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The Parramatta Eels have put the Brisbane Broncos to slaughter in the final match of the first week of the NRL Finals, scoring 58 points in a record-breaking finals victory.
Parramatta Eels 58
Brisbane Broncos 0
The Parramatta Eels and Brisbane Broncos will do battle in the second elimination final, with season’s on the line for two sides who have been inconsistent, but made the top eight. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:05pm (AEST).
The Eels have the huge advantage of home-ground advantage in this clash, and will be looking to put it to good use as they face a Brisbane side, whose best and worst is a long way apart.
Parramatta, since moving to Bankwest Stadium, have turned the venue into a fortress, winning eight of their ten games at the venue, however, finals will bring with it a completely different level of pressure.
They do enter the final in good touch though, having beaten the Manly Sea Eagles soundly last week to move up the table by a spot and snatch fifth spot.
At their best, the forwards have been excellent for the Eels, but they need to be prepared to put up a big display on Sunday, with the Broncos forwards improving throughout the season.
The Broncos have plenty of youth in their side, but they need to dominate possession and territory to give themselves a chance in the contest, with Payne Haas, Joe Ofahengaue and Matt Lodge the trio needing big starts in the middle third to take the pressure off Darius Boyd.
The problem for Brisbane is that, if they fail to control the middle third of the contest, Mitchell Moses is in form which will allow the Eels to rack up a score.
Moses holds the key to Parramatta’s attack, and as such, the game, although his job will be made easier by the big back three of Maika Sivo, Blake Ferguson and Clint Gutherson, who should allow sets to start at a fast pace.
The winner of this game will stay in the fight, heading to Melbourne for next week’s semi-final with the Storm after they suffered a shock qualifying final loss to the Raiders last night.
This is a tough match to call, but the Eels have been great at home and as long as they are somewhere near their best, should be able to come away with the victory to keep their season alive.
Eels by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this NRL elimination final from 4:05pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 4:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
TV: Live, Fox League 502, Channel 9
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Overall record: Played 56, Broncos 33, Eels 22, drawn 1
Last meeting: Round 24, 2019 – Broncos 17 defeat Eels 16 at Suncorp Stadium
Last five: Eels 3, Broncos 2
Record in finals: Played 4, Eels 2, Broncos 2
Record at venue: Played 1, Eels 1, Broncos 0
Referees: Ben Cummins, Grant Atkins
1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Kane Evans, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Manu Ma’u, 13. Nathan Brown
Bench: 14. Brad Takairangi, 15. Daniel Alvaro, 16. Ray Stone, 17. Marata Niukore, 18. Tepai Moeroa, 19. Will Smith, 20. Peni Terepo, 21. Josh Hoffman
1. Anthony Milford, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Alex Glenn, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Darius Boyd, 7. Jake Turpin, 8. Matthew Lodge, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Payne Haas, 11. David Fifita, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Bench: 14. James Segeyaro, 15. Thomas Flegler, 16. Gehamat Shibasaki, 17. Patrick Carrigan, 18. Rhys Kennedy, 19. Izaia Perese, 20. Shaun Fensom, 21. Cory Paix