The Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels are all set to take each other on in their annual Easter Monday clash at ANZ Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Wests Tigers will be looking to get back in the winners circle after losing last week in golden point against the Broncos. Their defence has been the standout in the opening 3 rounds and will need to be good again against the Eels.
Parramatta Eels are yet to win a game in 2018, although they were much improved in their last start loss against the Sharks compared to their opening two rounds.
Benji Marshall has been cleared of a leg injury during the week and will maintain his place at five-eighth, while young gun Jacob Liddle lines up on the bench for his first game of the season.
Bevan French, Jarryd Hayne, Cameron King and Kane Evans have been omitted from the Eels line up. Will Smith starts at fullback, George Jennings is on the wing, Kaysa Pritchard is at hooker, and Tony Williams and Peni Terepo join in on the bench.
The last two Easter Monday games have been won by the Parramatta Eels, who also won the last match between the two sides in round 20 last season. Corey Norman was the main man that day, kicking a late field goal to give Parramatta the 17 point to 16 win. The Tigers have failed to beat the Eels since 2016, on that occasion, current Eels halfback Mitchell Moses was firing for the Wests Tigers.
The battle between the two number sevens is an intriguing one. Luke Brooks seems to be playing with newfound confidence under Ivan Cleary this season, and will be looking to get one up on housemate and current Eels halfback Mitchell Moses, who has failed to hit any form after an impressive end to last season. Both men will be relying on the platform laid by the forward pack to perform, so keep an eye on the battle in the middle as well.
Wests Tigers should be too good in this one, by up to ten points.
Wests Tigers are currently the best defensive side in the NRL, while the Eels are the worst. A stat that may become telling.
Wests Tigers: 1 Corey Thompson, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Benji Marshall (c), 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer, 9 Pita Godinet, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Reserves: 19 Tim Grant, 21 Tuimoala Lolohea
Eels: 1 Will Smith, 2 George Jennings, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Kirisome Auva’a, 5 Josh Hoffman 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14 Beau Scott, 15 Kenny Edwards, 16 Peni Terepo, 17 Tony Williams
Reserves: 18 Cameron King, 20 David Gower
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Monday the 2nd of April
Venue: ANZ Stadium