges: Smith, Evans, Terepo, Takairangi – Reserves: French, Kaufusi

Unavailable: Tony Williams, Manu Ma’u, Cameron King, Kaysa Pritchard, Daniel Alvaro, Tim Mannah

  • Parramatta produced one of their better performances this season as they defeated Gold Coast. They ran in 28 points, their second highest total in any game so far this season, as they saw off the Titans 28-12.

  • Despite the Eels’ win last week, Brad Arthur has given his side a big shake-up. Corey Norman will line-up at fullback with Clint Gutherson moving to the centres and Jarryd Hayne onto the wing with Bevan French in the reserves. Those changes also mean Jaeman Salmon will start at five-eighth. Tim Mannah is a late scrub so David Gower starts.

  • The Eels have won two of their last four games as they ramp up to avoid the wooden spoon but their win last week wasn’t rewarded with the three teams above them also winning their respective matches.

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Pereira, Aitken, Lafai, Macdonald, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Ah Mau, Frizell, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Latimore, Mann, Lawrie, Leilua – Reserves: Host, Lomax

Unavailable: Jason Nightingale, Paul Vaughan

  • St George paid the price for a slow start against New Zealand Warriors last week. The Dragons were kept pointless in the first half and despite two quick scores in the second period, they couldn’t overturn the 18-point deficit as they went down 12-18.

  • Nene Macdonald makes a timely return from injury as he comes into the side for Jason Nightingale who has picked up an injury of his own. Paul Vaughan is also out injured with Blake Lawrie coming onto the bench in his absence.

  • The Dragons’ poor form continued with their fourth loss in five matches last week. They still retained their spot in fourth place but they now sit just two points ahead of the eighth-placed Warriors.

THE PREDICTION

St George head to bottom-placed Parramatta in desperate need of a win after a string of poor results. The Dragons have won just one of their last five games and their position in the top 4 is now under serious threat with four teams within two points of them. Parramatta secured a rare win last week and will be keen to go back-to-back in their bid to avoid the wooden spoon. The Dragons are likely to pose a bigger threat than the Titans did but with St George so out of form, the Eels could cause a shock. However, it remains to be seen how their reshuffled side will go this week so preference is just for the Dragons to get out of their recent slump.