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Two high-flying teams come together on Sunday evening with neither having tasted a loss since the Dragons' defeat to Cronulla back in round one.

Parramatta survived an Easter Monday scare against Wests Tigers to move to 4-0 alongside Penrith at the top of the ladder while the Dragons capitalised on an unfortunate injury toll to the Knights to record their third straight win.

The Eels are 2-0 at their Bankwest Stadium fortress so far this year but the Dragons took the points away last time they were here in round 14 last year. 

Eels v Dragons

The rundown

Team news

Eels: Ryan Matterson has been ruled out of Sunday's match against the Dragons due to ongoing concussion symptoms. Matterson has been sidelined since leaving the field following a head knock in round two.

Isaiah Papali'i comes into the second row and Ray Stone joins the bench.

After returning from a broken jaw via the NSW Cup last week, Bryce Cartwright is set to make his club debut off the interchange with Keegan Hipgrave making way.

Jordan Rankin was cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Hipgrave was the last man cut an hour before game time and Haze Dunster is the 18th man.

The Eels are aiming for a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season.

Dragons: Jack Bird will return at centre from a one-game suspension, with Brayden Wiliame dropping to the bench and Jackson Ford to 18th man.

Poasa Faamausili and Max Feagai dropped off the Dragons' extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. Jordan Pereira was the last man cut an hour before kick-off.

Forwards Trent Merrin (150th club) and Daniel Alvaro (100th NRL) will play milestone games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom Opacic
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata Niukore
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Trent Merrin
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Will Smith
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Bryce Cartwright
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Brayden Wiliame
  • Interchange for Eels is number 18 Ray Stone
    Interchange for Dragons is number 19 Kaide Ellis

Reserves

  • Reserve for Eels is number 19 Haze Dunster
    Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Jackson Ford

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Reed Mahoney v Andrew McCullough: The Eels' No.9 has snuck under the radar as one of the form players of the competition after four rounds. His passing and kicking games have blossomed this year and he has been among his side's three best players every game so far.

Tackle-machine McCullough has been a critical cog for the Red V, providing reliable service to the forwards and proving an astute recruit so far.

Stat Attack

The Dragons got the win last week despite making 16 errors against just seven from their opponents; they can't afford to do that again if they want to topple the co-ladder leaders on their home patch. 

 

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