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Match Preview: Wests Tigers vs. Eels

Dan Talintyre (Twitter: @dantalintyre)

Match Preview R21

Wests Tigers will look to continue their good form and record back-to-back wins when they take on the Parramatta Eels this Saturday, July 30 at ANZ Stadium.

Jason Taylor’s men were made to work for their last start victory against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons, but showed plenty of potency in attack and durability in defence to walk away with the two points and keep their hopes at a top eight finish alive.

Wests Tigers are just two points outside the eight heading into Saturday’s clash with the Eels, but with the ninth-placed Warriors facing the eighth-placed Panthers and the seventh-placed Titans facing the top-of-the-table Sharks, there’s definitely room to move for the visitors on the Premiership ladder if they can string consecutive wins together.

Parramatta come into the match sitting in 14th position, after being docked competition points earlier in the season for salary cap breaches. Add to that woe the departure of Nathan Peats and Junior Paulo, the unavailability of Keiran Foran and Corey Norman, plus injuries to Michael Jennings and Semi Radradra, and it’s safe to say that the home side would have every reason to simply roll over and wait for the 2016 season to end.

However, that simply hasn’t been the case for Brad Arthur’s men this year, with their tenacity and continual resilience on show every week despite the odds against them.

They’ll present another tough challenge this week for Wests Tigers, and if the visitors don’t bring the same attacking and defensive strength that they did last week against the Dragons, it could be a difficult afternoon for Taylor’s men against the blue and gold.

It’s worth noting, too, that Wests Tigers have not lost twice in the same season to Parramatta since 2008 and, having gone down 8-0 on Easter Monday earlier this year, will no doubt be keen to secure the two points and continue their push to the finals in 2016.

Since 2009, Wests Tigers have won nine of their 14 meetings between the two sides.

Sunday afternoon footy returns to Leichhardt Oval when we take on the Cowboys!

Match Details

Date — Saturday, July 30

Time — 5:30pm AEST

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Ashley Klein and Chris Butler

Touch Judges — Jason Walsh and Kasey Badger

Review Officials — Luke Patten, Ben Galea and Jason Robinson

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — Live via Fox Sports 1 from 5:30pm (subscription required)

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB (check local guides)

 

Confirmed Squads

Parramata Eels

 

Wests Tigers

Michael Gordon

1

James Tedesco

Vai Toutai

2

David Nofoaluma

Manu Ma’u*

3

Tim Simona

Brad Takairangi

4

Kevin Naiqama

Bevan French

5

Jordan Rankin

Clinton Gutherson

6

Mitchell Moses

Jeff Robson

7

Luke Brooks

Danny Wicks

8

Aaron Woods (capt.)

Isaac De Gois

9

Dene Halatau

Tim Mannah

10

Sauaso Sue

Kenny Edwards

11

Josh Aloiai

Tepai Moeroa

12

Chris Lawrence

Beau Scott (capt.)

13

Elijah Taylor

Rory O’Brien

14

Kyle Lovett

Peni Terepo

15

Ava Seumanufagai

David Gower

16

Tim Grant

Daniel Alvaro

17

Joel Edwards

Brad Arthur

Coach

Jason Taylor

* will miss the match through suspension

 

2016 Recent Results

Parramatta Eels

R15 — Parramatta Eels 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12

R17 — Cronulla Sharks 34 def. Parramatta Eels 24

R18 — Parramatta Eels 22 def. Sydney Roosters 18

R19 — Penrith Panthers 22 def. Parramatta Eels 18

R20 — Gold Coast Titans 34 def. Parramatta Eels 14
 

Wests Tigers

R14 — Wests Tigers 30 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 14

R16 — Melbourne Storm 29 def. Wests Tigers 20

R17 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Penrith Panthers 26

R18 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32 def. Wests Tigers 22

R20 — Wests Tigers 25 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 12

 

Last Time They Met — Parramatta 8 def. Wests Tigers 0 (Rd.5, 2016)

It was a tight affair the last time these two sides met, with a lone penalty goal for the Eels all that separated the two for the majority of the match before a controversial try to Junior Paulo late in the match ensured an eight-point win for Parramatta.

 

The History

·       Against the Eels — Played 32, Won 13, Lost 18, Drawn 1

·       At ANZ Stadium — Played 9, Won 2, Lost 7

 

Player to Watch — Bevan French, Parramatta Eels

After setting the Auckland Nines alight earlier in the year, Bevan French has quickly settled in to first-grade with ease — scoring 10 tries in just seven games to already sit as the Club’s top try-scorer. His blistering speed is a threat Wests Tigers will certainly need to watch for, and the battle between him and Wests Tigers’ left edge combination of Tim Simona and Jordan Rankin will be a fascinating battle throughout the match.

 

Three Final Facts

·       Parramatta have not lost at ANZ Stadium so far in season 2016

·       Luke Brooks leads the NRL in linebreak assists in 2016 (19)

·       Beau Scott sits second in the league for turnover tackles (12)