NRL preview, NRL tips
  • Eels face danger game against in-form Bulldogs
  • Full preview from our NRL expert, including predicted score and a bet

For two teams that carried very little expectation at the beginning of the season, they head into this one in winning form. The Eels continue to glide under the radar, having now only lost one game between Round 14 to now (a 12-point loss to Manly at Brooky). The Doggies have won 3 in a row, including an impressive win over former high rollers Souths. So, while it’s not quite the glory days of the 1980s, they should draw a fair crowd at Bankwest, with the ground located in perfect proximity to both club’s home fan base.

As for their form, the Eels stunning success has come off the back of Moses brilliant and mature attack. With 29-line break assists, he leads that important category by 5 (with Keary next on 24). DCE is then 3 further behind on 21…so he really is in a league of his own. However, Moses wouldn’t have those numbers if it wasn’t for guys like Gutherson, who is currently 7th in the NRL for run metres, and has 7 tries and 13 try assists to go along with that!

With young Dylan Brown and Reed Mahoney getting better with each game, the Eels spine is the most underrated in the NRL. It was one of the reasons I backed them to make the 8 this year, despite nearly 1 in 3 pundits tipping Eels for the spoon.

But their forwards are equally underrated. Shaun Lane, Ma’u, Paulo and Nathan Brown are among the most reliable forwards in the NRL, while Gower, Alvaro and Evans provide plenty of experience. Their backline is enormous, with Sivo, Taikarangi and Blake all terrific in the air and hard to contain one on one.

So, it’s no wonder the bookies have them big favourites here, but as I learnt the hard way last week, the Doggies are going to be a hard team to beat from here until Round 25. With Tolman, Napa and Elliott trucking up, Hopoate Mr Reliable and then dynamic guys like Foran, DWZ and Harawira-Naera, Coach Pay is getting the most out of his roster. They are full of confidence and clearly playing for Coach Pay. Foran was brilliant on his return (something I did not anticipate!) and they are a terrific defensive team.

In the last 4 games, the Doggies have conceded only 7 tries…equal 1st with Roosters. But it should be noted that during those 5 games, they have only managed 10 tries of their own, which is equal second worst in the NRL.

So, the Doggies try to strangle their opponents with strong ruck control and the Eels try to wear down their opponents with a strong kicking game and good go forward.

All in all, the Eels should win by about a converted try….and I think it will be a low scoring affair.

Predicted Score
Eels 19
Dogs 12


Suggested Bet: Neither team to score 20 points


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