Wests Tigers and the Eels kick off the post-Origin period aiming to break out of mid-table mediocrity and launch a serious premiership challenge.

The Eels go into the derby at Bankwest Stadium clinging to eighth spot on the ladder, one place ahead of the Tigers courtesy of points difference.

But fourth place on the table sits a tantalising two points away so the team that triumphs on Sunday gets a shot at inserting themselves in that conversation.

While notionally a home game for Wests Tigers the upper hand belongs to the Eels who boast a 6-2 record at their new stadium. Their co-tenants, in contrast, have struggled mightily at Bankwest with their disappointing 1-3 record including two heavy defeats.

One of those came in the corresponding fixture in round six when they were hammered 51-6 by Parramatta in the facility's grand opening. 

Match: Wests Tigers v Eels

Round 17 -

Full Time
Wests Tigers

Home Team

Wests Tigers

Scored 18 points
Eels

Away Team

Eels

Scored 30 points

Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

The Rundown

Team news

Wests Tigers: Captain Moses Mbye has been named in the centres to back up from Origin III on Wednesday. Josh Aloiai has again been named to start with Thomas Mikaele on the bench but the pair may swap closer to kick-off as they did against the Roosters last week. After Josh Reynolds and Oliver Clark were trimmed from the reserves list on Saturday, Paul Momirovski and Chris McQueen were left out an hour before kick-off.

Eels: Unsurprisingly, Brad Arthur pretty much kept the team that beat Canberra intact, with Marata Niukore coming onto the bench for Peni Terepo in the only change to the 17-man side. After Arthur cut Bevan French and Greg Leleisluao from the squad on Saturday, Oregon Kaufusi and Daniel Alvaro were left out an hour before game time.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Corey Thompson
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Robert Jennings
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Moses Mbye
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Brad Takairangi
  • Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Josh Hoffman
  • Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 David Nofoaluma
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh Aloiai
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Kane Evans
  • Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • 2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris Lawrence
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Manu Ma'u
  • Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jacob Liddle
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Jaeman Salmon
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Marata Niukore
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Elijah Taylor
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 David Gower
  • Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Tepai Moeroa

Key match-up

Though in the twilight of his career Benji Marshall has shown he still possesses the ability to impact a game with his poise and creativity, while Mitchell Moses will be looking to add to his 16 try assists this season - the most in the competition.

For the Tigers to win

They will have to exploit their edge on the defensive side of the ball to rein in the prolific Eels attack which sits in the top five in seven different team categories. The Tigers top the NRL for tackles and they will be working overtime to rein in Moses and his wealth of attacking weapons. A feisty performance against the Roosters will give them confidence heading into the derby.

For the Eels to win

With plenty of points in them Parramatta, who have missed more tackles than every side except for the league-leading Panthers, will be focused on tightening up their defence. Maika Sivo will be looking to add to his competition-leading 12 tries. With only Blake Ferguson backing up from Origin and the benefit of a week off they should be fresh and fired up to perform in front of a rabid home crowd.

Brett Kimmorley says

I liked the way the Wests Tigers played last week. They looked great. As is the case with Ivan Cleary at Penrith, it looks like Michael Maguire has needed half the season to get his team playing the way he would like. Benji Marshall’s 300th game is all the motivation they’ll need. Parramatta will be fresh but I don’t think that will be enough. Wests Tigers by 6

Stat Attack

The numbers say Mitchell Moses holds Parramatta's fate in his hands. Not only does he lead the comp in try assists but also in total kicks and he is top five in linebreak assists (4th), points (5th), goals (4th) and kick metres (2nd).

And another thing ...

The Eels may have plenty of points in them but they are far from clinical, ranking third in both total errors and handling errors. If they don't clean up their act they could pay a heavy penalty.