Week 24 of the NRL season continues on Friday evening, as the Paramatta Eels host the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Pirtek Stadium. The Eels come in to this game having won three of their last four, but they’ll be dissapointed to have let standards slip in a 16-18 loss to the Bulldogs.
Despite the dissapointing nature of the loss, it was actually quite controversial. The Eels had perhaps done enough to get a result, so they’ll be hopeful of bouncing back in Week 24, even against the table toppers.
The Sea Eagles, who still sit at the top of the NRL Ladder, have won five of their last six games coming in to Friday’s matchup. They’re obvious favourites to take maximum points at a price of 1.59 with Unibet.
The ever unlikely draw is priced at 23.00 with Sportingbet, and the hosts are narrow outsiders at a price of 2.62 with Bet365.
The big team news for the Eels is that prop Junior Paulo returns from suspension. He’ll be joined in the squad by Peni Terepo, but he probably won’t be fit to play a very big part in the game and he’s expected to start on the bench.
Whilst the Sea Eagles have been at the top for most of the seaosn, the Rabbitohs and Penrith sit just two points behind, so it’s important that standards don’t slip in the final weeks.
The Eels chances of a successful are a lot slimmer than the Sea Eagles, but it’s not impossible. Their form is on the up and if they can maintain this run and finish the season with some wins, they momentum may provide them with the opportunity to surprise a few teams in the finals series.
The sides have already met once this season, when the Sea Eagles won 22-18 in Week 3. That victory was seen as slightly controversial, but it extended the visitors winning streak over the Eels to four games.
The nature of the victory only further added to the rivalrly that already exists between these clubs, further fueled by the fact that this table topping Sea Eagles side contains seven ex Eels players, so we should be in for a fiery affair on Friday evening.
Despite the one sided results in recent meetings, the Eels have definitely found a bit of form as we’ve mentioned, so I imagine they’ll make it tough going on their opponents.
Despite the feeling that the table toppers wll breeze past a ninth placed side, we all know NRL is not that simple. The ladder doesn’t lie, but the Eels have the ability to pull out a results here.
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