NRL Team List
Mitchell Moses spearheads a hugely welcome returning triumvirate in Round 11 that also features Ryan Matterson and Blake Ferguson as the Parrmatta Eels look to bounce back from an ugly loss against the Manly Sea Eagles. The trio’s selection for Thursday nights derby not only restores the right-edge to its proper glory, it signals the first time since Round 7 that Brad Arthur has been able to name a full-strength starting roster. The caveat here is that one would have to imagine that both Maika Sivo and Nathan Brown are racing the clock on the short turnaround to overcome painful short-term knocks to their knee and hip respectively.
Still, that starting team is a sight for sore eyes and the return of Moses can not be overstated. His presence will free up Reed Mahoney and Dylan Brown, allowing the two young aces to put their full focus into their responsibilities rather than commandeering the team around the park. I for one, am looking forward to Parramatta getting back to basics with a game plan predicated on strong set finishes and an astute kicking game that will hopefully nullify the influence of the Tigers’ back three.
Andrew Davey earns a spot on the bench following a positive debut but it comes at the expense of the old warhorse David Gower with ‘BA’ favouring the fresher legs of Davey and Stefano Utoikamanu over the veteran. Jai Field is the other major loser this week as he drops back to the extended bench – a move that had to be expected. Still, he showed enough in his handful of games to suggest that the coaching staff will give him every shot to carve out a place in the team.
On another note, It will be curious to see how the Eels plan to handle any spiteful moments that the game could throw up. Several anonymous Wests-Tigers insiders have stoked the fires of revenge in the lead-up to this game by providing Sydney Morning Herald journalist Christian Nicolussi supposed quotes from Ryan Matterson surrounding his departure. Matterson, as he has since departing the joint-venture, has refused to comment on the matter (both a right he is very much entitled to have and a professional courtesy to everyone involved) while Benji Marshall tried to defuse the tension this week but the Tigers have been involved in a number of heated fixtures of late so a certain level of caution should be applied.
I have written about this already in the wake of the Round 10 loss but the Eels can not afford a second loss on the trot here. The Wests Tigers will be amped up coming into this fixture on the back of their demolition job on the Brisbane Broncos but Parramatta have to take care of business and put a dismal first half performance against Manly to rest. Harry Grant will be a priority target for our defence after getting gashed by Daly Cherry-Evans and Dany Levi last week while the entire team will need to put the clamps on the work of David Nofoaluma when he attempts to garner momentum early in a Wests’ possession.
Whether the emphasis is on getting back to basics after two scratchy offensive performance recently or whether the team choose to back their more advanced structures with the return of Moses – the message is simple this week…take care of business.
|Parramatta Eels||Wests Tigers|
|1||Clinton Gutherson||1||Adam Doueihi|
|2||Maika Sivo||2||David Nofoaluma|
|3||Michael Jennings||3||Chris Lawrence|
|4||Waqa Blake||4||Moses Mbye|
|5||Blake Ferguson||5||Tommy Talau|
|6||Dylan Brown||6||Billy Walters|
|7||Mitchell Moses||7||Benji Marshall|
|8||Reagan Campbell-Gillard||8||Josh Aloiai|
|9||Reed Mahoney||9||Harry Grant|
|10||Junior Paulo||10||Russel Packer|
|11||Shaun Lane||11||Michael Chee-Kam|
|12||Ryan Matterson||12||Luciano Leilua|
|13||Nathan Brown||13||Matthew Eisenhuth|
|14||Andrew Davey||14||Sam McIntyre|
|15||Marata Niukore||15||Thomas Mikaele|
|16||Stefano Utoikamanu||16||Luke Brooks|
|17||Brad Takairangi||17||Chris McQueen|
|18||David Gower||18||Oliver Clark|
|19||George Jennings||19||Elijah Taylor|
|20||Daniel Alvaro||20||Shawn Blore|
|21||Jai Field||21||Alex Seyfarth|