Coming up against the Parramatta Eels on their home turf is never an easy task, but your Sydney Roosters will be determined to continue their recent form to take down a competition heavyweight and celebrate a player milestone in style.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels
Friday night will be the 149th time the Roosters and Eels come together, with the Red, White and Blue having a 53% winning record with 78 victories and 5 draws against Parramatta.
Easts have also won twelve of the last sixteen matches between the sides going back to 2008, and have been victorious in the last four contests.
The first and only matchup so far at Bankwest Stadium saw the Roosters run away with a 24-10 victory in Round 6 2020, with the Tricolours undefeated at the venue with five wins from five visits.
So far in 2021, the Eels have been one of the leading sides, only tasting defeat on one occasion so far and are coming off three victories where they have kept their opponents to ten points or less while scoring a minimum of 32 points.
The Roosters, however, will be buoyed by the fact they have maintained a similar record, winning four of the last five matches while averaging 33 points and conceding an average of 11 points in those wins.
How They Line Up
Captain James Tedesco returns to the line up after passing the necessary HIA protocols, while Matt Ikuvalu lines up alongside Daniel Tupou and Josh Morris in the backline.
Centre Joseph Manu will play his 100th NRL game - all of which have been for the Sydney Roosters - with the two-time Premiership winner, New Zealand and Māori representative becoming just the 73rd Rooster to reach a century of games for the Club.
Halves Drew Hutchison and Sam Walker will once again partner up for the sixth game in a row, while Isaac Liu, Ben Marschke and Siosiua Taukeiaho pack down in the front row.
Nat Butcher comes into the starting side alongside Angus Crichton in the second row while Victor Radley once again will don the no.13 jersey.
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton GuthersonFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika SivoWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom OpacicCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata NiukoreCentre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake FergusonWinger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan BrownFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Drew Hutchison
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell MosesHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-GillardProp for Roosters is number 8 Isaac Liu
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Roosters is number 9 Ben Marschke
Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior PauloProp for Roosters is number 15 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
Lock for Eels is number 15 Shaun LaneLock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
Interchange for Eels is number 16 Haze DunsterInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Adam Keighran
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Bryce CartwrightInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Interchange for Eels is number 18 Keegan HipgraveInterchange for Roosters is number 24 Tuku Hau Tapuha
Reserve for Eels is number 20 Wiremu GreigReserve for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Adam Keighran, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Fletcher Baker and Daniel Suluka-Fifita round off the side on the interchange bench, while Sam Verrills is unavailable for selection after being diagnosed with a semi-detached retina.
Named on the Roosters' extended bench are Egan Butcher, Naufahu Whyte, Lachlan Lam and Joseph Suaalii.
The Parramatta Eels boast the same lineup that defeated the Bulldogs in Round 8, headed by captain Clint Gutherson at fullback, alongside the likes of Mitchell Moses, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Junior Paulo and former Rooster Ryan Matterson who all present a danger to the Roosters.
Key Matchup: Isaac Liu vs Junior Paulo
One of the most unheralded players in the competition comes up against his more fancied opponent on Friday night as Isaac Liu and Junior Paulo go toe-to-toe in the front row.
Featuring in the starting side all season, Liu has been a cornerstone for a forward pack that has been chopped and changed due to unfortunate circumstances, averaging 51 minutes per game with 10 hit-ups and 112 running metres each time he pulls on the Red, White and Blue.
State of Origin representative Paulo has been a highly-touted prop for the past handful of seasons and in 2021 averages 53 minutes, 11 hit-ups and 122 running metres.
However, the biggest difference might come in the pair's defensive prowess, with Liu owning the defensive responsibilities with an impressive 93% tackle efficiency, while Paulo trails slightly at 89% efficiency, and there's no doubt that these two heavyweights will help dictate the outcome of the match.
What They Said
"We’ve got guys throughout our whole squad who might not be as hyped up or decorated but they’re quality football players and they’re more than willing and more than able to do a job." - Angus Crichton
"To be able to share this milestone with him is such a great accomplishment, that's something I’m proud of and I’m sure he’s excited too." - Nat Butcher on playing in Joseph Manu's 100th NRL match.
The Roosters once again head into a match as underdogs, but you can bet that within camp the confidence is brewing, as an opportunity to knock off second place will be on the forefront of every player donning the Red, White and Blue on Friday night.
Make sure you grab your tickets here, and if you can't make the game be sure to head down to Artie's to watch the boys in Red, White and Blue do battle in what will be another thriller!