2024 NRL: Round 18 Preview, Eels Vs Rabbitohs

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 18 clash between the Eels and Rabbitohs.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Parramatta Eels Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Date: Thursday July 4th, 7:50pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson, 2. Jake Tago, 3. Viliami Penisini, 4. Sean Russell, 5. Blaize Talagi, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Brendan Hands, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Ryan Matterson, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Shaun Lane, 14. Matthew Arthur, 15. Joe Ofahengaue, 16. Matt Doorey, 17. Charlie Guymer, 18. Daejarn Asi, 19. Makahesi Makatoa, 20. Wiremu Greig, 21. Morgan Harper, 22. Luca Moretti

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Taane Milne, 4. Richard Kennar, 5. Jacob Gagai, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Cody Walker, 8. Davvy Moale, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Sean Keppie, 11. Cameron Murray, 12. Jai Arrow, 13. Keaon Koloamatangi, 14. Peter Mamouzelos, 15. Tallis Duncan, 16. Thomas Burgess, 17. Michael Chee Kam, 18. Jye Gray, 19. Liam Le Blanc, 20. Fletcher Myers, 21. Adam Christensen, 22. Thomas Fletcher

Referee:

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Two teams that find themselves in positions that greatly contrast years gone by, the Eels and Rabbitohs, meet this Thursday night. Both sides are mathematical – but unlikely – chances of making the eight, rendering the season from this point on as an opportunity to build for 2025.

For Eels fans braving the Sydney cold this Thursday, there is something to look forward to despite the poor run of losses. Their halfback Mitch Moses has shown himself to be at a stage in his career where his composure matches his talent. On the back of a man-of-the-match performance in the second State of Origin, he nearly single-handedly took apart the Knights, coming close to guiding his team to victory. He is their biggest threat on the field and will be aching to get his team past the line this week.

As mentioned, both sides are building for 2025, and the home side’s team selections in particular have suggested just that. Last week, Matthew Arthur debuted from the bench in the Eels’ close loss to the Knights. This week, Jake Tago debuts on the wing for the injured Maika Sivo, and highly touted Eels junior Charlie Guymer comes onto the bench for Makahesi Makatoa.

Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs are on a four-game winning run, coincidentally kick-started by their last encounter with the Eels. Before last week’s bye, they scraped out a dour win against the Sea Eagles on a rainy night in Sydney. Despite their poor start to the year, they have a likelier chance than the Eels of putting on a run to the finals and need to essentially win every game of the season onwards to give themselves any chance.

The main change for the Rabbitohs is welcoming back their Origin players Cameron Murray and Latrell Mitchell.

It will be a drizzly, wet night in Sydney on Thursday. It may stifle attack for either side and welcome errors. The Rabbitohs will look to exploit either edge of the Eels, with inexperienced players there to be taken advantage of. The home side will need to compete on every play, bank on youthful enthusiasm and follow the lead of their chief playmaker, Moses, to win this one. Behind a hopeful home crowd desperate for a win, they should get the job done.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Number Crunch Stats.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Eels by 2 points.

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