2019 NRL – Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels taking place? Sunday 17th March, 05:05

Where is Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels taking place? Panthers Stadium

What channel is Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels on?
UK – This match will not be televised live in the UK
Australia – Fox Sports

Where can I stream Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels?
UK – N/A
Australia – https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Where can I get tickets for Penrith Panthers vs Parramatta Eels?
Penrith Panthers – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500014

Parramatta Eels – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500031

THE TEAM NEWS

PENRITH PANTHERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Edwards, Mansour, Whare, Blake, D. Watene-Zelezniak, Maloney, Cleary, Tamou, Egan, Campbell-Gillard, Hetherington, Yeo, Fisher-Harris – Interchanges: Fuimaono, Leota, Sele, Luai – Reserves: Grant, M. Watene-Zelezniak

Unavailable: Viliame Kikau, Tyrone May, Sam McKendry

  • Penrith finally got their man as Ivan Cleary returned to the club as head coach bringing months of speculation to an end and he will lead the Panthers, including his son Nathan, into the 2019 season.

  • The Panthers look to have a weaker squad this season having lost some big names but will be hoping they have enough to make the top 8 again and the 17 they have named for Round 1 suggests they can do just that.

  • Sione Katoa misses out having been ruled out with concussion with Wade Egan taking his place at hooker and that allows the exciting Jarome Luai to come onto the bench as a utility option.

PARRAMATTA EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: Gutherson, Sivo, M. Jennings, Takairangi, Ferguson, D. Brown, Moses, Alvaro, Mahoney, Moeroa, Lane, Niukore, N. Brown – Interchanges: Smith, Mannah, Evans, Gower – Reserves: Hoffman, Kaufusi

Unavailable: Manu Ma’u, Junior Paulo, Kasya Pritchard, Jaeman Salmon, Peni Terepo, George Jennings

  • Parramatta ended up with just six wins in 2018 which resulted in them finishing at the foot of the ladder with the wooden spoon and many are tipping them for another tough season that could result in the same outcome.

  • The Eels have added a couple of impressive signings with Blake Ferguson arriving from Sydney Roosters the most eye-catching of those and he will make his debut on the win in Round 1.

  • Parramatta have opted to name a couple of rookies in their side with winger Maika Sivo and five-eighth Dylan Brown selected but Bevan French misses out in what is a surprise decision by Brad Arthur.

THE PREDICTION

Penrith will be hoping the return of Ivan Cleary can be the catalyst for success in 2019 but they could face an inconsistent season if their home form doesn't hold up like last season. The Eels look set for another struggle too and that will start with a loss in Round 1 with the Panthers having too much for them. They look too strong in the pack for the Eels but the margin of victory will be an interesting one with the Panthers wanting to lay down a marker for the season against one of the weaker teams in the competition.