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So this is finally the end of the road for Parramatta's 2018 squad - the one that virtually everyone had in their top eight. Indeed, several footy followers even had them finishing in the top four, while some even rated them premiership material.

Now here they are at the bottom of the ladder with one game remaining, needing nothing short of a miracle to avoid the wooden spoon.

If last week's performance against the Cowboys is any guide, the Eels won't get close to the Roosters, who suffered a surprise home loss to a clinical Broncos in round 24.

It was the Chooks' second loss in a row and Trent Robinson will be stressing the importance of putting together a performance worthy of a premiership contender.

Key match-up: They might not line up directly opposite each other, but former NSW Origin teammates Jarryd Hayne and Blake Ferguson will be relishing every opportunity to lock horns on Saturday night. They will be reunited as teammates next season when Ferguson joins the Eels.

For the Eels to win: It's the last game of the season and they are destined to finish last, but Parramatta should want to redeem themselves after being thrashed by the Cowboys. The Roosters have been off their game over the past fortnight and might feel the pinch if the Eels manage to stay close in crunch time.

For the Roosters to win: After two straight defeats, the Chooks can't afford to stagger into the finals on a three-game losing streak. The loss of Dylan Napa will take some covering, but the Roosters' big guns like Cooper Cronk, Latrell Mitchell, James Tedesco, Boyd Cordner, Ferguson and Jake Friend all need to take charge.

Eels Stat Attack: How Parra managed to stave off a 60-point shellacking from the Cowboys was nothing short of amazing after they trailed 44-0 with 27 minutes still on the clock. Not only did they keep the home side scoreless from that point, the Eels crossed for their only try of the game to "win" the final quarter of the game.

Roosters Stat Attack: Jake Friend will never be accused of being lazy. The Roosters hooker leads the NRL in tackles (1058) and charge downs (3). Ferguson leads in runs (461) and run metres (4,478).

Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters, Saturday 7.45pm at ANZ Stadium

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Jarryd Hayne
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Bevan French
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Clinton Gutherson
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 George Jennings
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper Cronk


  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Siosaia Vave
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Tim Mannah
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Marata Niukore
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Brad Takairangi
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell Aubusson
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Tepai Moeroa
    Lock for Roosters is number 12 Isaac Liu


  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Jaeman Salmon
    Interchange for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Kane Evans
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane Tetevano
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 David Gower
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Ryan Matterson
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Lindsay Collins

Match Officials

  • Referee: Jon Stone
  • Referee: Gavin Reynolds

Last updated:

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Eels: Parramatta are 1-17, with Cameron King, Josh Hoffman, Ray Stone and Greg Leleisiuao dropping off the extended bench. The Eels have again reshuffled their spine with Jaeman Salmon dropping to the bench, Corey Norman moving to five-eighth, Jarryd Hayne moving to fullback, Bevan French recalled on the wing, Reed Mahoney starting at hooker and Cameron King dropping to the reserves. Brad Takairangi moves to a starting second-row berth with Tepai Moeroa moving to lock and Peni Terepo (hamstring) out. Tim Mannah starts at prop with Kane Evans dropping to the bench.

Roosters: Mitchell Aubusson starts in the back row with Victor Radley to come off the bench, while Sean O'Sullivan replaces Nat Butcher on the interchange. Lindsay Collins, Paul Momirovski and Kurt Baptiste also drop out of the initial 21-man squad named on Tuesday. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (ribs) returns to replace Dylan Napa (suspension) in the front row. 

Head-to-head: Played 130; Roosters 63 wins, Eels 62 wins, 5 draws
Previous result: Roosters won 48-10 at Allianz Stadium in round 10, 2017
Points per game: Eels 15.8; Roosters 21.7
Points conceded per game: Eels 22;  Roosters 15.3
Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League 

Petero Civoniceva's prediction: The Roosters will be hurting after losses to Canberra and Brisbane and I expect a strong response from the Tricolours. They'll be looking to build momentum and confidence heading into September and I think you'll see the likes of James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk hit their straps in a big way.

Tip: Roosters by 14


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