Eels v Roosters: Hayne gets No.1 jersey in reshuffle; JWH replaces Napa
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.
Match: Eels v Roosters
Round 25 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
- Fox League
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
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
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Jarryd HayneFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Eels is number 2 Bevan FrenchWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael JenningsCentre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
Centre for Eels is number 4 Clinton GuthersonCentre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Eels is number 5 George JenningsWinger for Roosters is number 5 Blake Ferguson
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Corey NormanFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell MosesHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper Cronk
Prop for Eels is number 8 Siosaia VaveProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
Prop for Eels is number 10 Tim MannahProp for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Marata Niukore2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Brad Takairangi2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell Aubusson
Lock for Eels is number 13 Tepai MoeroaLock for Roosters is number 12 Isaac Liu
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Jaeman SalmonInterchange for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Eels is number 15 Kane EvansInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane Tetevano
Interchange for Eels is number 16 David GowerInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Ryan Matterson
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Roosters is number 18 Lindsay Collins
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