The Warriors posted their fourth win from their past five matches with a come-from-behind victory over Penrith in round 16.
The only loss the Warriors have suffered during this period has been at the hands of South Sydney in a match where the Warriors had to travel to Perth.
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The Warriors now sit inside of the top eight and head into the back end of the season with confidence and a full head of steam.
The big outside backs for the Warriors have been causing plenty of damage and posting plenty of tries with the Warriors averaging an impressive 27.75 points in their past four victories.
Yet to taste defeat in three games this season at Mt Smart Stadium, the Warriors, who are coming off a bye last week, head into this game with the only change to their most recent line-up being Suaia Matagi for injured prop Sam Rapira.
After a disappointing loss to the Storm in Melbourne back in round 15, the Eels were expected to bounce back against the Newcastle at Pirtek Stadium in round 16, a venue where they had remained unbeaten in six matches this season.
Unfortunately the Eels were again their worst own enemy, with poor discipline and execution costing them their perfect home ground record in a 16 – 10 loss.
That loss and some unexpected results last week – when Parramatta had the bye – has cost the Eels outright fourth spot on the ladder and they now are in ninth spot – tied with six other teams on 20 competition points.
Their recent form will see them quickly drop out of this group and struggle to keep in touch.
Heading to New Zealand will be a tough task, especially with star Fullback Jarryd Hayne not being named in the side to back up from Origin Game III in Queensland. The Eels struggle without their attacking weapon.
Chris Sandow, who did have a good game when filling in for Hayne against the Bulldogs recently, has been named to take his spot with Luke Kelly to start at halfback.
Forwards Tim Mannah and Kenny Edwards are out with Fuifui Moimoi and Ken Sio added to the bench.
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HEAD TO HEAD
The Warriors were defeated 36 – 16 by the Eels in the opening round this year but the Warriors, who now have a new coach since that game, are in a better place and much stronger form.
The Eels have lost each of their past three visits to Mt. Smart Stadium – twice by margins of 13+, and with the changes to their line-up this week significant, a similar result could be on the cards here.
WARRIORS: Sam Tomkins, David Fusitua, Konrad Hurrell, Dane Nielsen, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Nathan Friend, Suaia Matagi, Jayson Bukuya, Simon Mannering, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange: Feleti Mateo, Ben Matulino, Ben Henry, Charlie Gubb, Raymond Faitala-Mariner.
EELS: Chris Sandow, Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan, Willie Tonga (c), Vai Toutai, Corey Norman, Luke Kelly, Darcy Lussick, Isaac De Gois, Junior Paulo, David Gower, Pauli Pauli, Joseph Paulo. Interchange: Fuifui Moimoi, Mitch Allgood, Peni Terepo, Ken Sio.