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One of the game's most famous rivalries has some added spice now that the Bulldogs have broken their drought for 2021 and will be walking that little bit taller this week.

The win over Cronulla on Saturday night was an emotional one for coach Trent Barrett and his players, who have stuck together in the face of plenty of criticism during the first six rounds.

They face a far more daunting task against the high-flying Eels but there's nothing quite like a win to lift confidence and Barrett is sure to have his men primed for a big effort.

Bulldogs v Eels

The rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak came into the starting side on Friday having been cleared for selection after a leg infection hospitalised him last week.

Watene-Zelezniak's return on the wing sees Tuipulotu Katoa drop out of the side and the other player omitted on Friday was Ofahiki Ogden.

Joe Stimson dropped out off the extended bench an hour before kick-off, with Brandon Wakeham the 18th man.

The Bulldogs are aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since August 2019.

Eels: The returning Ryan Matterson and Oregon Kaufusi are into the starting side with Shaun Lane and Junior Paulo shifting to the bench. Wiremu Greig the 18th man.

Haze Dunster is set to play a utility role for Brad Arthur this week with Will Smith sidelined due to a broken thumb. 

Joey Lussick and Jordan Rankin were the two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

The Eels have won eight of their past 10 games against the Bulldogs.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick Cotric
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Corey Allan
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata Niukore
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 21 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Jake Averillo
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Dylan Napa
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Sione Katoa
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke Thompson
    Prop for Eels is number 14 Oregon Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Adam Elliott
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Chris Smith
    2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Ryan Matterson
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Corey Waddell
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bradley Deitz
    Interchange for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Renouf Atoni
    Interchange for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Ava Seumanufagai
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Haze Dunster
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Matt Doorey
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Bryce Cartwright

Reserves

  • Reserve for Bulldogs is number 19 Brandon Wakeham
    Reserve for Eels is number 20 Wiremu Greig

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Keiren Irons
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Kyle Flanagan v Mitch Moses: The Bulldogs playmaker is still finding his feet and working on his combination with Jake Averillo but the signs are there that things are starting to click. After scoring just 16 points in the first four rounds the Dogs have piled on 54 points in the past three games and Flanagan's game management has been crucial. Moses is part of a lethal Eels spine that will throw plenty at the Bulldogs and make them pay if their defence isn't on song.

Stat attack

Mitch Moses, Clint Gutherson and Reed Mahoney had two try assists each in last week's demolition of Brisbane and now have 19 between them for the season. Dogs halves Kyle Flanagan, Jake Averillo and hooker Sione Katoa have just six try assists collectively in 2021.

 

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