The New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta Eels will go head to head on Sunday at Mount Smart Stadium. Both teams currently have two wins and three losses under their belt and will be looking to secure their third win for the season.

Last time out

The Warriors started slow once again in round 5 and allowed the Gold Coast Titans to score four tries in the first half. Their defence was weak and lazy especially from the middle including Sam Lisone, Solomone Kata and Blake Ayshford. The team improved in the second half by picking up their defensive game and keeping the Titans down in their own half. Kieran Foran performed as everyone was hoping and assisted with a try in the first and second half as well as the try that secured the win in the 78th minute by sending Hoffman over the line. Although the Warriors came back in the second half and won 28-22, they still have a lot of improving to do, especially concerning their consistency to play for a full 80 minutes and tightening up their defence.

The Parramatta Eels suffered a 30-18 loss to the Canberra Raiders last Saturday at the GIO stadium. The Eels were caught off guard as the Raiders dominated and ran away with a 22-6 lead at halftime. The Eels began the second half determined to get back into the game and succeeded as Corey Norman managed to change the momentum with a superb 40-20 kick minutes after halftime. The Eels challenged the Raiders for the lead but in the end, the team’s slow start cost them the game.

‘I challenged the boys at halftime and they responded really well. But you’ve got to be in the game for 80 minutes.” – Eels coach Brad Arthur.

Key Battle

The key battle for round 6 is going to be the Eels defence coinciding with the Warrior’s improved form of attack. The Eels have been ranked as the competition’s fifth-worst club in terms of ineffective tackles with an average of 17.4 per match. The Eels missed 44 tackles in round 5 against the Raiders which could cause them some grief in round 6 against the Warriors who have proven to punish teams for weak defence. The addition of Kieran Foran is going to add a spark to the Warrior’s attack, especially with Foran and Johnson working together and allowing Johnson more freedom to make some magic which will show cracks in the Eels defence.

Prediction

This game is a hard one to predict. Both teams have the ability to dominate and take control but I believe if the Warriors attack is of the same standard as last week and if their forwards can do their job, the Warriors will claim their third win of the season.

Warriors by 8

New Zealand Warriors vs Parramatta Eels at Mount Smart Stadium Auckland, 4.00pm (NZT) Sunday

Squads

Warriors:

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
Blake Ayshford2
David Fusitua3
Solomone Kata
Ken Maumalo5
Kieran Foran6
Shaun Johnson7
Charlie Gubb8
Issac Luke9
Jacob Lillyman10
Bodene Thompson11
Ryan Hoffman12
Simon Mannering13
INTERCHANGE
Nathaniel Roache14
James Gavet15
Sam Lisone16
Ligi Sao17
Albert Vete18
Bunty Afoa20
Ata Hingano21
Mason Lino22

Parramatta eels
1. Bevan French
2. Semi Radradra
3. Michael Jennings
4. Brad Takairnagi
5. Josh Hoffman
6. Clint Gutherson
7. Corey Norman
8. Suaia Matagi
9. Kaysa Pritchard
10. Tim Mannah (c)
11. Manu Ma’u
12. Tepai Moeroa
13. Beau Scott (c)
Interchange
14. Nathan Brown
15. Daniel Alvaro
16. Frank Pritchard
17. Siosaia Vave
18. David Gower
19. Peni Terepo
20. Kirisome Auva’a
21. George Jennings