2023 NRL Preview Round 4: Eels Vs Panthers

Nathan Smith previews the Western Sydney derby between the Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers. Here’s what we have to look forward to…



Parramatta Eels Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Date: Thursday 23rd March, 8:00pm (local)


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. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Ryan Matterson 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Matt Doorey 15. Brendan Hands 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Makahesi Makatoa 18. Jakob Arthur 19. Jirah Momoisea 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Toni Mataele 22. Haze Dunster

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Luke Garner 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Matt Eisenhuth 19. Zac Hosking 20. Tyrone Peachey 21. Jack Cogger 22. Thomas Jenkins

Referee: Ashley Klein

Embed from Getty Images


The Western Sydney derby, and 2022 NRL Grand Final rematch, promises to kick off the year’s fourth round with fireworks.

The Panthers will be fresh and rested after a round 3 bye. Before that, they won a close one against the Rabbitohs following their shock first-round loss to the Broncos. The key to their first win of the season was a fast start, which the Panthers do better than any side in the competition. Just ask the Eels, who found themselves in all sorts only twenty minutes into last year’s Grand Final. That said, the absence of the likes of Api Koroisau and Viliami Kikau has been seen in both of the Panthers’ performances this year. With Scott Sorensen coming back onto the bench, this is will be a full-strength Panthers outfit looking to continue building their season with a win against their rivals.

The Eels find themselves winless after three games. It’s not a place they would have thought they’d be or obviously would have wanted to be. That said, it’s not all panic stations, at least yet. The Eels have been in a position to win every game they’ve played without a full line-up. They have thus far faced three top-eight teams from 2022, and this week will go up against their second straight team coming off of a bye. Their performances have shown enough in attack to justify not writing them off as any form of threat, however, their defence around the edges will have to go up in spades, especially against the Panthers. Brad Arthur will offer Eels fans a small glimpse at the future by debuting much-fancied hooker, Brendan Hands. Furthermore, Ryan Matterson returns from his three-game suspension, which will add some punch to their pack.


Eels 3, Panthers 7


Panthers by 2

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