Eels v Wests Tigers: French wings it; Lawrence to start

Eels v Wests Tigers: French wings it; Lawrence to start
Author NRL.com Timestamp Tue 24 Apr 2018, 04:02 PM

After six long weeks of gloom and doom, the sun is shining again out Parramatta way.

Spearheaded by halfback Mitch Moses’s five-star performance, the Eels finally clicked on Sunday, chalking up their first win of the season with a confidence-restoring demolition job on the Sea Eagles.

This was the Parra of last year, the one that charged into the top four and had most pundits tipping big things for 2018.

One win doesn’t make a season but it was a huge step in the right direction and should have the Eels in a positive frame of mind for their home clash with the Tigers, who squandered a match-winning lead in last week’s loss to the Knights in Tamworth.

Wests romped to a 30-20 victory over the Eels in round four but might not have it so easy this time around.

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers, 4.10pm Sunday at ANZ Stadium

Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson ©, 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Suaia Matagi, 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Tony Williams, 13 Peni Terepo
Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Kenny Edwards, 16 David Gower, 17 Tim Mannah ©
Reserves: 18 Tepai Moeroa, 19 Kane Evans, 20 Josh Hoffman, 21 Cameron King

Bevan French returns from a shoulder injury to replace Jarryd Hayne (hip, 4 weeks) on the wing in the only change to last week’s winning team. Lock Nathan Brown remains unavailable with an ankle injury.

Wests Tigers: 1 Corey Thompson, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Benji Marshall ©, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Matthew Eisenhuth, 9 Jacob Liddle, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Elijah Taylor ©
Interchange: 14 Pita Godinet, 15 Josh Aloiai, 16 Michael Chee-Kam, 17 Sauaso Sue
Reserves: 18 Tim Grant, 19 Chris McQueen, 20 Tyson Gamble, 21 Mahe Fonua

Chris Lawrence returns from a hamstring injury, pushing Josh Aloiai to the bench. Alex Twal drops out of the team.

Key match-up: They were teammates for a few years but Moses and his Tigers counterpart Luke Brooks are rivals these days. Maybe not off the field, but they will be stinging to get the better of each other on Sunday. Brooks is in career-best form, while Moses got back to his sparkling best in last week’s thrashing of Manly. If it’s close in crunch time, Brooks and Moses will both be looking for a match-winning play.

For the Eels to win: If Parra get over the Tigers forwards like they did against Manly, it will allow Moses and Corey Norman to create plenty of scoring opportunities. And if the Eels need an X-factor for something special, there’s always fan favourite Clint Gutherson to energise the home crowd.

For the Tigers to win: After blowing a match-winning lead last week, the Tigers learned the hard way that no team can be taken lightly and no margin is safe. Wests built their early wins on defence and the Knights exposed a few chinks in the armour that Ivan Cleary has more than likely addressed this week. This game will tell us a lot more about the Tigers’ top eight prospects.

Eels stat attack: Parra lost to the Tigers earlier this year but haven’t lost to them twice in the same season in six years. The Eels need to improve their goalkicking, ranking last with a 65 per cent success rate.

Tigers stat attack: Brooks and Benji Marshall love putting boot to ball, with the Tigers far and away the NRL leaders in total kicks (150) and kick metres (3895). Wests boast the best defensive record in the competition, conceding 12.7 points per game.

And another thing: Gutherson is something of a lucky charm for the Eels. Parra have lost five of their past six at ANZ Stadium, but Gutherson has won his past six games at ANZ Stadium.

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers, 4.10pm Sunday at ANZ Stadium

Head-to-head: Played 36; Eels 20 wins, Wests Tigers 15 wins
Matches at venue: Played 13; Eels 9 wins, Wests Tigers 4 wins
2017 results: Eels won 26-22 at ANZ Stadium in round 7 and 17-16 at ANZ Stadium in round 20
Points per game: Eels 12.9; Wests Tigers 18
Points conceded per game: Eels 23.1; Wests Tigers 12.7
Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League

Steve Turner’s prediction: Parramatta showed everyone what they are capable of last weekend when they claimed their first victory of the season, while the surprise packets of 2018 the Wests Tigers were off the pace in their defeat to the Knights. The return of Clint Gutherson has been what the blue and gold needed and his energy is what the team thrives on. The Tigers are capable of turning last weekend’s result around and they have shown signs they are a good football team this year, but I feel the Eels’ performance against the Sea Eagles will kick-start their season and they will be too hot for the fourth-placed Tigers. Eels by 10.

How quickly some tipsters turn on Tigers.

LOL!! Eels by 10?!?

1 week is all it took. 1 miserable week.

I hope Cleary re-iterates that to our mob, that everyone now thinks the previous 6 weeks are a fluke.

Tigers by 24.

Gallens prediction of the Round was Eels by 16 against us on Sunday.

Use it as motivation.

Were better underdogs anyway.

Would not be surprised if Parra are favs come Sunday in the betting market.

Lots of errors occuring on nrl sites
Played 36 times 15 to us 20 to them
What happened to the other game??

@:

Lots of errors occuring on nrl sites
Played 36 times 15 to us 20 to them
What happened to the other game??

I’d say a draw would be a good choice.

@:

@:

Lots of errors occuring on nrl sites
Played 36 times 15 to us 20 to them
What happened to the other game??

I’d say a draw would be a good choice.

Nah we’d give away a penalty in GP

The NRL “tipping experts” went in Eels favour too with only 3/11 tipping the Tigers.
Still being underestimated despite beating Storm twice, the roosters, eels once already this season & the Sea Eagles by a long shot.
(And on that note… 10/11 tipped storm to beat warriors… but they can’t tip tigers to beat the Eels…)

@:

The NRL “tipping experts” went in Eels favour too with only 3/11 tipping the Tigers.
Still being underestimated despite beating Storm twice, the roosters, eels once already this season & the Sea Eagles by a long shot.
(And on that note… 10/11 tipped storm to beat warriors… but they can’t tip tigers to beat the Eels…)

All it takes is Parramatta to flog Manly (which we already have) and the Tigers to lose by 2 points in the last minute against a pretty good team when we were playing our worst. At least the guys over at wwos are tipping us. 4 out of 6. Obviously Gus would tip us but I never expected Sterlo. 😆

Wow… Eels by 10?? They’re in for a big surprise

Nathan brown is a big loss to them. I reckon our forwards will steam roll through the middle and Brooks will show Moses how it’s done.

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