Friday night’s NRL fixture at Bankwest Stadium will have a big say in who faces who in the first week of finals.
The Parramatta Eels can finish no lower than sixth and no higher than fifth, while the Manly Sea Eagles can sneak into the top four if South Sydney cop a heavy defeat on Thursday.
The most likely scenario, however, is that things will stay more or less as they are, with the Eels and the Sea Eagles both hosting elimination finals.
Parra need to find some form after losing two in a row, the last of which was a somewhat controversial golden-point defeat to the Brisbane Broncos.
Manly were humped by the Melbourne Storm at Lottoland, but coach Des Hasler’s is more concerned with filling out his team sheet after an untimely wave of injuries.
Parramatta Eels Round 25 team news
Parra coach Brad Arthur has dumped David Gower and Peni Terepo to make room for Tepai Moeroa and Ray Stone on the interchange. Marata Niukore starts at lock, with Daniel Alvaro demoted to the bench.
Out: David Gower, Peni Terepo
In: Tepai Moeroa, Ray Stone
Manly Sea Eagles Round 25 team news
Tom Trbojevic will miss finals with a busted pectoral, which sees Brendan Elliot recalled at fullback. Morgan Boyle (arm) and Jack Gosiewski (knee) are also injured, so Corey Waddell starts in the back row and Lloyd Perrett joins debutante Sean Keppie on the bench.
Out: Morgan Boyle, Jack Gosiewski, Tom Trbojevic
In: Brendan Elliot, Sean Keppie, Lloyd Perrett
Eels vs Sea Eagles tryscorer odds
Maika Sivo – Parra’s Fijian flyer has found the line 17 times this season, so Bet365’s $9.50 quote in first tryscorer betting looks like very decent value.
Reuben Garrick – With ‘Tommy Turbo’ out, Garrick is the chief scoring threat in Manly’s back half. The $2 for anytime tryscorer at Sportsbet is the way to go.
Eels vs Sea Eagles NRL stats
- Parra rank second in the NRL for handling errors (243) and third for missed tackles (789)
- Eels halfback Mitchell Moses is tops in try assists (24) and kick metres (8,795)
- Manly have won only four of 11 games without Tom Trbojevic this year
- The Sea Eagles beat the Eels 36-24 when they met earlier in the season
Eels vs Sea Eagles betting predictions
Maika Sivo anytime tryscorer/Parramatta Eels win – $2.10 at Sportsbet
While the Eels have plenty of upside with Waqa Blake settling in and Blake Ferguson back in action, the Sea Eagles are reeling from yet another injury to their star fullback. Manly are 10-2 with Tommy and 4-7 without him, so Brendan Elliot has big shoes to fill this week and beyond.
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