Penrith Panthers will look to snap a three-game losing run when they take on the Parramatta Eels in a Western Sydney derby during NRL Round 8 action on Saturday.
Eels and Panthers kick off at 3.00pm AEST at ANZ Stadium. Live streaming is available via bet365 (geo restrictions apply in Aus/NZ).
Preview and Tips
Super Saturday kicks off with a bang at ANZ Stadium when Penrith and Parramatta lock horns and attempt to claim bragging rights in the battle of the west.
With just two wins from seven and currently on a three-match losing streak, the Panthers are desperate for the two points against Parramatta, who only last weekend broke a four-game losing run of their own. Both sides need the wins in order to start making a charge towards the top eight before the Origin period, making this clash a crucial one.
Penrith appear far too good a side to be languishing at 13th on the ladder, but they’ve struggled in coping with pre-season favouritism tags and haven’t delivered on the field so far.
Nevertheless, they easily could have won both of their tight defeats against the Roosters and Rabbitohs, and if they did they’d be in the top eight and we’d have no concerns about them.
The Panthers have throttled the Knights and Tigers for their two victories and perhaps taking on another side outside the eight will spur on the club to pile on the points once again.
We must remember the Eels have been in poor form over the last month, and only snapped their four-game losing run with a narrow come-from-behind victory over the embattled Tigers last week.
Parramatta still have plenty of work to do themselves, but the inclusion of Kirisome Auva’a last week was encouraging, with the former Rabbitohs centre scoring two tries and making six tackle busts in an eye-catching display.
So have the Eels turned a corner? Or will Penrith showcase the kind of football that had them tagged as premiership favourites? I’m inclined to go the latter. This is one of the toughest games to tip for the round, but I think the Panthers aren’t that far off, and at their best, they’re a better side than the Eels. I’ll back Penrith to make a statement and put together a big win.
- Panthers won both games between the sides last year
- Those matches were each decided by four points or less
- First time these teams have played each other at ANZ Stadium since 2001
Penrith have named an unchanged line-up from the side that was demolished by the Sharks, while Peni Terepo comes in for Ken Edwards in the only change for Parramatta.
Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Josh Hoffman 6. Brad Takairangi 7. Corey Norman 8. Suaia Matagi 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown 14. Beau Scott 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. Kenny Edwards 17. Siosaia Vave 18. David Gower 19. Will Smith 20. George Jennings 21. Marata Niukore
Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Waqa Blake 3. Dean Whare 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. James Fisher-Harris 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin 14. Peta Hiku 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. Moses Leota 18. Corey Harawira 19. Sitaleki Akauola 20. Viliame Kikau 21. Bryce Cartwright
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