Bankwest Stadium may be Parramatta's happy place but they will be confident of maintaining their challenge for a top-four spot against the battling Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday.

The Eels, 2-6 on the road if you exclude their Bankwest 'away' win over Wests Tigers, boast one of the most prolific scoring attacks in the competition while St George Illawarra have given up more points than any other side in 2019.

Parramatta have weapons across the park who feature in NRL-best rankings for tries, points, line breaks, offloads, try assists and line break assists while the Dragons' leading man is workhorse hooker Cameron McInnes, No.1 in the NRL for tackles and dummy-half runs.

The Eels bounced back strongly from their round 18 thumping at the hands of Manly to win a tough one over the Warriors while the Dragons fought hard before slumping to their fourth successive defeat in a last-minute heart-breaker against South Sydney.   

Match: Dragons v Eels

Round 20 -

Full Time
Dragons

Home Team

Dragons

Scored 4 points
Eels

Away Team

Eels

Scored 12 points

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: Paul McGregor has kept his starting 13 intact, while Patrick Kaufusi and Jeremy Latimore are the new faces on the bench. Josh Kerr and Matt Dufty were cut from the reserves on Saturday, while Tristan Sailor and Mikaele Ravalawa were omitted on Sunday.

Eels: Michael Jennings (knee) is back in the centres, pushing Brad Takairangi to the wing and Ethan Parry out of the side. Shaun Lane returns from a finger injury in the back row and Marata Niukore goes to the bench. Oregon Kaufusi is the man to drop out. Josh Hoffman and Andrew Davey were omitted on Saturday. Forward Peni Terepo and back Jaeman Salmon were left off on Sunday.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Corey Norman
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
  • Winger for Dragons is number 21 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Brad Takairangi
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Gareth Widdop
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Kane Evans
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Manu Ma'u
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 James Graham
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Marata Niukore
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Korbin Sims
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Daniel Alvaro
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Patrick Kaufusi
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 David Gower
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Luciano Leilua
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Tepai Moeroa

Key match-up

Fit and back in the No.6 jumper, outgoing St George Illawarra skipper Gareth Widdop will be determined to inspire some wins to finish his Dragons career. For the Eels, rookie Dylan Brown has grown in confidence each week since returning from a back injury and could threaten with his running game.

For the Dragons to win

They must shut down Eels playmakers Mitch Moses and Clint Gutherson. Moses has more try assists than anyone else in the NRL while "King" Gutho is top five for line break assists and punched out a mighty 212 run metres against the Warriors.

For the Eels to win

Parramatta must maintain pressure on a Dragons defence that has made more tackles than any other side in the competition by making their work with the ball as clean as possible. The Eels have more handling errors than all but three other teams.

Brett Kimmorley says

The Dragons are another team that definitely need a win to keep their finals hopes alive.  I think Ben Hunt will respond strongly this week and Cameron McInnes was great last weekend – he did everything he could to win a game of football for his team. Parramatta have been inconsistent. Brad Arthur as some stage will want to see the team play tough and defend like first grade players for more than one week in a row. Eels by 2

Stat Attack

Dragons defenders keen to force kick pressure can lock their sights on Mitchell Moses. The Eels halfback leads the NRL for all kicks (228) and assumes all the responsibility with the boot, rookie pivot Dylan Brown rarely punting the Steeden.

And another thing ...

St George Illawarra carry a three-win streak against the Eels at Kogarah into this clash including back-to-back 30-0 beltings in 2010 and 2011.