4:10 PM (AEST) Sunday, April 29 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Round 8 of the NRL ends on Sunday afternoon with the Parramatta Eels taking on the revamped and in-form Wests Tigers for the second time this year.
Eels: Clint Gutherson; Bevan French, Michael Jennings, Brad Takairangi, George Jennings; Corey Norman, Mitchell Moses; Daniel Alvaro, Kaysa Pritchard, Suaia Matagi, Manu Ma’u, Tony Williams, Peni Terepo. Will Smith, Kenny Edwards, David Gower, Tim Mannah.
Wests Tigers: Corey Thompson; David Nofoaluma, Esan Marsters, Kevin Naiqama, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak; Benji Marshall, Luke Brooks; Matt Eisenhuth, Jacob Liddle, Ben Matulino, Chris Lawrence, Robbie Rochow, Josh Aloiai. Pita Godinet, Michael Chee Kam, Tim Grant, Sauaso Sue.
There have been 36 games between these two sides with the Eels picking up 20 wins to the Tigers 15, while 1 game has been drawn. They last met in Round 4 this year where the Tigers won 30-20.
The Eels were also slow to get started last season, winning 5 of their first 11 matches, before the arrival of Mitch Moses sured up their halves instability, delivering 11 wins in their final 13 games, finishing the season in 4th place and looking like genuine Grand Final chances. However they narrowly lost to both eventual Grand Finalists in successive weeks of the finals. Their 2018 season got off to a bad start when they lost 24-14 to Penrith. Things got worse in Round 2 when arch rivals Manly belted them 54-0. They were defensively better, but still sloppy in Round 3, where they lost 14-4 to the Sharks. In Round 4 the Eels attack started to click however they were no match for the in-form Tigers who won 30-20
The Wests Tigers had yet another tumultuous season in 2017 which culminated in the biggest clean out in the clubs short history, with a new coach and coaching staff and a swathe of player movements in and out of the club. In Round 1 they faced strong Premiership favourites for 2018, the Sydney Roosters, however the Tigers were undaunted, producing some stoicly stingy defence to win 10-8. They repeated the effort in Round 2 when they beat the Storm by the same margin. In Round 3 they were beaten in Golden Point by the Broncos 9-7. In Round 4 they beat the winless Eels 30-20. They then proved that their Round 2 win over the Storm was no fluke, when they beat them again, away from home, 11-10 last week.
Moses v Brooks – Moses finally found some form last week while Brooks has been in the best form of his career so far.
The Tigers defence is still the best in the competition, while their attack is becoming more potent and patient every week. They will be favourites here.