Date: Saturday, 9th August
Venue: TIO Stadium, Darwin
Kick-off: 8:00pm (local time)
Home team: Parramatta Eels
Away team: Canberra Raiders
This week’s Saturday night footy will take us to the northern state of Australia for when the Parramatta Eels take on the Canberra Raiders at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
Coming into this clash, struggling Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has named a number of replacements and changes to be made to his lineup for the game after the New Zealand Warriors demolished them at home last week.
While centers Jack Wighton and Edrick Lee will make their return from injuries, Ricky Stuart has decided to experiment with star player Anthony Milford in the no.6 jersey while 24-year-old Jordan Rapana will make his debut for the club at fullback. To make things a whole lot worse for the ACT coach, point-scoring wingers Sami Sauiluma and Reece Robinson take the sideline along with captain Terry Campese, while trio Kurt Baptiste, Shaun Fensom and David Shillington are likely to miss the remainder of the 2014 season through injuries they obtained last week.
But it doesn’t stop there. This is the first time since Ricky Stuart’s takeover of the Canberra outfit that the Raiders will face the Parramatta Eels. With Stuart’s job under more scrutiny than ever before, should the club Stuart gave two wooden spoons to pull off a spectacular victory over the Raiders, it may have the board wondering if maybe life after Stuart isn’t so bad at all.
Parramatta Eels captain Jarryd Hayne will enter this game in arguably his best form all season aside from his dynasty-ending Origin performance. After returning from his miraculous performance in Game II of Origin, Hayne was criticized for his quality in play as the Hayne Plane failed to take off on multiple occasions. His contributions in the recent wins to both the Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks while away from Pirtek have blown away the critics and a win this week will put his team in the top 8.
Eels by 18.