Saturday’s second NRL Round 21 match is between Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers. The opening bounce is set to commence at 17:35 local time with the game to be played at ANZ Stadium. The home team Parramatta Eels are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers.
When: 17:35 | Saturday 30/07/2016
Where: ANZ Stadium
Tip: Parramatta Eels at $3.15
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Brad Takairangi at $18.00
Eels: 1 Michael Gordon 2 Vai Toutai 3 Manu Ma’u 4 Bradley Takairangi 5 Bevan French 6 Clinton Gutherson 7 Jeff Robson 8 Danny Wicks 9 Isaac De Gois 10 Tim Mannah 11 Kenneth Edwards 12 Tepai Moeroa 13 Beau Scott. Interchange: 14 Rory O’Brien 15 Peni Terepo 16 David Gower 17 Daniel Alvaro.
Tigers: 1 James Tedesco 2 David Nofoaluma 3 Tim Simona 4 Kevin Naiqama 5 Jordan Rankin 6 Mitchell Moses 7 Luke Brooks 8 Aaron Woods 9 Dene Halatau 10 Sauaso Jesse Sue 11 Joshua Aloiai 12 Christopher Lawrence 13 Elijah Taylor. Interchange: 14 Kyle Lovett 15 Avagalu Seumanufagai 16 Tim Grant 17 Joel Edwards.
The knockout blow might have finally been delivered to their NRL season but Parramatta have vowed to go out swinging in 2016.
But first they will need to pick themselves off the canvas – again.
There seemed to be little fight left in the Eels after their slim finals’ hopes were officially killed off by Saturday’s 34-14 loss to Gold Coast.
Eels players acknowledged their fate by dropping their heads after the six-tries-to-three loss at cbus Super Stadium.
However, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said there was still plenty to gain from their nightmare season.
“Our season may be over but we have standards and expectations – that is all we can judge ourselves on,” he said.
“We have to ask ourselves at the end of the year ‘did we maintain those standards or take the easy option?’.”
The Eels had held onto hope that wins in their remaining seven matches would keep them in the finals mix.
They had to cling to something.
In a year lurching from controversy to controversy for Parramatta, Eels fans would still have been disheartened by the events of the past week.
Wayward five-eighth Corey Norman watched from the Gold Coast sidelines after being suspended for eight weeks and fined $20,000 for a string of off-field incidents, including a conviction for drug possession.
Parramatta were also taken over by a NSW government-appointed administrator on Tuesday in the wake of their salary-cap scandals which resulted in a $1 million fine and the loss of 12 competition points.
Their luck didn’t change on Saturday.
Captain Beau Scott (ankle) was cut before the match while hooker Isaac De Gois (suspected knee) limped off in the 64th minute as Parramatta slid to third last on 12 points.
“We’ve got probably three quarters of the salary cap sitting on the sidelines,” Arthur said of their long list of unavailable players including playmaker Kieran Foran.
“We will just add them (De Gois, Scott) to the list.
“We will find some (back-up).
“If anything, I would rather them (injuries) this year than next year.”
Eels stand-in skipper Tim Mannah said it was pretty easy to ignore their off-field dramas.
“This is a resilient, tough group,” he said.
“The attitude we have makes it a lot easier to deal with situations that look pretty messy from the outside.
“I think we will be better for it once we come through it.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change