2024 NRL: Round 8 Preview, Sea Eagles Vs Eels

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 8 clash between the Sea Eagles and Eels.



Manly Sea Eagles Vs Parramatta Eels
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Date: Friday 26th April, 8:00pm


Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Tolutau Koula, 4. Reuben Garrick, 5. Tommy Talau, 6. Luke Brooks, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Taniela Paseka, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Josh Aloiai, 11. Haumole Olakau’atu, 12. Corey Waddell, 13. Jake Trbojevic, 14. Karl Lawton, 15. Ethan Bullemor, 16. Matthew Lodge, 17. Nathan Brown, 18. Aaron Woods, 19. Jakob Arthur, 20. Jaxson Paulo, 21. Dean Matterson, 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong

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

Referee: Gerard Sutton

Embed from Getty Images


Traditional rivals, the Manly Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels will meet for the second time this year on Friday night. For the Eels, it will be about bouncing back from a disappointing loss to The Dolphins, while the Sea Eagles will be looking to improve on a scratchy victory against the Titans.

The home team, the Sea Eagles, has had a fairly consistent opening 7 rounds of the competition. They’ve been a fast, attacking team at their best, and can pile on points at will. However, their defence has been poor at times. At 156 points against, they have the second-worst defence in the top eight. Last week, they crawled home against a desperate, last-placed Titans team, in a victory that was far from convincing.

There are minimal changes for the Sea Eagles, with Josh Aloiai returning to the starting side, pushing Matt Lodge to the bench. Furthermore, Dean Matterson makes way for Nathan Brown, who returns from an injury.

Meanwhile, the Eels suffered a horrific loss to The Dolphins in Darwin. Touted as overwhelming favourites, it was an ambush that though you might have seen coming, could do nothing to stop. From the 50th minute, The Dolphins ran rampant, piling on tries against a hapless Eels side. They remain a beacon of inconsistency. Their best and worst are miles apart.

The Eels have made some significant changes this week. Most notably, youngster Ethan Sanders comes in for Daejarn Asi. Beyond this, Maika Sivo replaces Sean Russell, Ryan Matterson moves to the starting side and Kelma Tuilagi, Brendan Hands and Makahesi Makatoa have all been named on the bench.

The Sea Eagles came close against the Eels last time they met. Early on, at 14-0, they looked likely to run away with it. A bit more patience with the football will go a long way. At times, the Sea Eagles can be found looking for the easiest and fastest way to score tries: they can’t be blamed when they’ve got speedsters like Jason Saab out wide. However, as was evident last week, if you go toe-to-toe with the Eels’ middle long enough, and sustain them, their defence will eventually give way.

How do the Eels win? They will be looking for a bounce back and did so resoundingly when last beaten comfortably. There is hope that young Ethan Sanders, a highly touted junior halfback, can bring some organisation to the park. However, ultimately, the Eels must commit to 80 minutes of football. That didn’t happen last week, and it can be argued that it hasn’t happened much after round three. If they want any chance of heading into their bye at 4-4, they need to play like a team that desires victory.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 8 Number Crunch.


Manly by 12 points.

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