Parramatta Eels vs St George Illawarra Dragons: NRL live scores, blog

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    Eels vs Dragons

    NRL, 18 June, 2017

    ANZ Stadium
    Fulltime - Eels 24, Dragons 10
    Eels   Dragons
    24 FINAL SCORE 10
    4 TRIES 2
    Referee: Grant Atkins
    Touch judges: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski & Dave Ryan
    Video Referee: Ashley Klein

    While half the teams kick back this week, the Dragons will be taking a trip up the M1 to face a slippery Eels outfit at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium this Sunday. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 4pm (AEST).

    After shaping up against the Warriors in what looked to be a season-defining victory just a week earlier, the Eels failed to show up in Darwin and paid the price. Going down 32-6 against Thurston and his Cowboys.

    The Dragons on the other hand, resembled shades of 2016 with their only points coming from a Gareth Widdop penalty goal in a 13-2 loss to Canterbury. While they didn’t get across the line, they did repel the Bulldogs countless times despite a lopsided 406-304 tackle count.

    Kirisome Auva’a replaces Nathan Davis on the left wing while Michael Jennings is a chance of running out after he was named on an extended bench. If he does make an appearance, expect Brad Takairangi to shift back into the forwards with Will Smith being the likely casualty.

    St George will be without Origin heros Tyson Frizell and Josh Dugan. In his absence, Jason Nightingale will once again don the fullback jersey with Kalifa Faifai Loa filling the void on the left wing. Tariq Sims will start with Jacob Host set to make his sixth appearance of the season.

    It was a tough return for Corey Norman last week, but he should be feeling more at home on the familiar pastures of ANZ Stadium.

    The same could be said for Mitchell Moses, but with another week of training under their belts we might start to see some combinations stick.

    While some Parramatta greats have called for Gutherson to remain at five-eighth his presence at center gives Arthur some strike power out wide.

    If Jennings does return this week, The Dragons outside men will need to be on their toes if they are to repel what on paper is a lethal backline.

    The seeds of doubt are well and truly planted for the Saints after going 110 minutes without crossing the stripe.

    Provided Parramatta get on the board early, the Dragons could be in for a long afternoon of playing catch up footy.

    The Dragons have been a real surprise packet this year. While they failed to recruit any big name players, the ones that they have purchased have turned into Origin prospects almost overnight.

    Cameron McInnes and Paul Vaughan have proven to be some of the best buys in the franchise’s history. Their ability to play a power game through the middle that has placed the joint-venture club on track for a top four finish. The two don’t shy away from their defensive duties either as they amassed a whopping 101 tackles between them during last week’s loss.

    Despite what others will say, the Dragons boast arguably the best forward pack in the comp. So far, in 2017 they top the charts for most running meters. McInnes and Vaughan have been key in this but so too the likes of De Bellin and Packer. No doubt these players will be looking to aim up and provide some starch up front in the absence of Frizell and Dugan.

    The Red V also top the list for most offloads, producing on average 13.9 per game. If Parramatta fail to shut down the Dragons’ second phase play, they could find themselves on the back foot more often than not.

    Both sides will be looking to find their attacking mojo on what is predicted to be a dry pitch at ANZ Stadium. Playing without Frizell and Dugan is not ideal for the Dragons but neither is their record at the ground. A loss here could place the Dragons as far down as 7th while a win for the Eels will keep them in touch with the 8. It may only be Round 15, but this game is vital in the context of the season. You’re only as good as your last game, but Parramatta should be better.
    Eels by 4.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 6:56pm | ! Report

      The Parramatta Eels played their best game of the season to down the Dragons 24-10 at ANZ Stadium.

      The majority of the Eels points came from Clint Gutherson, after he bagged a brace of tries to go with his three conversions. His switch to fullback proving to be coaching masterstroke by Brad Arthur.

