Sandow Dumped By Eels

Photo: Christopher De Jong/smh.com.au
Luke Kelly replaces Sandown at halfback against Penrith. Photo: Christopher De Jong/smh.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 7, 2013 – Penrith Panthers 44 d Parramatta Eels 12 at Penrith Stadium
Round 16, 2012 – Parramatta Eels 19 d Penrith Panthers 18 at Penrith Stadium
Round 4, 2012 – Penrith Panthers 39 d Parramatta Eels 6 at Parramatta Stadium
Round 19, 2011 – Penrith Panthers 23 d Parramatta Eels 22 at Penrith Stadium
Round 2, 2011 – Penrith Panthers 20 d Parramatta Eels 6 at Parramatta Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 13    Rd 14    Rd 15    Rd 16    Rd 17 
Eels

L

L

L

-

L

Panthers

L

L

-

W

W


Ricky Stuart has taken the drastic measure of dropping Eels  halfback Chris Sandow for his side’s match against the Panthers  on Saturday night, with the 23 year-old set to line up for Wentworthville in the NSW Cup on the weekend instead. Monday night’s 50-10 defeat to Manly – the club’s 10th in 11 matches - was the final straw for Stuart, who has also dropped five-eight Joseph Paulo. Former Storm playmaker Luke Kelly returns after a five week absence in the number seven jersey and will be partnered by Ben Roberts in the halves. With star player Jarryd Hayne already sidelined by injury, Parramatta’s depth will be further tested with Jacob Loko ruled out after hurting his knee against Manly and Mitch Allgood suspended for striking Steve Matai. Former Origin player Willie Tonga has been named to play his first match of the season at centre.

Despite having to contend with a long injury list of their own in 2013, the Panthers find themselves in the top eight following last week’s big win over the Titans and will be confident of recording their fifth win from six matches against struggling Parramatta. Lewis Brown returns in the second row after missing out last week, with Clint Newtown dropping on to a five-man interchange bench.

1st Tryscorer

2013 has been a forgettable year for the Eels but one thing that will have please under siege boss Ricky Stuart is the emergence of backrower Peni Terepo . Terepo has bagged five tries from his past six matches coming off the bench and his hard running on the edge of the ruck has caused problems for opposition defenders.

Panthers flyer David Simmons  is having the best season of his 11 year career in the NRL, with his 13 four pointers placing him equal second on the tryscoring charts. He has got across the tryline ten times in his past nine matches and bagged a double when his side thrashed Parramatta 44-12 in round seven.

Prediction

Things just keep going from bad to worse for Parramatta, who look almost certain to collect a second wooden spoon in as many seasons. Hayne, Loko and Sandow are just three of the players missing from the side that was belted 44-12 by Penrith in round seven and there is nothing to suggest the Eels can reverse that result this time around. Penrith Panthers by 16

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