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BULLDOGS vs. EELS PREVIEW & GAME INFO327 weeks ago
 
<3 BULLDOGS:

Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Daryl Millard, Willie Tonga, Trent Cutler, Daniel Holdsworth, Ben Roberts, Mark O'Meley, Corey Hughes, Willie Mason, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan (c), Reni Maitua.
Interchange: Dallas McIlwain, Chris Armit, Kane Cleal, Lee Te Maari

Parramatta:

Luke Burt, Jarryd Hayne, Ben Smith, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, Brett Finch, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (c), PJ Marsh, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ian Hindmarsh, Daniel Wagon.
Interchange: Blake Green, Josh Cordoba, Aaron Cannings, Feleti Mateo

Eels v Bulldogs
Parramatta Stadium
Sunday 22nd April
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Gates Open: 12:45pm
Premier League: 1.00pm

MATCH PREVIEW
Source: Big League

Two sides affected by Friday night's Test, with Nathan Cayless and Ian Hindmarsh (Eels) and Willie Mason, Andrew Ryan, Ben Roberts and Sonny Bill Williams (Dogs) set to back up within 48 hours.

Each side is rebounding after two-game losing starts to the season. The Dogs' effort against table-topping Manly last week lacked force, while the Eels dominated the Panthers.

The Dogs' Mark O'Meley, seething at his omission from the Test squad, will be hell-bent on a blinder. His combination up the centre, assisted by Mason who's averaging 18 hit-ups and tops the NRL offloads list with 16, will be vital. Also, look for fullback Luke Patten (78 runs for an average 137 metres per game) to excel.

Eels captain Nathan Cayless, Ian Hindmarsh and brother Nathan are firing ? the latter played a gutsy 80 minutes last week for 15 hit-ups, 110 metres and a mammoth 38 tackles.

Watch out Eels!: When there's blood in the water, the Dogs are merciless ? they scored twice within a five-minute period on two occasions against the Rabbitohs in round 3 and twice within six minutes last week.

Watch out Dogs!: You may have the game's best kicker Hasem el Masri (20/21 for 95%) but Parra's Luke Burt is "barking" at your heels with 19/21 (90%).

Where it will be won: The Dogs have led at halftime on four of five occasions this year, with the Eels ahead three times. From there it's a matter of discipline ? something neither side has displayed to date.

The history: Played 118, Bulldogs 64, Eels 48, drawn 5. The Dogs have won seven of the past nine; the Eels' only win since 2001 was a crushing 56-4 defeat in round 23, 2005 ? the Dogs' heaviest loss in 70 years and the last time they met at Parramatta Stadium.

Conclusion: The Dogs' 72% completion rate is a worry ? it's way down on their 2006 average of 85%, although they matched that tally over the past three weeks. Seems they're forcing the plays more, as indicated by their average 13.4 offloads per game (up from 9.2 last year).

In past seasons the Eels have thrived on easy metres out of dummy-half, but that's missing. Instead they're relying on the creative but unpredictable skills of half Tim Smith. He was on fire last week (54 touches, seven kicks for 206 metres and a try assist) and will need a similar effort here.


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 posted by The Canterbury Bulldogs 

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