Friday Night NRL Action

Image courtesy of abc.net.au, Photo: Getty Images/Matt Blyth
Chirs Sandown has been named on the bench for the Eels. Image courtesy of: dailytelegraph.com.au
Eels v Bulldogs

Chris Sandow returns for the struggling Parramatta Eels when they meet the Bulldogs on Friday night. Sandown has been named to start on the bench with utility Casey McGuire retaining his misplaced number seven jersey. Bulldogs point scoring machine Steve Turner will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his patella tendon in last week’s 12-10 loss to Manly. Replacing Turner in the Bulldogs starting side is young winger Tim Lafai.

History – Despite their poor form this season, Parramatta boast an impressive record against their higher ranked neighbours. The Eels have recorded eight wins from their past eleven encounters against the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are struggling at home after three consecutive losses. Of the 130 games they have played the Bulldogs have won 68, Eels 57 and drawn 5. The last time they met was in round 20 last year with the Bulldogs recording an 8-7 win thanks to a golden point field goal by Trent Hodkinson.

Dangermen – Bulldogs custodian Ben Barba lines up against NSW State of Origin hopeful Jarryd Hayne in a mouth-watering battle of two of the game’s most dynamic fullbacks. Bulldogs centre Josh Morris will hope to remind NSW selectors of his claims for a sky blue jersey with a solid performance against QLD veteran Willie Tonga .

Prediction - The Bulldogs will be hungry to return to the winners list after narrowly going down to Manly last week, things don’t seem to be getting easier for Parramatta. Bulldogs 1-12 .

Cowboys v Dragons

North Queensland host the Dragons at Dairy Farmers Stadium in a classic Friday night encounter. The Cowboys have named an unchanged side that lost to the Rabbitohs last week, while the Dragons move Matt Prior back to the forwards in the absence of Beau Scott.

History – The Dragons have enjoyed plenty of success over the Cowboys in recent season on the way to winning their past three consecutive games against the Neil Henry coached side. A game at Dairy Farmers Stadium in recents season was almost a certain two competition points for the Cowboys, however they have struggled at home this year winning only one from four.

Dangermen – Cowboys winger Ashley Graham is the NRL's leading try scorer this season with nine tries from seven games. Graham is at the forefront of QLD origin selectors mind in the absence of Jahral Yow Yeh and can do his hopes no damage with a solid display against Dragons flyer's Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale .

Prediction – The Dragons endured a gruelling ANZAC Day clash against the Rooster however have had extra time to recover for their trip to Townsville, The Cowboys will be keen to return to the winners list after a narrow loss to the Rabbotohs. It’s hard to go past the Cowboys on home soil. Cowboys 1-12 . 

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