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Pool Green: Electric Eels

Pool Green: Electric Eels
One of the surprise packets of the tournament, a new-look and largely inexperienced Eels side was the dominant team of Pool Green.

However it was a couple of their old heads who played key roles in their 18-11 win over the Roosters and dominant 23-6 trouncing of the Bulldogs.

Willie Tonga wound back the clock with some quality touches while Fuifui Moimoi took a leaf out of Brad Fittler's book in defying Father Time to lay on a try for Corey Norman against Canterbury, barging through several players before offloading in traffic.

Fijian winger Semi Radradra put his rugby sevens background to good use, scoring a hat-trick against the Roosters and another try against the Bulldogs, while maligned halfback Chris Sandow found his feet quickly and laid on a couple of tries.

"We didn't start the way we wanted to, there were a few missed tackles and dropped balls but later into the game we got into it. The boys felt more comfortable with how the pace was and we got into it," Tonga told NRL.com after the side's first game.

"Just building on confidence [will be important for the next game]. We've got a lot of young boys out there that don't realise their potential so that will be good for us mentally."

If the Bulldogs can claw back a consolation win against the Roosters at 12.50pm it likely means the Eels and Broncos will qualify, but if the Roosters win the Broncos will need to overcome the Eels to go through. 

The Bulldogs have an inexperienced squad and fewer of those instinctive attacking players than the better sides have boasted, and have also suffered from a stack of dropped ball.

The Broncos have reason enough to eye tournament glory with promising playmaker Kodi Nikorima showing some silky touches and high profile recruit Ben Barba producing some trademark brilliance despite not quite having the zip of 2012.

For the Roosters - when it hasn't been the Brad Fittler show - Mitchell Pearce has been about the side's best. The Blues halfback adapted quickly to the format and both his running and kicking have been highly effective so far.

Pool Green: Eels 4 (+24), Broncos 2 (+9), Roosters 2 (even), Bulldogs 0 (-33).

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