Round 5 Preview: Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers

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Parramatta Eels vs Penrith Panthers
Sunday 8th April
ANZ Stadium
4:10pm AEST, 6:10pm NZ

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, 
15 Kenny Edwards, 
13 Nathan Brown

Interchange: 12 Tepai Moeroa, 14 Beau Scott, 16 Peni Terepo, 17 Tony Williams

Reserves: 20 David Gower, 21 Kane Evans

Panthers: 
1 Dylan Edwards, 
2 Josh Mansour, 
3 Waqa Blake, 
4 Dean Whare, 
5 Christian Crichton, 
6 Tyrone Peachey, 
7 James Maloney, 
8 Trent Merrin, 
9 Peter Wallace (c), 
10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 
11 Viliame Kikau, 
12 Isaah Yeo, 
13 James Fisher-Harris

Interchange: 14 Wayde Egan, 15 Corey Harawira-Naera, 16 Moses Leota, 17 James Tamou

Reserves: 20 Sione Katoa, 21 Kaide Ellis

Game Preview:
The Panthers are coming off a big win against the Cowboys however the Eels are trying to bounce back after a disappointing loss against the Tigers last week. 
Both sides have a lot to prove as the season is still young, however neither side is yet to reach their full potential. 
Whoever can control the middle third of the field will more than likely dominate this game.

Key Match-Ups:
Mitchell Moses vs James Maloney
James Maloney found form last week after a slow start to 2018 however with the injury to Nathan Cleary, Maloney was able to control the game and lead the Panthers in attack. Moses on the other hand has had a quiet start to 2018 but has yet to find that form that he had last year which saw his name as a potential candidate for NSW. 
Look for both halves to hover around the ruck. Moses will most likely continue his support play around the ruck looking for second phase play, Maloney on the other hand will more than likely look to control the game from first receiver allowing Peachy to run the ball and play like another forward.

Nathan Brown vs James Fisher-Harris
Both Forwards are having a great 2018. Last week Fisher-Harris along with Maloney put the sword to the Cowboys. Look for these two players to constantly go head to head in a battle that will last through the entire 80 mins.
Both forwards play a very similar style of football, they both play direct through the middle and they both run hard and fast. Both will look to get offloads to keep the ball moving forward. Both of these players will be crucial to their sides if either side wants to come away with the 2 points this week.

Prediction:
Hard to look past the Panthers in this one, with all the off-field drama surrounding the Eels with the rumours that Norman could be heading to Canberra in a player swap I believe that the Panthers will cruise home for the win. They are riding on a huge amount of confidence after last week's amazing performance and will just be too strong. Panthers by 10.

-Fewy

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