The clash between the Parramatta Eels and St George has the potential to be more exciting than fans might expect.
The Eels are looking to go 5-0 with a win on Sunday evening but the Dragons will be trying to maintain the momentum off of last week’s victory against the Newcastle Knights.
A win for the St George will be important for both Trent Merrin (150th club) and Daniel Alvaro (100th NRL) who will look to make the most of their milestone match.
Meanwhile Bryce Cartwright will make his club debut for Parramatta from the interchange.
Mitchell Moses’ (two try assists, 10 goals) kicking accuracy for conversions kept the Tigers in the game for a large portion of the Eels’ match last week, only scoring four from seven of the conversion opportunities and keeping his conversion rate at 66 percent.
Isaiah Papali’i’s (one try, 137 tackles) superb performance last week has earned him a place starting in the second row this week. With 165 running metres and four tackle breaks to his name, the Eels will be hoping he can replicate the strong attacking performance on Sunday night.
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Tariq Sims (two tries, 127 tackles) will be looking to have another big game after his two tries against the Knights, but he’ll be coming up against a stronger defence this week and he might have trouble getting four tackles and one line break against the Eels.
Andrew McCullough’s (219 tackles, 97 percent efficiency) effort defensively can not be understated but the hooker will be chomping at the bit to improve in attack to maintain his place in the side.
With Papali’i starting in the second row on Sunday, Ray Stone has been moved to the bench. Bryce Cartwright’s club debut means that Keegan Hipgrave will have to make way for the 26-year-old’s debut.
Following a one-game suspension, Jack Bird will return to the centre, with Brayden Wiliame returning to the bench and Jackson Ford dropping to the 18th man.
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