New Zealand Warriors under siege with injuries will travel to play the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium this Friday night.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Parramatta was poised to get a win in the early stages of their match against the Bulldogs. Errors and penalties riddled the Eels until the dying stages where an unfortunate try was scored after a mistake in their in-goal, allowing Bulldogs to scrape home 20-12.
Last round the Warriors were matched with a tough task of playing a full strength Roosters side while they battled injuries. The match as even until the floodgates opened for the Warriors on their line, with 16 errors across the entire game, they let in 5 tries losing at home 32-0.
Cameron King returns to replace Will Smith who moves to the bench. Manu Ma’u switches to lock with Beau Scott who moves to the second row. Marata Niukore has been named to make his debut in jersey 17 with Siosaia Vave dropping out. Kenny Edwards is out with a pending court appearance.
Mason Lino stays in at halfback despite picking up an injury last week. Issac Luke has been named to return with Karl Lawton dropping back to reserves. Chris Satae replaces Sam Lisone on the Interchange.
On Friday the key matchup between these two sides will be Clint Gutherson against one of the best fullbacks this season in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, each as captains of their respective sides will be looking to inspire.
Parra fullback Gutherson will be smarting after the last week’s loss to the Bulldogs, who told reporters he was to blame for a mistake late in the game allowing a match-winning try for the Dogs. Bottom of the table outright ‘Gutho’ needsto be involved for the entire 80 minutes as he returns to familiar form last round picking up a try and try assist, Clint will be aiming up for another big game adding to his tries and assists to scrounge a must needed win to lift the Eels.
Warriors captain Tuivasa-Sheck has finally found his previous impact from years gone by, inspiring his side into the top 4 of the competition. Without his star halfback once again in Shaun Johnson, if they are to beat a desperate Eels side Sheck needs to use his running and passing prowess to aid the side while adding to his metres gained to give his forwards some assistance. Sheck against Parramatta will no doubt need to lurk around the middle through the tired forwards and pierce the defensive line linking with his teammates if they are any chance of winning this match.
Warriors have come away with a win in 3 of the last 5 games against the Eels.
Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Peni Terepo, 11 Beau Scott (c), 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Manu Ma’u
Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Suaia Matagi, 16 David Gower, 17 Marata Niukore
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Mason Lino, 8 Bunty Afoa, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 16 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair
Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Chris Satae, 16 James Gavet, 17 Simon Mannering
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 18th May
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Kick-off: 6 pm
Referee: Adam Gee
WHO WILL WIN?
An intriguing match with the Warriors not doing well at ANZ in previous years while the Eels dead last have not been able to string together any consistency. Another tough ask for the Warriors with Johnson out, they will need Green and Sheck to have their best games of the season against Parramatta who will be out to wipe their close loss last week and put in a good performance for their fans. This game will be close but without their best-attacking weapon the New Zealand side will come close but fall off late to a Parra side who are desperate for just their 3rd win of the season.
Prediction: Eels by 4