Date: Sunday 10th May, 2015
Venue: Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Parramatta Eels 1 Reece Robinson 2 Semi Radradra 3 Will Hopoate 4 Brad Takairangi 5 Ryan Morgan 6 Corey Norman 7 Chris Sandow 8 Danny Wicks 9 Nathan Peats 10 Tim Mannah (c) 11 Manu Ma’u 12 David Gower 13 Anthony Watmough Interchange 14 Isaac De Gois 15 Joseph Paulo 16 Richie Fa’aoso 17 Peni Terepo 18 Tepai Moeroa
Melbourne Storm 1 Billy Slater 2 Mahe Fonua 3 Will Chambers 4 Kurt Mann 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith (c) 10 Jordan McLean 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane Interchange 14 Ryan Hinchcliffe 15 Tim Glasby 16 Dayne Weston 17 Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 18 Cameron Munster
The Parramatta Eels will be looking to reverse a form slump when they host the Melbourne Storm at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday afternoon in round nine of the NRL season.
Having one just one game from their last five, the home side will be desperate to win in order to stay in touch with the top eight and the chance to play finals football.
They face a tough ask however, coming up against a Storm side who despite losing in their last start, find themselves in third position on the ladder, with five wins and three losses. The Eels find themselves at the other end of the table, languishing in 15th position.
In the blue and gold’s favour is the return of huge winger Semi Radradra from a knee injury sustained in round two. He will have to return at his best, having to line up against the in form Storm winger Marika Koroibete.
Another thing the Eels can be encouraged by is they find themselves in a position in which they have a better attacking record this season than their opponents, however this highlights how strong Melbourne’s defence is. The Storm side are ranked second statistically when it comes to saving points in 2015 (Dragons are the only team above them in this regard).
The Storm also welcome back Billy Slater to their line up, which will spark alert for the Parramatta defence. His combination with and awareness of what Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith are doing makes the three a nightmare to defend. Ad to this Cronk and Smith’s disappointment in playing in a losing Test match side last week, and big things can be expected from the champion players.
On paper the Eels have a solid outfit, however once again they find themselves a star or two short of really competing for the high ladder positions in 2015. The Melbourne side, on the other hand, are sitting pretty near the top.
Melbourne by 12