7:30 PM (AEST) Saturday, May 20 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Round 11 of the NRL will see two sides who will be feeling ashamed of their efforts last week when Parramatta take on Canberra on Saturday night.
Parramatta: Bevan French; Semi Radradra, Michael Jennings, Kirisome Auva’a, Josh Hoffman; Clinton Gutherson, Mitchell Moses; Suaia Matagi, Kaysa Pritchard, Tim Mannah, Manu Ma’u, Tepai Moeroa, Nathan Brown. Beau Scott, Daniel Alvaro, Ken Edwards, Siosaia Vave.
Canberra: Jack Wighton; Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Joseph Leilua, Jordan Rapana; Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer; Junior Paulo, Josh Hodgson, Shannon Boyd, Josh Papalii, Elliott Whitehead, Joseph Tapine. Adam Clydsdale, Luke Bateman, Clay Priest, Iosia Soliola.
54 games have been played between these two sides with honours fairly evenly shared, with Canberra winning 28 games to the Eels 26 victories. Canberra has won the last two games and 8 of the last 10 clashes against the Eels. They last met in Round 5 this year where the Raiders won 30-18.
Parramatta started the year in brilliant form. They beat Manly 20-12 in the opening Round before handing the Dragons a 34-16 loss the following week. Then it all fell apart. A 26-14 loss to an injury riddled Titans was compounded by a 20-6 loss to the defending premiers Cronulla. In Round 5 the Raiders put the Eels away in the second half to win 30-18 before their losing streak extended to 4 when they lost 22-10 against the Warriors, who also ran away with the game in the second half. In Round 7 they managed to reel in the Tigers to win 26-22 before beating the Panthers 18-12. They then beat a Thurston-less Cowboys 26-6 before they were demolished by the Roosters last week 48-10.
Canberra opened their season with a tough game against the Cowboys in Townsville and went down in Golden Point thanks to a freakish try. They were then belted by the defending premiers Cronulla in Round 2 and took out their frustration on the Wests Tigers in Round 3, smashing them 46-6. They had a tight 1 point loss to Brisbane before winning their next three straight games emphatically. They beat the Eels 30-18, the Titans 42-16 and then the Warriors 20-8. They then lost three games straight against Manly in golden point; by 6 points to the Bulldogs and then by 34-20 last week to the Knights in a game where Canberra were expected to not just win, but rack up a big score.
Mentally – Canberra were tipped to be a genuine premiership chance this year but have lacked the mental application. After getting beaten by a Knights side who had won just twice in their last 33 games. Parramatta were expected to have a close match with the Roosters but instead were flogged 48-10.
Canberra are full strength and taking on an Eels side without their chief playmaker Corey Norman. While new acquisition Mitch Moses will slot into the halves, he’s got a woeful record against Canberra, winning just 1 from 7 games.