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NRL Match Preview

PREVIEW | Parramatta Eels vs St. George Illawarra Dragons

With the finals just weeks away, the Dragons will be looking for a win when they visit ANZ Stadium where they will be hosted by the Parramatta Eels.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Parramatta Eels

The Parramatta Eels haven’t had the season we thought they would. The side claimed their fifth win of the year last weekend at ANZ Stadium when they hosted the Gold Coast Titans, winning by sixteen points. The Eels will be looking for wins in the lead up to the finals to avoid getting the wooden spoon.

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St. George Illawarra Dragons

The Dragons were premiership favourites in the early days of the competition this year, however have struggled in recent weeks to maintain their form. They sit just inside the top four on the ladder, on 28 points. The side will be looking to win their last few games in the hopes of finishing in the top four.

SQUAD NEWS

Parramatta Eels

A couple of changes haven made to the side that will take on the Dragons on Saturday night. Corey Norman has been named at fullback, Jarryd Hayne has moved to the wing from the centres. Jaeman Salmon has been named to join Mitchell Moses in the halves and Will Smith has been included on the interchange bench.

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St. George Illawarra Dragons

Paul Vaughan has been ruled out due to an injury, and Leeson Ah Mau will take his place in the starting line up for the Dragons on Saturday. Blake Lawrie has been included on the interchange bench.

PREVIEW

The Parramatta Eels and the St. George Illawarra Dragons have met once this season, back in round 16. The Dragons hosted the Eels at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, and won by just a two point margin.

Last weekend the Eels were victorious against the Titans for the first time since round 19 when they defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 14 points to 8. The side was dominant in their performance against the Gold Coast Titans, claiming their fifth win of the season. It has been an unfortunate run for the Eels who looked promising at the beginning of the year. They are currently fighting with Canterbury, Manly and North Queensland to stay off the bottom of the ladder, and will be looking for a win to move up.

The Dragons started the season strongly, and were the premiership contenders for most of the season, however have fallen into a slump in recent weeks. The side’s faltering has caused some questions over their contention for the trophy, however the Dragons are still just inside the top four, and if they win their last few games they will maintain their chances of going all the way.

The Eels and the Dragons are both entertaining teams to watch, and the match on Saturday night will be an entertaining test of the capabilities of each side.

KEY STAT

In the past 13 matches, the Parramatta Eels have won seven, the Dragons five and the two have drawn on one occasion.

SQUADS

Parramatta Eels

1. Corey Norman 2. Jarryd Hayne 3. Michael Jennings 4. Clint Gutherson (c) 5. George Jennings 6. Jaeman Salmon 7. Mitch Moses 8. Siosaia Vave 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Tim Mannah (c) 11. Marata Niukore 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown Interchange 14. Will Smith 15. Kane Evans 16. Peni Terepo 17. Brad Takairangi

St. George Illawarra Dragons

1. Matt Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin Interchange 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Luciano Leilua

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: 11th August 2018

Venue: ANZ Stadium

Time: 7:35 PM

WHO WILL WIN?

Both the Eels and the Dragons have a lot to play for, the Eels trying to stay off the bottom of the ladder and the Dragons are trying to maintain their top four position. It will be an entertaining match between the sides at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. Dragons by 1.

 

NRL PREDICTIONS | Round 22

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