NRL Round 11 – Match 2 Preview: Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks

Saturday night’s match at Parramatta Stadium sees the resurgent Eels host the lacklustre Sharks.

Parramatta have made a brilliant comeback over the last month, finally beginning to show some of that great form that took them to the Grand Final last year. Now with four straight wins behind them, the Eels will be keen to exact revenge on Cronulla after the Sharks kept them scoreless in their 11 – 0 round four loss.

That game was one of only two victories the Sharks have managed this year, as they struggle to play at the same level as the other teams in the competition.

Unsurprisingly, the Eels are the hot favourites for this one currently paying $1.30 through Ladbrokes.com.au while Cronulla sit at $3.50.

It is hard to see the Sharks come away with a second season win ahead of Parramatta, the Eels far too improved to suffer another embarrassment.

Parramatta boosted themselves into sixth spot on the ladder last week with a strong win ahead of the Sea Eagles at Brookvale, proving they have the confidence and courage to make the finals this year.

The big plus for Cronulla, however, is that Paul Gallen missed out on an Origin jersey this year and so the Sharks seemingly have one up on some of the teams now, securing their star player who will be full of fury and hopefully a try or two.

The Eels on the other hand will be without big name players Jarryd Hayne and Timana Tahu both away for Origin duties. Hayne was instrumental in their win last week, and young rookie Tom Humble has some big boots to fill as he plays fullback for the Eels in place of Hayne.

Humble has had just one first-grade game, debuting last Monday night with the Eels, and is sure to receive plenty of support from his teammates; Parramatta still boasting plenty of talent including  halfback Daniel Mortimer, Feleti Mateo and five-eighth Kris Keating back from injury.

This is an important win for the Eels if they manage it, which they should, as they have a chance to rise into the top four.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Eels $1.30 – Sharks $3.50 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 11 Eels Team:

1. Tom Humble 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 4. Krisnan Inu 5. Eric Grothe 6. Kris Keating 7. Daniel Mortimer 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Jeff Robson 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh (c) 12. Ben Smith 13. Feleti Mateo

Bench: 14. Matt Keating 15. Tim Mannah 16. Justin Horo 17. Justin Poore

Reserve: 19. Jonathan Wright

Round 11 Sharks Team:

1. Nathan Gardner 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Dean Collis 4. Taulima Tautai 5. Isaac Gordon 6. Trent Barrett (c) 7. Tim Smith 8. Kade Snowden 9. John Morris 10. Luke Douglas 11. Grant Millington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen

Bench: 14. Adam Cuthbertson 15. Broderick Wright 16. Paul Aiton 17. Siosaia Vave