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Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons

Sunday, June 18, 4pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

The Eels have no Origin representatives, so should go into this clash close to the 1-17 that was hammered by the Cowboys in Townsville. The Dragons will be without Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell, who are both representing NSW in State of Origin 2.
The Eels have won five straight against the Dragons including a 34-16 Round 2 win earlier this year. Fijian flyer Semi Radradra had a match to remember, crossing for four tries in the 18-point win.
Parramatta are out of the Top 8 with their 7-7 record, though they still have two byes to come. After strong wins against Souths and New Zealand, the Eels were humiliated in Alice Springs by North Queensland, losing 32-6. The Eels have conceded at least 22 in 4 of their last 5. St George Illawarra are fourth on the ladder with an 8-5 record. After downing the Warriors and Tigers, the Saints were humiliated by a pretty ordinary Canterbury team 16-2. The Dragons have conceded more than 18 points just three times this year.
Key Matchup
Corey Norman v Gareth Widdop. It was an unhappy return from injury for Corey Norman in the Eels big loss to the Cowboys last week. He’ll be better for the run and it will take time for his partnership with Mitchell Moses to click. Norman had a big game against the Dragons in Round 2, with three try assists and is the X-factor here. Everything that the Dragons do revolves around Widdop and he’ll be looking to improve on his effort against the Bulldogs where he missed 5 tackles and only ran the ball 4 times. Widdop is at his best when he is threatening the defensive line with his running game and still might have a few cobwebs as he only returned from injury a fortnight ago.
Stats That Matter

  • Parramatta are 7-7 ATS with a 9-5 under record while St George Illawarra are 8-5 ATS with a 7-6 under record.
  • The Eels have won five straight against the Dragons including a 34-16 Round 2 win.
  • The Eels posted 26 or more in four of those victories.
  • The Eels have covered 6 of their last 9 as a favourite while the Dragons have covered 6 of their last 8 as an underdog.
  • The Saints have covered just 5 of their last 13 day matches while the Eels are much better at 8 of their last 11.
  • Parramatta have been excellent at ANZ covering 10 of their last 13.
  • The Dragons have covered just 3 of their last 10 at the ground.
Final Thoughts
The Wolf could see this one going either way, but is backing the Eels based on their recent record against the Red V and the fact that they’re due for a big bounce back performance after their disappointing performance in Townsville last week. Norman will stamp his authority on this contest and guide the Eels to a tight win.
How It’s Shaping Up
Parramatta by 2
Best Bet
Best Bet: Parramatta ($1.72)
Other Recommended Bets
Other: Parramatta 1-12 ($3)

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