Round 6 Preview: Raiders vs Eels

Source:NRL.com

Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels
GIO Stadium
Saturday, 14th April, 2018
7:35pm (NSW, QLD), 9:35pm NZ

Raiders: 
1 Jack Wighton,
2 Nick Cotric,
3 Jarrod Croker (c),
4 Joseph Leilua,
5 Jordan Rapana,
6 Blake Austin,
7 Aiden Sezer,
8 Iosia Soliola,
9 Siliva Havili,
10 Junior Paulo,
11 Joseph Tapine,
12 Elliott Whitehead,
13 Luke Bateman
Interchange: 
14 Ata Hingano,
15 Shannon Boyd,
16 Josh Papalii,
17 Dunamis Lui
Reserves:
18 Liam Knight,
19 Michael Oldfield,
20 Brad Abbey,
21 Jack Murchie
Eels: 
1 Clint Gutherson, 
2 George Jennings,
3 Michael Jennings,
4 Kirisome Auva’a,
5 Bevan French,
6 Corey Norman,
7 Mitchell Moses,
8 Peni Terepo, 

9 Kaysa Pritchard,
10 Tim Mannah (c),
11 Manu Ma’u,
12 Tony Williams,
13 Tepai Moeroa
Interchange:
14 Beau Scott,
15 Kenny Edwards,
16 Daniel Alvaro,
17 Kane Evans
Reserves:
18 Will Smith,
19 David Gower,
20 Suaia Matagi,
21 Josh Hoffman


Match Preview

This reads as the team who is coming 13th against the team who is coming dead last, however it isn't due to a lack of effort from both teams. Parramatta have not had their preferred spine since the end of last season, with the likes of Will Smith, Bevan French and Jarryd Hayne all having a crack at fullback. Canberra have a points differential of -5, and yet they have only won the single game this season.

In saying that, Parramatta get the playmaker they have desperately needed with Clint Gutherson coming into the fullback role for his first game of the year. Bevan French is back at the expense of Josh Hoffman, with Peni Terepo and Daniel Alvaro switching between prop and the bench.

Canberra get Jack Wighton back after missing last week, while Blake Austin moves back into 5/8 with the injury to Sam Williams. Michael Oldfield is the man to make way, with a concussion to boot.

Match ups

Clint Gutherson vs Jack Wighton 

Gutherson was the Dally M favorite until his ACL injury last year, and Jack Wighton at his best is one of the most dangerous players in the game. The guy that is nicknamed "King" by his teammates and fans alike, will be looking for the ball out the back while Wighton seems to always find it off some second-phase play up the guts. Expect both number 1's to be tested with the high ball.

The battle of the bench

Canberra have a few big bopping forwards that can barrage through any team on their day. Ata Hingano is quite the capable utility, fitting into the halves or at hooker. Parramatta don't have the big boppers, minus Daniel Alvaro. However, Kenny Edwards is one who can bust through a line and be that ball-playing second rower for Gutherson and his halves to work off.

Rakes for days

Kaysa Pritchard and Siliva Havili are two of the more underrated hookers in the game at the moment. Pritchard has had his injuries in the last few years, while Havili hasn't had much of a chance until now. Both men will scoot out of dummy half and have a dig at the line from close range, so the distribution will be the deciding factor here.

Prediction:

Both teams are desperate for a win. Brad Arthur is holding onto his job by a thread, with the Eels improving over the last few weeks without seeing the results. The Raiders can't close out a match, with their only win coming against the Bulldogs last week. It may be a home game, but the King will make the difference.

Parramatta 18-16

Chumpie

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