Round 17: Wests Tigers v Eels preview
Tigers look to avenge horror introduction to Bankwest Stadium against resurgent Eels
Monday, April 22, 2019.
It is a date many Wests Tigers fans would rather forget, blocked out by black pen to repress memories of a never-ending nightmare. What happened to the Tigers that day would have likely been the unfortunate fate of any team with the pleasure of playing Parramatta in their first game at their brand-new stadium.
The occasion brought the Eels to life as they ran riot, thrashing Wests 51-6.
The two clubs have followed consistent paths since then though. Both have been criticised for being consistently inconsistent, having only recorded back-to-back wins twice this year. The Eels sit in seventh position on the ladder with eight victories to their name while the Tigers are just below them with seven.
It sets up an intriguing clash on Sunday as Wests celebrate Benji Marshall's 300th
Meanwhile, Parramatta are riding a mini wave of momentum after heading into the bye round off the back of two-straight wins. Brad Arthur's men showed serious mental toughness to fight back from an early 16-0 deficit and down the usually resilient Raiders by six points.
While the Tigers may enter Sunday's game as the home side, the Eels will certainly have a larger supporter base and will again be hoping to feed off their energy and enthusiasm.
Both sides have just one Origin representative each, with Blake Ferguson and Moses Mbye are both expected to back up.
Last meeting: Round 6 2019 - Eels 51 Wests Tigers 6
If you need reminding again Tigers fans, the Eels won 51-6 earlier this year in a horror Easter Monday performance.
Both have an element of finesse to their game but the more experienced Marshall is better at knowing when it is needed while Moses will improve at this with maturity.
Moses, however, has been destructive in his best games for Parramatta and currently leads the competition for try-assists with 16. He was brilliant in the Eels' big win over the Tigers earlier this year.
But this time it may be different, with both teams desperate to keep in touch with the top eight. A tight, grinding contest may favour the more experienced Marshall.
The favourite: The Eels are slight favourites.
My tip: Look for Marshall to kick the match-winning field goal as the Tigers avenge their embarrassing defeat earlier in the year. Wests Tigers by 1.