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Plenty at stake here as the Eels look to consolidate their hold on a top-four spot and the Raiders try to continue a revival which has seen them knock off Manly and Cronulla in consecutive weeks.

The Eels overcame the absence of key playmaker Mitch Moses to outclass the Gold Coast in round 18 while the Raiders powered away from the Sharks late on the back of brilliant performance by rookie fullback Xavier Savage.

The Raiders are outside the eight only on points differential and look to be gathering momentum at the right time of the season but they'll need to be at their best to turn around a 35-10 loss to the Eels back in round six. 

The rundown

Team news

Eels: The Eels are 1-17 with no late changes.

Mitchell Moses has been ruled out due to a back fracture suffered in Origin III so Jake Arthur will play halfback again this week.

Tom Opacic is also out and his place in the centres is taken by Will Penisini on debut, while Blake Ferguson has been recalled for his first game since round 12 at the expense of Haze Dunster.

Joey Lussick and Makahesi Makatoa were the first two players cut 24 hours before kick-off. Bryce Cartwright was the last man cut an hour before kick-off and  Haze Dunster is the 18th man.

The Eels have won their past three games against the Raiders.

Raiders: Joseph Tapine has come in to the starting side in a late swap with Josh Papalii, who goes to the bench.

Matt Timoko is the new face on the bench but expect a late change there with Ricky Stuart likely to bring in another forward as per previous weeks.

Jordan Rapana moves to fullback after Xavier Savage was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. 

Jack Wighton has been sidelined by a rib injury with Matt Frawley to replace the NSW five-eighth. 

Siliva Havili and Trey Mooney were the first two players cut from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off. Ryan James is 18th man and Caleb Aekins was the last player cut.

The Raiders have lost all four games against top-four opposition in 2021.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Jordan Rapana
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Harley Smith-Shields
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Semi Valemei
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Matt Frawley
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Jake Arthur
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam Williams

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Raiders is number 17 Joseph Tapine
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Hudson Young
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Ryan Sutton

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Marata Niukore
    Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Shaun Lane
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Matthew Timoko
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Will Smith
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola

Reserves

  • Reserve for Eels is number 19 Bryce Cartwright
    Reserve for Raiders is number 19 Ryan James

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Dylan Brown v Matt Frawley: With Mitch Moses missing the Titans game it was left to five-eighth Brown to step up and he did it in style, scoring a sizzling solo try, running for 111 metres and kicking astutely. Frawley will play just his second game of the season with Jack Wighton sidelined by a rib injury and he'll be looking for a repeat of his round 17 showing when he and Sam Williams combined to spearhead an upset win over Manly.

Stat attack

The Eels boast a powerful back three with Clint Gutherson and Maika Sivo joined by their old mate Blake Fergson who gets a recall this week. Gutherson and Sivo have made 31 line breaks between them in 2021 out of Parramatta's total of 97, fifth best in the NRL. By contrast the Raiders have had 72 line breaks and Jordan Rapana is their best with 10.

 

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