2023 NRL Preview Round 15: Bulldogs Vs Eels

Nathan Smith previews another chapter in the old rivalry between the Bulldogs and Eels. Here’s what we have to look forward to.



Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Vs Parramatta Eels
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Date: Monday 12th June, 4:00pm


Bulldogs: 1. Hayze Perham 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Karl Oloapu 7. Matt Burton 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Tevita Pangai Junior 11. Jayden Okunbor 12. Jacob Preston 13. Harrison Edwards 14. Khaled Rajab 15. Kurtis Morrin 16. Chris Patolo 17. Corey Waddell 19. Kyle Flanagan 20. Jackson Topine 21. Braidon Burns 22. Blake Wilson 23. Franklin Pele

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Andrew Davey 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Ofahiki Ogden 15. Brendan Hands 16. Matt Doorey 17. Makahesi Makatoa 18. Daejarn Asi 19. Jack Murchie 20. Ky Rodwell 21. Haze Dunster 22. Luca Moretti

Referee: Liam Kennedy

Embed from Getty Images


The age-old foes, the Bulldogs and Eels, add another chapter to their rivalry this long weekend. With just over two months left of the competition, both sides need to finish this season strongly to push for finals contention.

Last week, the Bulldogs came up painfully short against the Roosters, having lost by just one point. At 12 points, they are still only four below the eight but need to start stringing wins together. Their hooker Reed Mahoney has been named to play despite a head knock last week and winger Jacob Kiraz is back in the side.

Meanwhile, the Eels will be refreshed and rested having had their bye last round. Having now enjoyed a couple of wins in a row, they are two points outside of the eight and simply need to keep winning games. Their forward pack is bolstered by the return of Reagan Campbell-Gillard, and despite an off-field incident, Dylan Brown has been named to play and is not subject to the no-fault stand-down policy.

The last time these two teams met, the Eels found it comfortable going for the most part. The Bulldogs will look to the likes of Max King and Tevita Pangai Junior to set the pace and rattle the Eels. Last year, when the Bulldogs had pulled off an upset against the Eels, it was on the back of Pangai Junior playing an aggressive style of footy against the Eels forwards. On the back of that, making space for Josh Addo-Carr will create opportunities, with the Eels’ edge defence always worth asking questions over.

For the Eels, it’s about playing with patience. They’ve done it better in recent weeks, getting through their sets, pinning the opposition on their line, defending, and repeating the cycle. Through this process, they will find their points. Mitchell Moses has been tremendous in kicking teams to death, sending long, towering balls to the corner, making it difficult for the opposition to work their way up the field. Questions will be asked about Dylan Brown and whether he can separate what’s happening off the field from what happens on it. It could very well be a situation where an early error turns into a few more across the game.

On a sunny monday in Sydney, with a big crowd expected, this is set to be another huge encounter between these two sides.


Bulldogs 2, Eels 8


Eels by 16

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