SUNDAY 18TH JUNE 2017
ANZ STADIUM, SYDNEY
Having won their past five encounters against the Dragons, the Eels will be looking to continue their winning ways against the Red V.
After a disastrous trip up to the Top End, the Eels need to get back on track and take a win into next week’s bye. No doubt the week’s rest will be welcomed by Brad Arthur and the team as they look to overcome any injury niggles.
So let’s examine the history between the Eels and the Dragons.
Last 10 Games
|2017||2||12-Mar-2017||34||16||WIN Stadium||Eels win by 18 points|
|2016||25||29-Aug-2016||30||18||Pirtek Stadium||Eels win by 12 points|
|2015||16||27-Jun-2015||16||12||Pirtek Stadium||Eels win by 4 points|
|2014||10||17-May-2014||36||0||Pirtek Stadium||Eels win by 36 points|
|2013||25||02-Sep-2013||26||22||Pirtek Stadium||Eels win by 4 points|
|2013||10||18-May-2013||12||32||WIN Stadium||Dragons win by 20 points|
|2012||26||02-Sep-2012||8||29||ANZ Stadium||Dragons win by 21 points|
|2012||12||26-May-2012||12||14||WIN Jubilee Oval||Dragons win by 2 points|
|2011||8||01-May-2011||0||30||WIN Jubilee Oval||Dragons win by 30 points|
As stated, the Eels have won the past 5 games between these two clubs and hold a 5 – 4 win record (plus a draw) across the last ten matches. Looking at this time frame you’d expect such results would be reflected in the aggregates and averages. Well, check this out!
Score Aggregate Eels – 187 Dragons – 187
Score Average Eels – 19 Dragons – 19
The Eels and Dragons (joint venture) have played each other a total of 32 times with the Eels holding a 16 to 14 advantage in the wins column.
They have played each other 4 times at ANZ with the judges unable to split them with two wins apiece. The Eels have played 67 times at ANZ for a 30 – 36 win record. Encouragingly, their last 10 games at ANZ have produced 7 victories.
The Dragons meanwhile have played 60 times at ANZ saluting 26 times against 33 losses, with their past ten games there yielding only two victories.
For 2017, the Eels have a 50% win rate and a points average of 18.4 points in attack whilst conceding 22 points in defence.
The Dragons have a 8/5 win/loss record this season (with a bye) and have averaged 22.1 points per game in attack whilst conceding an average of 16.2 points per game.
|0 – 20||20 – 40||40 – 60||60 – 80|
It’s fairly matched across the duration of the game, but that pesky last quarter rears its ugly head once more. The thought would obviously be that the Eels will need to mount a sizeable lead before the final 20 minutes.
The Eels have won 6 games after heading into the sheds in front, whilst all of the Dragons wins have come from leading at half time. But in saying that, the Dragons have also lost 3 games when they were ahead at oranges. In contrast, Parra still has a clean sheet there. Parra has also won 1 game when down at the break.
*avg per game (Rank)
|Runs||154 (10th)||163 (2nd)|
|Run Metres||1446m (10th)||1592m (1st)|
|Offloads||9.9 (9th)||13.4 (1st)|
|Line Breaks||3.8 (9th)||4.5 (3rd)|
|Tackle Breaks||20.8 (12th)||29.8 (2nd)|
|Metres Gained||1988m (13th)||2189m (2nd)|
|Possession %||49.2 (15th)||49.6 (8th)|
|Complete Sets||25 (15th)||28.5 (1st)|
These attacking stats read extremely well for the Dragons and are indicative of their lofty ladder position. In pretty much every major aspect of attacking play, the Dragons are ranked 3rd or higher in the competition. Last week saw a kink (or revisiting 2016 form?) in the Dragons armour. Let’s hope they bring that game again this week.
Parramatta will need to wrap the ball up in tackles. The Dragons are lethal with their second and third phase play. Offloads and tackle breaks will need to be at a minimum for the Eels to stifle the Dragons go forward.
*avg per game (Rank)
|Tackles||319 (8th)||333 (4th)|
|Missed Tackles||23.4 (5th)||19.5 (1st)|
|Ineffective Tackles||15.1 (7th)||14.5 (4th)|
Even though the Dragons make more tackles per game than the Eels, they lead the comp in missed tackles. What a very sound defensive unit the Dragons are!
Ineffective tackles basically mean the defenders attempted a tackle but an offload got away. This is crucial for the Eels this week. As mentioned in Attack, the Dragons lead the comp in offloads. Surprisingly it’s Tim Lafai who is second in the comp with offloads with 35, and Jack De Belin sits in 10th spot with 25 offloads. Nathan Brown is the only Eel featuring in the top 10 offloads with 26.
*avg per game (Rank)
|Penalties Conceded||6.9 (12th)||5.4 (3rd)|
|Errors||10.7 (11th)||10.1 (6th)|
|Incomplete Sets||9.4 (10th)||8.5 (7th)|
Parramatta really need to fix this area of their game up. Penalties and errors absolutely destroyed us last week. The Dragons attack is a lot better this season and they will use every opportunity given to them to put points on the board against us.
With the Eels already 1 up against the Dragons this season, Round 2 to Round 15 are poles apart for both sides. The Eels have been clunky and sit a win outside the top 8 whereas the Dragons have had a smoother season with only a couple of bumps along the way to sit in the top 4. The Dragons have shown that they are a premiership contender whereas the Eels have shown glimpses without putting together 80 minute performances.
Both teams put in relatively poor performances last week in their respective games. Even with their Origin players out, the Dragons still look a very good side and their form is undeniable. We should expect a much improved performance from the Eels in what should be a high quality encounter.
Get your butts out to ANZ and cheer on the Mighty Blue and Gold.
Stats courtesy of Champion Data. All these stats and more can be viewed on our match centre at http://mc.championdata.com/nrl/ including live game stats.