Preview: Round 16 v Parramatta Eels

By Nathan Beuman

The St George Illawarra Dragons will look to reignite their campaign when they face the Parramatta Eels at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta on Saturday (7.30pm).

Despite having lost their previous two outings, the Dragons stellar defensive record this season sees them still holding onto third place on the competition table.

The Red-and-Whites are still the defensive benchmark of the competition, allowing a shade over 13 points per game, just in front of the Sydney Roosters.

The Eels have been playing well of late, winning two of their last three, including an upset 26-22 win over the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in their last start just under a fortnight ago.

The Dragons will need to be aware of try scoring freak, Semi Radradra, with the winger scoring 11 tries in just eight appearances for Parramatta this season.

Team News

Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has named an unchanged line-up to the side that lost 19-14 to the Roosters last round.

On the other hand, Eels Head Coach, Brad Arthur, has had to make a slew of changes because of injury, with Corey Norman set to move to fullback to replace the injured Reece Robinson, meaning Luke Kelly gets a start in the no. 6 jersey.

The Eels welcome back Will Hopoate into the starting side, forcing Ryan Morgan onto the wing, and John Folau back to NSW Cup.

Finally, 26-year-old Cody Nelson is set to make his debut for Parramatta at hooker, while Danny Wicks will lock the scrum for the injured Anthony Watmough.

History

The Dragons will be hoping for a better showing than their last appearance at Pirtek Stadium, when they went down 36-0 to the Eels back round 10 last year.

The venue itself has not been a pleasant venue to play at for the Dragons, with the team winning only three of their 12 appearances in recent seasons, their last being 2010, the year the Dragons won the competition.