For the second time in their past three matches, the Eels defence – or lack there of it – conceded more then forty points when crushed by an in-form Warriors last week, 48 – 0.
It was the Eels third loss in a row and combined, those matches have seen Parramatta defeated 110 – 30.
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The Eels refused to blame the poor result on the absence of Origin star Jarryd Hayne and rightly so, as he wouldn’t have been able to hold off the waves of Warriors’ attack.
Thankfully for the Eels, they return to Pirtek Stadium for this match were they’ve only tasted defeat once in seven matches this year.
A win here would see the Eels hold their position amongst several times hovering around eighth position and give them good momentum heading into next month where in three consecutive weeks they face the Titans, Sharks and Raiders – all teams sitting below them on the table.
After a several poor showings this month, it’s looming as D-day for the Eels here and with a stronger line up that includes Hayne at fullback, Sandown at halfback and Kenny Edwards returning to the forward pack, they’ll have no excuses for not producing a strong showing.
The effort form the Rabbitohs in round 17, when defeated by a struggling and undermanned Gold Coast Titans outfit 14 – 10, is still hard to fathom.
It was the second loss in a row for the Rabbitohs after being beaten by the Cowboys in Townsville 20 – 18 and last week’s bye should serve as the perfect opportunity for the Rabbitohs to put those efforts behind them and start again.
They’re a much better team than what we’ve seen of them recently and the return of Greg Inglis to fullback and John Sutton to the halves, sees the Rabbitohs name a strong side.
Putting the last two matches aside, the Rabbitohs were rolling along nicely and had registered an average of 28.25 points per game in the month prior.
With the full-line up, an impeccable record over the Eels and the bye to get over the unexpected Titans loss, the Rabbitohs should bounce back here.
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HEAD TO HEAD
The last time the Eels defeated the Rabbitohs was back in 2010 – seven games ago now.
Since then, the Rabbitohs have averaged a staggering 34 points per game and won the last five encounters all by 13+, with the average winning margin coming in at a whopping 26.8 points.
The Eels are obviously a better team in 2014 that at any point in those games but have been struggling of late whilst the Rabbitohs will be keen to re-affirm themselves as genuine premiership contenders with a strong display here.
EELS: Jarryd Hayne, Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan, Willie Tonga, Vai Toutai, Corey Norman, Chris Sandow, Junior Paulo, Isaac De Gois, Fuifui Moimoi, Ken Edwards, Tepai Moeroa, David Gower. Interchange: Joseph Paulo, Peni Terepo, Pauli Pauli, Mitchell Allgood, Ben Smith.
RABBITOHS : Greg Inglis, Alex Johnston, Dylan Walker, Kirisome Auva’a, Lote Tuqiri, John Sutton (c), Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Kyle Turner, Sam Burgess, Ben Lowe. Interchange: Luke Keary, Joe Picker, Jason Clark, Thomas Burgess, Joel Reddy, Luke Burgess, Apisai Koroisau.