Match Preview | Round 23

After an impressive opening half of football at Newcastle, the Roosters are back at home this week for another danger game against the Parramatta Eels.

The dangerous nature of this clash stems from what transpired in the second half against the Knights last week. The Roosters were red hot, pouring on five tries to nil and flexing their muscles as heavyweight contenders in the competition.

With half an hour remaining in the match though, the Knights squeezed in four tries to make it close, until Maloney put it to bed with a try near the death.

Last year the Knights and the Eels both caught the Roosters off guard in two upsets, this time around has been a completely different story, as the Roosters prepare to not only shut down a determined Eels outfit, but to take their winning streak to nine games in a row.

LINE-UPS:

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck | Reece Robinson

2. Daniel Tupou Semi Radradra

3. Michael Jennings | Ryan Morgan

4. Blake Ferguson | Brad Takairangi

5. Brendan Elliot | Bureta Faraimo

6. James Maloney | Corey Norman

7. Mitchell Pearce | Luke Kelly

8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves | Junior Paulo

9. Jake Friend | Nathan Peats

10. Dylan Napa | Tim Mannah

11. Boyd Cordner | Manu Ma’u

12. Aidan Guerra | Tepai Moeroa

13. Sio Siua Taukeiaho | David Gower

INTERCHANGE

14. Jackson Hastings | Pauli Pauli

15. Isaac Liu | Darcy Lussick

16. Kane Evans | Peni Terepo

17. Mitchell Aubusson | Isaac De Gois

KEY MATCH-UPS:

2-on-2: The scariest opposition for any winger in the competition this year has been Semi Radradra. This week the challenge is for Daniel Tupou to take on, as two of the deadlier left edges of the competition go head-to-head in a battle of speed, strength and leaping ability. Tupou will definitely have his hands full, and will need to be at his defensive best to stop the leading try scorer in the competition from getting through.

Friend v Peats: As for the dummy-half position, this year there has been plenty of growth for these two players. With Jake Friend being named a Captain alongside Mitchell Pearce, Friend has definitely stepped up to a new level, in particular with his kicking game.

Nathan Peats on the other hand is a natural competitor. After playing second fiddle to Isaac Luke at the Rabbitohs to start his career, he grabbed an opportunity at the Eels with both hands and has been one of the form hookers ever since.

Both players boast defensive ability, as well as being more than capable to make plays for their sides. While Peats sits in a struggling team, don’t ever write this guy off when it comes to effort and natural ability.

LAST FIVE

2014. Eels DEF Roosters 14-12 at Pirtek Stadium

2014. Roosters DEF Eels 56-4 at Allianz Stadium

2013. Roosters DEF Eels 38-24 at Pirtek Stadium

2013. Roosters DEF Eels 50-0 at Allianz Stadium

2012. Eels DEF Roosters 36-22 at Pirtek Stadium

HEAD TO HEAD

Played - 127 | Roosters - 61 | Eels - 61 | Drawn - 5

At Allianz Stadium | Roosters - 9 | Eels - 9 | Drawn – 2

VERDICT

In the last two games combined against the Eels at Allianz Stadium, the Roosters hold a 106-4 lead over them. Though this is an interesting and exciting prospect for Roosters supporters and staff alike, it means nothing.
In a competition where anybody can beat you, no record is safe, no team is unbeatable and if you take anyone lightly, be prepared to get punished.

This will be a tough match for the Roosters, and should be treated as nothing less.