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Parramatta Eels vs New Zealand Warriors: Preview and prediction

The Eels host the Bulldogs in Thursday night footy. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
17th May, 2018
7

The Warriors will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss as they travel to Sydney to play the last-placed Eels.

Stephen Kearney’s men were thumped 32-0 on home turf by the Roosters last week, in their second poor performance in three weeks, although they are still 7-3 after ten rounds.

In a huge blow for the away side, skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has withdrawn from this one due to the impending birth of his first child, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to start at fullback.

Mason Lino and hooker Issac Luke have both been named to start, despite being in some doubt with ankle and shoulder injuries respectively, while Shaun Johnson is still out injured.

Meanwhile, the Eels lost their bottom-of-the-table showdown against the Bulldogs 20-12, and now face the reality that no side has ever made the finals after starting a season 2-8.

Making life even more difficult is Kenny Edwards being ruled out pending a court appearance for a traffic violation. Marata Niukore is set to make his NRL debut from the bench, with Daniel Alvaro expected to play, despite copping a head knock last week.

Overall, it hard to know what to expect from this game, although if the Warriors show up like they did last week, they will get rolled.

While the Eels were poor last week, they failed to capitalise on a number of scoring opportunities against the Bulldogs and often looked the better side.

This should be a wild sort of game, but the fact the Kiwis have not put in back-to-back bad performances all year, they should have the class to get over this struggling Parra side.

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Verdict
Warriors by 1-8 in a high-scoring game.