How to bet on Rugby League09 Jul 2021 Read more
Parramatta Eels vs Newcastle Knights Tips - Eels to cover handicap
- Elimination Final 2 is set at Browne Park in Rockhampton on Sunday
- Both teams ended the regular season with losses
- The Eels demolished the Knights 40-4 in Round 13
Newcastle Knights captain Jayden Brailey and Parramatta Eels captain Clint Gutherson pose for photos during the 2021 NRL Finals series launch at Suncorp Stadium (Dan Peled/Getty Images)
The Parramatta Eels reserve grade team won’t take anything out of their 40-6 loss to the Panthers heading into Week 1 of the finals.
The Newcastle Knights should consider doing the same following their concerning 35-22 loss to the Broncos.
Brad Arthur has rung in the changes, although, some are surprising. Isaiah Papali’i is on the bench, Ryan Matterson is in the reserves and Joey Lussick isn’t in the side at all. Daniel Saifiti is a big in for the Knights this week who welcome back their rested players for this one.
It remains to be seen whether or not Parramatta resting players in Round 25 was the right decision. Most of this group featured in their impressive win over the Storm in Round 24, but there is no certainty that the form from that match translates into this one two weeks later.
The rest will help, but could cohesion and confidence be better? Playing one of the worst 7th-placed teams in NRL history is a good launching pad for the Eels to work their way into finals football. Ranked 15th in attack, the Knights have the worst attacking record of any finals team in NRL history. They join just two others as the only teams to be below-average in both points scored and points conceded across the season. A lot of the bad numbers came while playing without Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, or both.
However, their attack has failed to fire even with the pair back in the side and it’s difficult to see them keep up with a side that has been relatively consistent with the ball for most of the season. Newcastle does profile well to challenge Parramatta in the middle
Brad Arthur’s side showed themselves what it takes to win big games a fortnight ago, though. Expect Arthur to instruct his side towards the middle and to play most of their early footy between the scrum lines.
06 December 2021