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The Parramatta Eels have recorded what will stand as a controversial two-point win over the New Zealand Warriors, with many pundits pointing out a lopsided penalty count.
Parramatta Eels 24
New Zealand Warriors 22
The New Zealand Warriors get a chance to stay hot on the heels of the top eight this Saturday afternoon, when they take on the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 3pm AEST.
As the NRL ladder would suggest, the Parramatta Eels are unpredictable this season, with nine wins and eight losses. They are coming off a 36-24 loss to Manly last weekend, with two late tries to the Eels flattering the scoreline.
One factor well in their favour however is that this game is at Bankwest Stadium, which has fast become a fortress for the Eels.
Waqa Blake makes his debut for the Eels this week, pushing Josh Hoffman to the wing and Ethan Parry out of the squad. Blake Ferguson remains out with an infected knee, which is a big blow for the Eels.
In the forward pack, Shaun Lane is out injured with Marata Niukore to start. Oregon Kaufusi and Daniel Alvaro are both promoted to the bench.
If Parramatta are unpredictable, the Warriors are downright impossible to pick. They are in reasonable form however, with a draw against the Broncos and a win against the Sharks over the past fortnight.
A loss to the Eels could see them slip more than a game outside the 8, with that gap difficult to recoup at this stage of the season.
In a big in for the Warriors, Ken Maumalo returns from injury. Gerald Beale will start on the other wing, with Blake Ayshford starting at centre. Kodi Nikorima has been named but is in doubt with an ankle injury.
While the squads look evenly matched, the Eels save their best football for Bankwest Stadium.
I’m not expecting any clear winner in the battle up front but think the likes of Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson will create enough
chances to win.
Parramatta Eels by 10
When: 3pm AEST
Where: Bankwest Stadium
TV: Fox League
Online: NRL Live, Foxtel app or Foxtel now
Betting: Eels $1.54, Warriors $2.45
1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Brad Takairangi 4. Waqa Blake 5. Josh Hoffman 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Kane Evans 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Marata Niukore 12. Manu Ma’u 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. Oregon Kaufusi 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. David Gower 17. Tepai Moeroa
New Zealand Warriors
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2. Gerard Beale, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Blake Ayshford, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Blake Green, 8. Agnatius Paasi, 9. Isaac Luke, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Isaiah Papali’i, 13. Jazz Tevaga
Interchange: 14. Lachlan Burr, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Chanel Harris-Tavita