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Match Preview – Raiders vs Eels (Round 6)

I was asked by Normz to post this as he's away this weekend

Match Preview – Raiders vs Eels (Round 6)

Date: Saturday 14th of April

Venue: GIO Stadium

Kick off: 7:35pm

Head Referee:

Assistant Referee:

Head to head: Played 55, Raiders 29, Eels 26

Head to head odds: Raiders ($ 1.55), Eels ($ 2.35)

Broadcast: Live Fox Sports - Coverage from 7:30pm


Last four encounters:


  1. Raiders 22, Eels 16 at ANZ Stadium (2017)
  2. Raiders 30, Eels 18 at GIO Stadium (2017)
  3. Raiders 28, Eels 18 at GIO Stadium (2016)
  4. Eels 36, Raiders 6 at Pirtek Stadium (2016)



Preview: This round six encounter will feature as a battle between the 13th placed Canberra Raiders and the last placed Parramatta Eels whom still remain winless in season 2018. The Eels enter this encounter off the back of tight six point loss to the Penrith Panthers, the Eels looked like claiming their first win of the season last weekend although ill discipline and a lack of execution in attack ultimately gifted the Panthers with the chances they needed to claim victory against the hapless Eels. As for the Canberra Raiders they enter this match up after claiming their first win of the season against the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Raiders never really looked worried by the Bulldogs whom have displayed a mixed bag performances so far this season. A win here is vital for the Eels but could also serve to put the Canberra Raiders season will be back on track, this is sure to be an interesting encounter and I encourage fans of both teams to tune into this one any which way they can.


Value Bet: My value bet for this one is for Parramatta Eels winger Bevan French to claim the first try. French has a remarkable strike rate of scoring first when playing on the wing for the Eels and is at $10 to score the first try via Sportsbet.


Raiders: Jordan Rapana - $8.50

Raiders: Nick Cotric - $11

Eels: Bevan French - $10

Eels: Michael Jennings - $13


Interesting fact: The Parramatta Eels have a very poor record against the Canberra Raiders winning 1 of their past 6 encounters with the club from the nations capital. That win coming in 2016 at Pirtek Stadium.


It will be a big game for: Clint Gutherson. This game shapes as a big one for returning Parramatta Eels fullback Clint Gutherson. Gutherson has been on the sidelines for around nine months now with an ACL injury, one of the most devastating injuries a player can suffer in the game of Rugby League. Gutherson suffered the injury in round twenty of last season against the Wests Tigers, the Eels were able to win that game but for Gutherson it was the end of his season. Gutherson would then be forced to watch his Eels mount a charge towards the 2017 NRL finals series and despite putting in a spirited showing the Eels bowed out to future grand finalists the North Queensland Cowboys in week two of the finals series. In terms of form it must be said that Gutherson would have been the Eels form player up until the point he was injured, anything he touched turned to gold. Through many strong performances where Gutherson had seemingly carried the Eels to victory in 2017, he earned the nickname ‘the King’ amongst his peers, this is a massive wrap considering the last player to be called ‘king’ was Wally Lewis and we all know how good Wally Lewis was. However in saying all of that Gutherson has not played a game of NRL football over the course of these past nine months and Gutherson given all his talent may be a little bit rusty, although just to have Gutherson back on the field could be seen as a bonus for the Eels given the fact they are the only NRL team yet to record a win so far this season. Gutherson’s return could serve as a moral boost for the Eels and even perhaps spark them into action. Gutherson is seen as a leader amongst the Eels playing group and is a prominent voice on the field, many Eels players look to Gutherson for direction and it has been said many times by Eels players, Corey Norman most notably ‘when the game is on the line, Gutherson is someone you want to have the ball, he wants the ball’. Over the past couple of weeks it must be said the Eels have been missing a certain ‘X factor’ in attack, Eels fans will be hoping the return of Gutherson along with Bevan French can create that X factor the Eels so desperately need.


Danger man: This week’s danger man is Canberra Raiders back rower Joseph Tapine. In terms of young and up coming back rowers, Raiders back rower Joseph Tapine maybe amongst the best in the game. Tapine is a big lad, weighing in at 110Kg’s and standing around 188cm tall, usually a player like that maybe cause for concern no matter who your up against but Tapine has more talent than just any old big man. Joseph Tapine as the ability to run excellent lines in attack, this can be extremely dangerous to any opposition, particularly close to the try line, coupled with that Tapine also has the ability to deliver the odd offload now and then and he’s a very stern defender. When it comes to the Raiders first win of the season last week against the Bulldogs it must be said Tapine was one of the Raiders best and helped lay the platform for a very convincing Raiders win. If I were the Eels and or their coaching staff I would most definitely consider Joseph Tapine a danger man.


