2024 NRL: Round 6 Preview, Eels Vs Cowboys

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 6 clash between the Parramatta Eels and North Queensland Cowboys.



Parramatta Eels Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Date: Saturday April 13th, 5:30pm


Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Morgan Harper, 5. Sean Russell, 6. Daejarn Asi, 7. Dylan Brown, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Joey Lussick, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. J’maine Hopgood, 14. Luca Moretti, 15. Ryan Matterson, 16. Joe Ofahengaue, 17. Kelma Tuilagi, 18. Ofahiki Ogden, 19. Blaize Talagi, 20. Wiremu Greig, 21. Makahesi Makatoa, 22. Maika Sivo

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Tom Chester, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jason Taumalolo, 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Reuben Cotter, 14. Jake Granville, 15. Griffin Neame, 16. Sam McIntyre, 17. Jack Gosiewski, 18. Jake Clifford, 19. Thomas Mikaele, 20. Semi Valemei, 21. Jamal Shibasaki, 22. Viliami Vailea

Referee: Peter Gough

Embed from Getty Images


Round 6 sees the Eels host the Cowboys on a sunny afternoon in Sydney. They’ll want to atone for a dreadful performance in round 5, while the Cowboys will want to continue their winning ways.

Last week, the Eels fell to the Raiders in a forgettable game. With 38 missed tackles and 10 penalties and errors each, it was a game where the basics were abandoned. After three solid performances to start the year, the Eels’ past two weeks have seen them regress. In response, Arthur has dropped winger Maika Sivo, whose defence and efforts have been suspect, and selected Daejarn Asi in the halves to help with organisation on the field.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys were victorious against the Titans, though it was a performance that saw them concede 22 points. With the fourth-worst defence in the competition, Todd Payten will want more resilience from his men this week. The one change will be the inclusion of Tom Chester, who replaces the injured Zac Laybutt.

The Eels forwards can hold their heads up, having done their job last week and marched up the field when required. Their halves’ lack of creativity let them down, with Dylan Brown struggling to combine the responsibilities of organising the team and playing his natural game. The inclusion of Asi will allow Brown more freedom. Furthermore, their defence fell off a cliff, with Sivo targeted by the Raiders relentlessly. Their backline reverts to what it looked like in round 1, which was the most stable this season. Expect a stronger showing on all fronts.

For the Cowboys, it’s about not giving their opposition a sniff. This season, they’ve conceded 18, 20, 24, 38 and 22 points in each game thus far. It’s a worrying trend. The attack can get them over the line, but the defence is not where it needs to be if they want to win a premiership. Todd Payten will want his side to focus on limiting the Eels’ opportunities, which will come from pressuring a new-look halves pairing with every chance they get.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 6 Number Crunch.


Eels by 8 points.

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