In another top grade game of the NRL on Sunday, the New Zealand Warriors will host the Parramatta Eels at Mt Smart Stadium.
Last week the Warriors secured their second successive win after they were lucky enough to play an ‘away’ game at Christchurch, holding on to defeat a strong Roosters side 20 – 18. The win pushed New Zealand up to ninth spot on the ladder, now just one position out of the top eight.
Meanwhile, the Eels have dropped down to number 10 on the ladder after they lost back-to-back games, most recently going down 10 – 6 against the Broncos.
Playing away from home on the back of consecutive losses, and without big name players Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah thanks to Origin, the Eels will go into this match as the underdogs currently paying $2.35 for a win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
New Zealand, therefore, are the favourites and Ladbrokes.com.au has them at $1.60 at the moment. They have a strong outfit unaffected by Origin, but have lost their hat-trick hero Kevin Locke to a hip injury. However, after an enthused effort by the likes of Manu Vatuvei and James Maloney last week the Warriors look well positioned to make it three wins in a row.
But if the Eels look at Hayne’s absence as a positive instead of a negative and as a chance to try out some new tactics instead of relying on the fullback to create magic, then Parramatta could sneak in here. They have a strong forward pack, so it will be interesting to see whether they strip it back and play from the heart.
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Warriors $1.60 – Eels $2.35 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 17 Warriors Team:
1. Lance Hohaia 2. Bill Tupou 3. Joel Moon 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. James Maloney 7. Isaac John 8. Jeremy Latimore 9. Aaron Heremaia 10. Russell Packer 11. Simon Mannering 12. Lewis Brown 13. Micheal Luck
Bench: 14. Ian Henderson 15. Ben Matulino 16. Jesse Royal 17. Sione Lousi
Reserve: 18. Ukuma Ta’ai
Round 17 Eels Team:
1. Tom Humble 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 4. Jonathon Wright 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Jeff Robson 7. Daniel Mortimer 8. Nathan Cayless (c) 9. Matthew Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Nathan Hindmarsh (c) 12. Brendan Oake 13. Feleti Mateo
Bench: 14. Kris Keating 15. Patrick O’Hanlon 16. Justin Horo 17. Pele Peletelese
Reserves: 19. Mitchell Allgood 20. Manase Manuokafoa