 Team lists:



Canberra Raiders (13th coming into the round)


  1. Jack Wighton
  2. Nick Cotric
  3. Jarrod Crocker (C)
  4. Joseph Leilua
  5. Jordan Rapana
  6. Blake Austin
  7. Aidan Sezer
  8. Iosia Soliola
  9. Siliva Havili
  10. Junior Paulo
  11. Joseph Tapine
  12. Elliot Whitehead
  13. Luke Bateman


  1. Ata Hingano
  2. Shannon Boyd
  3. Josh Papalii
  4. Dunamis Lui


  1. Liam Knight
  2. Michael Oldfield
  3. Brad Abbey
  4. Jack Murchie


Coach: Ricky Stuart


Late mail: Controversy, Jack Wighton has been allowed to play in this one by Raiders management despite facing a number of assault charges in the courts this week



Parramatta Eels (16th coming into the round)  


  1. Clinton Gutherson
  2. George Jennings
  3. Michael Jennings
  4. Kirisome Auva’a
  5. Bevan French
  6. Corey Norman
  7. Mitchell Moses
  8. Peni Terepo
  9. Kaysa Pritchard
  10. Tim Mannah (C)
  11. Manu Ma’u
  12. Tony Williams
  13. Tepai Moeroa


  1. Beau Scott (C)
  2. Kenny Edwards
  3. Daniel Alvaro
  4. Kane Evans


  1. Will Smith
  2. David Gower
  3. Suaia Matagi
  4. Josh Hoffman


Coach: Brad Arthur


Late mail: No late changes expected for the Eels expect them to line up 1 through 17 come kick off.



Primary key match up:


Junior Paulo vs Peni Terepo: The primary key match up I would like to focus on coming into this encounter shapes as a battle between prop forwards as former Eel now Raiders monster Junior Paulo prepares to square off against Eels hard man Peni Terepo. Despite the Raiders only claiming the one win for the season Junior Paulo has been fairly impressive for the Raiders. Paulo is one monster of a man weighing in well over 120Kgs and often taking more than three or four defenders to bring him down every time he takes a hit up into the opposition defense. And if that wasn’t dangerous enough Paulo also has the ability to throw the odd offload every now and then and with the attacking capabilities the Raiders back line has Paulo proves a danger for any team coming up against the Raiders at any point in time. A big talking point for the Eels so far this season has been the ability of their forward pack to match it with some of the bigger and stronger forward packs in NRL so far this season. The Eels have yet to record a win so far this season and with each of the Eels losses so far this season it must be said the opposition forward pack has gotten the better of them, although in saying that the Eels pack was much more intimidating last weekend against the Panthers. However, despite the Eels showing a better effort last week against the Panthers they will have to show an even better effort to best the Raiders this Saturday night and that won’t be easy considering the Eels will be without Nathan Brown, one of their best performers so far this season. Now moving onto Peni Terepo of the Parramatta Eels and it must be said Terepo’s form this season along with much of the Eels forward pack leaves much to be desired. The Eels had many chances to best the Panthers last weekend and a Peni Terepo loss ball may have squandered a couple of those chances. Terepo has always had troubles with his ball handling throughout his career, whilst it appears to be something Terepo has worked on over the years, Eels fans have noticed that this is part of Terepo’s game and if they are to accept that Terepo will deliver multiple blockbusting runs per game, there’s an equally good chance he will make a few errors by losing control of the ball (which proves devastating for Eels fans). However in saying that if Terepo continues to make basic ball handling errors one could speculate he will be dumped from the Eels top 17 as the Eels are desperate to notch up their first win of the season and basic errors could very well cost them a game at some point. This weekend’s showdown with the Raiders shapes as a big test for Terepo as he and the Eels pack will have to match it with the Raiders if they stand any chance of claiming their first win of the season and trust me that’s easier said than done.


My tip: My tip for this one was a very hard one, believe it or not both my mind and heart say the Eels are going to win this one but in saying that I find myself second guessing myself. Whilst I believe the Eels can and will upset the Raiders this weekend, the Eels poor record in the states capital has me thinking otherwise. The return of Clint Gutherson, Bevan French and Kane Evans may aid the Eels in their search for victory although in saying that Nathan Brown’s serves as a big loss for them. The Raiders defeated the Bulldogs last weekend however squandered plenty of scoring opportunities and their defense seemed fairly weak at times. The Bulldogs had plenty of chances to score against the Raiders although poor attack let them down, whilst the Eels did the same as the Bulldogs last weekend against the Panthers I don’t think the Raiders are as strong as a defensive line up as the Panthers. As a result of that I think the Eels maybe able to score a few more points especially with the return of both Gutherson and French. If the Eels defend like they did last weekend against the Panthers I see them winning this one, although discipline is still key. In conclusion put me down for an Eels victory 20 points to 12.


Man of the match: Tepai Moeroa or Clint Gutherson.


Enjoy the game, GO THE EELS !!!

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  • Popps can you ask the tct hierarchy how long I've been banned for ? It's already been a month and I'm actually missing the place...

  • FMD I got excited when I saw "Normz is not available", but then I realised who u weren't talking about Corey... Ah well better luck next time I suppose!

  • I have to apologise, I was sent a word document which had graphics etc and looked fantastic.

    My skill level didn't enable me to upload as such and it became a cut and paste with no graphics.

    How do you upload a "word doc"?

  • MOM Tepai? Big call. No Brown so I hope the forwards stand up. Auva'a & French will also be challenged by Leilua & Rapana. Good luck boys.

    • I think Cap's selected Tepai because of the injury to Brown. Tep will likely play 80 and will have to do the work Brown does.

      • IMO Tepai will be struggling to play even 60mins if thats BA's plan. He is getting to be a little brittle of late. Brown does a lot of unappreciated work in defence, last week I think he made 40+ tackles. The whole pack will have to lift & Peni will have to hold onto the bloody ball.

    • Super eel your a dope lol ridiculous comments on that plooder tepai.
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