Jack Harbidge previews the Round 18 Parramatta Eels home game against New Zealand Warriors.
Parramatta Eels Vs New Zealand Warriors
Venue: CommBank Stadium
Date: Friday July 15, 7:55pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Marata Niukore 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Ky Rodwell 18. Tom Opacic 19. Elie El Zakhem 20. Nathan Brown 21. Ofahiki Ogden 22. Hayze Perham
Junior Paulo is named in the squad to back up after an intense Origin decider just two days prior, while Makahesi Makatao is moved to the bench and Marata Niukore is named at lock. Nathan Brown shifts to the reserved while Jakob Arthur makes his way back into the 17 on the bench for the first time since Round 8.Embed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Marcelo Montoya 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Edward Kosi 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tohu Harris 11. Euan Aitken 12. Josh Curran 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Aaron Pene 17. Jack Murchie 18. Eliesa Katoa 20. Rocco Berry 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Pride Petterson-Robati 23. Jackson Frei
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak misses out having tested positive for COVID, while Jazz Tevaga is picked up the same virus as Ronald Volkman and a decision will be made on his fitness closer to the time as a result. Reece Walsh is included after missing the emphatic 22-2 win at their Round 16 homecoming. He is joined by Edward Kosi in the outside backs, who takes Watene-Zelezniak’s place on the wing having impressed for Redcliffe in the Hostplus Cup. Chanel Harris-Tevita moves to five-eight and a fractured eye socket causes Bayley Sironen to miss out for the benefit of Jack Murchie who is named on the bench.
Referee: Todd Smith
Parramatta hold a historical dominance in the fixture having won seven out of the last ten clashes between the two sides, including four of the last five. When playing as the ‘home’ side, however, Parramatta are six from the last ten.
In terms of recent form, the Warriors come into this off the back of arguably their best performance of the season, a 22-2 home win against West Tigers at their homecoming game in their first home match at Mount Smart Stadium in 1038 days. On the other hand, the Eels came back from a 30-12 drubbing against Souths in Round 16 with an eight-point win over West Tigers at Leichardt Oval in Round 17.
Reece Walsh’s inclusion is key in giving the Warriors a boost, after losing the advantage of their raucous home crowd for this away game at Commbank Stadium, while the Eels return home after two games on the road. Having ended a seven-game winning streak last time out, the Warriors will come into this buoyed and will need a strong performance in the middles to match the Origin pairing of Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo.
The latter, however, may be somewhat jaded from a big Origin performance on Wednesday and Addin Fonua-Blake and Jazz Tevaga – if fit – will be key to getting over the dominant Eels forwards; Tevaga, in particular, produced a huge performance last time out when helping to pick up the slack left by Matt Lodge and ran for 143 metres in just over a half of footy.
It is set to be a huge match up in the forwards that, on paper, the Eels appear to have the edge in but if the Warriors can bring the same excellent intensity from their Round 16 game, they will be hard to stop. That said, the Warriors also boast a preparation edge over the Eels – who have a six-day turnaround – with a 12 day lead up including a bye week.Embed from Getty Images
The two sides topped the charge down ladder at the start of the year with 12 combined.
Eels by 8.
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