      The Dragons failed to throw much at the Eels defence whose line speed unravelled their opponents time and time again forcing a number of errors. Despite a late rally from the Saints and a barnstorming try to Paul Vaughan in the 63rd minute, the Dragons were always up against the scoreboard, time and an Eels outfit that out enthused them in bucket loads.

      St.George were on the back foot from the fourth minute after fan favourite Clint Gutherson dotted down from some fortuitous passing on the last play. He was in the thick of things 20 minutes later when St.George found some space down the left edge. A grubber kick by Faifai Loa proved disastrous as Gutherson showed superb soccer skills to trap the ball and scoot down field to put the Eels up 12-0. The points proving even more timely after they lost hooker Kaysa Pritchard just moments earlier to a sickening knee injury.

      Saints fans rejoiced after a clever play by their own fill in fullback Jason Nightingale, saw him squeeze between defenders and deliver a flick pass for Nene Macdonald to score in the corner. The try was not only their first of the match, but their first four pointer in 146 minutes of football.

      The second half started nearly the same as the first as Michael Jennings pounced on a Joel Thompson error to scoot half the field and score under the posts.10 minutes later Bevan French scored his 23rd try in just 23 games after he showed determination and courage to pinch the ball from the grasp of Nightingale and put the game beyond doubt.

      Corey Norman had the ball on a string throughout the match, putting the Eels back three under pressure with some pinpoint grubber kicks and towering bombs. Not only was he able to force a number of goal line dropouts, but his kicks found space time and time again thereby forcing the Dragons to work it out from their own line more often than not.

      Tempers flared in the 73rd minute when Gareth Widdop ran across field only to be monstered by Manu Ma’u. With the tackle complete, Corey Norman ruffled the english international with his forearm. The play was not taken lightly by Widdop or the St.George side as players ran in from all areas of the park to break up the melee of pushing, verbals and shirt grabbing. Penalty sufficient.

      Hame Sele showed why he was picked for City after coming up with back-to-back bone crunching tackles. Jack de Belin was solid yet again, running for over 150 meters and clocking up 32 tackles in the process.

      The extent of Kaysa Pritchard’s injury will become known over the coming days. A diagnosis is also expected with regards to Beau Scott, after he was forced off in the latter stages of the second half citing an elbow injury.

      It’s a timely win for the Eels as they head towards the bye. As for the Dragons, They’ll begin preparations to take on Newcastle in the familiar surrounds of Jubilee Oval. Hopefully with the familiar faces of Frizell and Dugan.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 6:45pm | ! Report

      Well, that was rubbish.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 6:00pm | ! Report

      FULL-TIME Eels v Dragons 24-10
      A comprehensive win for the Eels. One of their best efforts in season 2017.

    • 5:53pm
      danwain said | 5:53pm | ! Report

      Awful by the dragons 3 weeks in a row, can we blame origin?

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:50pm | ! Report

      Eels v Dragons 24-10 73′
      Penalty Dragons. Unnecessary contact by Norman the call. Plenty of feeling all of a sudden.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:45pm | ! Report

      Time running out for the Dragons. They need a miracle.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:38pm | ! Report

      TRY Dragons. Eels v Dragons 24-10 63′
      Another try for Paul Vaughan. Widdop converts.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:32pm | ! Report

      Eels v Dragons 24-4 58′
      Two more to the score, the Eels and Gutherson.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:30pm | ! Report

      TRY Parramatta. Eels v Dragons 22-4 57′
      Great kick by Moses and better pick up by French. Eels on song.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:28pm | ! Report

      Great play by Parramatta. Pin point kick by Norman to force a goal line drop out.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:22pm | ! Report

      TRY Parramatta. Eels v Dragons 16-4 47′
      Jennings pounces on the loose ball to score. Welcome back.

    • Roar Guru

      Matthew Lucas said | 5:00pm | ! Report

      HALF-TIME. Eels v Dragons 12-4
      A brace to Clint Gutherson puts the Eels in front but the Dragons finish strong. Big second half coming up.

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