Eels v Dragons; Brown returns; Bird to centre, Molo to lock

Parramatta have slipped from seventh to 11th after back-to-back losses on the road and must get back to the winner's circle at home in Round 23 if they're to keep their finals hopes alive.

With only three games against the Broncos, Roosters and Panthers to come before a bye in Round 27, it's crucial Brad Arthur's men take care of business against the 16th placed Dragons at CommBank Stadium on Sunday. 

After conceding 70 points in the past fortnight, the Eels will need to contain the likes of Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan and centre Zac Lomax who produced some moments of brilliance in their narrow loss to Manly on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, the Dragons have shown some positive signs in recent weeks, overcoming Wests Tigers in Round 21 and taking the Sea Eagles to the wire at home, but it doesn't get any tougher than facing sides fighting for their finals fate.

Dropping back to 16th place after their hard-fought loss to Manly, Ryan Carr's side must dig deep in their remaining five games if they are to avoid the joint venture's first-ever wooden spoon, with 15th their worst finish to date in 2019.

Team News
Eels: A late change on game day sees Arthur Miller-Stephen come onto the wing for his NRL debut in place of Isaac Lumelume. Dylan Brown returns for his first game since Round 13 after serving a seven-match suspension (NRL Breach). Brown will step back into five-eighth in place of Daejarn Asi. In the pack Joe Ofahengaue, Ryan Matterson and Joey Lussick are all named to start with Andrew Davey going to the bench and Brendan Hands to 18th Man. Wiremu Greig and Makahesi Makatoa have been called onto the bench. 

Dragons: Several late changes on game day with Jack Bird replacing Max Feagai at centre while Michael Molo has been shifted from the bench to lock and Ben Murdoch-Masila has been called into the side. Ryan Couchman was added to the bench on Saturday at the expense of his brother Toby, who dropped out of the reserves on game day. Max Feagai is 18th man.

Stat Attack

  • The Eels have won 10 of their last 13 matches between the two sides.
  • Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan is ranked third in the competition for support plays (118). Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards is leading this category with 175.
  • The Eels have won six of their past seven games at CommBank Stadium.
  • The Dragons have lost all nine away games this season.
  • Eels fullback Clint Gutherson has scored eight tries in his past nine games against the Dragons.
  • Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan has score a try in each of his past four games.
  • The Eels have conceded 140 points in their past four games.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.


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