NRL Team List
Pundits across the wider NRL seem to be setting the bar pretty low for the Parramatta Eels in 2019 and in light of their efforts last year that probably isn’t too unfair. Even so, there is an undeniable sense of excitement surrounding the Round 1 derby against our traditional Western rivals the Penrith Panthers with a swathe of rookies and club-debutantes earning the call to arms.
Dylan Brown and Blake Ferguson are undeniably the headline acts here but Shaun Lane and Maika Sivo are certainly not to be discounted with both impressing in the preseason. The combination of fresh blood, youth energy and talent will hopefully be a catalyst for the Eels to start their campaign on the front foot.
The Eels are far from full strength however between the devastating injury fallout for Manu Ma’u from the trial against the Panthers and the disappointing alcohol-fueled misbehaviour of Peni Terepo. Throw in a seemingly troublesome hamstring for the prodigal son Junior Paulo and suddenly the forward-pack is looking considerably undermanned.
Brad Arthur has turned to Kane Evans and David Gower to hold the line in the mean time although you would have to think that Paulo will be allowed every chance right up until kickoff to prove his fitness.
Parramatta were convincing winners when the team met in the preseason with a gritty defensive effort the centre-piece of a 20-0 shutout. Penirth will no doubt be entering this game looking for revenge for that result but of greater concern might be the siege mentality they embrace as the furor over Tyrone May’s leaked sex-tapes engulfs their club.
A first-up win for the Eels will be huge considering how much their Round 1 capitulation in 2018 served to derail their season but as for how Parramatta can prevail…you will have to look forward to more pre-game coverage from TCT this week!
|Parramatta Eels||Penrith Panthers|
|1||Clinton Gutherson ©||1||Dylan Edwards|
|2||Maika Sivo||2||Josh Mansour|
|3||Michael Jennings||3||Dean Whare|
|4||Brad Takairangi||4||Waqa Blake|
|5||Blake Ferguson||5||Dallin Watene-Zelezniak|
|6||Dylan Brown||6||James Maloney|
|7||Mitchell Moses||7||Nathan Cleary|
|8||Daniel Alvaro||8||James Tamou|
|9||Reed Mahoney||9||Sione Katoa|
|10||Tepai Moeroa||10||Reagan Campbell-Gillard|
|11||Shaun Lane||11||Jack Hetherington|
|12||Marata Niukore||12||Isaah Yeo|
|13||Nathan Brown||13||James Fisher-Harris|
|14||Will Smith||14||Wayde Egan|
|15||Tim Mannah ©||15||Tyrell Fuimaonoo|
|16||Kane Evans||16||Moses Leota|
|17||David Gower||17||Hame Sele|
|18||Josh Hoffman||18||Jarome Luai|
|19||Oregon Kaufusi||19||Tim Grant|
|20||Bevan French||20||Liam Martin|
|21||Junior Paulo||21||Malakai Watene-Zelezniak|
|Jaeman Salmon||Suspension||Round 2|
|George Jennings||Knee||Round 3|
|Manu Ma’u||Knee||Round 6|
|Stefano Utoikamanu||Ankle||Round 9|
|Peni Terepo||Stood down||Indefinite|
Canterbury Cup Team List
The newly christened Canterbury Cup (formerly the Intrust Super Premiership) will be the opening act on Sunday double-header out at Penrith. The Panthers narrowly pipped Wentworthville 10-8 in their final preseason as defence prevailed for both teams but much like their senior cohorts in the NRL, Wenty look to be undermanned coming into Round 1.
After spending the preseason trials operating with Jaeman Salmon and Rhys Davies in the halves, the Magpies now turn to Dylan Izzard and Henry Raiwalui to engineer an upset on the weekend. Josh Hoffman, Oregon Kaufusi and Bevan French seem like probable candidates to drop off the NRL shadow bench and reinforce Wentworthville while Junior Paulo’s fitness will dictate if or who else might turn out in the Canterbury Cup.
On top of expected strong showings from the returning NRL talent, coach Rip Taylor will need big games from young talent like Ethan Parry, Salesi Faingaa and Ray Stone if they are to be competitive on Sunday.
|Wentworthville Magpies||Penrith Panthers|
|1||Josh Bergamin||1||Caleb Atkins|
|2||Ethan Parry||2||Malakai Watene-Zelezniak|
|3||Charlton Shaafhausen||3||Jed Cartwright|
|4||Josh Minhinnick||4||Tyone Phillips|
|5||Greg Leleusiuao||5||Brian Too|
|6||Dylan Izzard||6||Reed Izzard|
|7||Henry Raiwalui||7||Liam Coleman|
|8||Mitch Butfield||8||Kaide Ellis ©|
|9||Brad Keighran||9||Isaac Thompson|
|10||Tekina Vailea||10||Paea Pua|
|11||Andrew Davey||11||Matheson Johns|
|12||Salesi Faingaa||12||Billy Burns|
|13||Ray Stone||13||Mitch Kenny|
|14||Jacob Esau||14||Nick Lui-Toso|
|15||D’rhys Miller||20||Sam Smtih|
|16||Haimona Hiroti||21||Brent Naden|
|17||Piki Rogers||22||Ratu Tuisese|