2022 NRL Round 8 Preview, Eels Vs Cowboys

Nathan Smith previews the Parramatta Eels up against the North Queensland Cowboys. Here’s what we have to look forward to…



Parramatta Eels Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: TIO Stadium, Darwin
Date: Saturday 30th April, 7:05pm (local)


Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Hayze Perham 3. Will Penisini 4. Dylan Brown 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Jakob Arthur 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Nathan Brown 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright 18. Wiremu Greig 19. Mitch Rein 20. Tom Opacic 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Solomone Naiduki 23. Elie El Zakhem 24. Luca Moretti

The Eels are unchanged after last week’s big win.

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Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Griffin Neame 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 20. Connelly Lemuelu 21. Ben Condon 22. Emry Pere 23. Brendan Elliot 24. Ben Hampton

Similarly, Todd Payten has named the same 17 that got the job done last week.

Referee: TBA


With the rugby league season nearly ten games in, fans are beginning to develop a fair idea of where their team sits for the 2022 season. For fans of the Eels, there’s been plenty to get excited about despite a couple of disappointing losses. They sit third and have generally looked pretty good on the field. Meanwhile, the Cowboys fans can be more pleased than not, as their side sits fifth and has lost only one extra game compared to the Eels.

Parramatta has made Darwin their second home for many years now. There’s no secret that they love winning there; they’ve only ever lost the one game. What makes this interesting is that it was in fact the Cowboys that had defeated them at Darwin back in 2017. Playing up at the northern tip of Australia, where it’s humid and hot, is right up the Cowboys’ alley.

For the Cowboys to win, they will want their captain Chad Townsend to have a big one. He will be primed for it, with the 2016 premiership winner set to play his 200th game. Todd Payten brought him to the club to help direct the side around the park and share his experience with many of the younger players. One individual who has clearly benefitted from his presence is Scott Drinkwater, who is in career-best form, with 129 metres per game, as well as four try assists and two tries throughout the season. Many of these younger players will continue to get better under Townsend’s guidance.

The Eels have had plenty of reshuffles in the opening seven rounds of the season. With up to nine players injured, the majority their outside backs, they’ve had to make do with playing blokes out of position. Last week, Brad Arthur opted to move in-form Dylan Brown to centre and play Jake Arthur at five-eighth. It worked well for the Eels, but it’s yet to be seen whether this positional roulette will eventually unravel. One thing is certain, Parramatta will be counting down the days until they can field their regulars in their preferred positions.

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  • These two sides have played 43 games between them, with the Eels having won slightly more (22).
  • The Eels have hosted the Cowboys twice at TIO Stadium, with each side having a victory each.
  • Chad Townsend celebrates his 200th game this Saturday.
  • The Eels have won their last two matches against the Cowboys, both 13+.


Parramatta Eels 1-12

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