New Zealand Warriors v Parramatta Eels
Sunday, September 4, 4pm (AEST), Mt Smart, Auckland
|Best Bet: Parramatta +7.5 ($1.90)
Other: Parramatta ($3.00)
Parramatta 1-12 ($4.55)
Disappointing seasons for New Zealand and Parramatta come to an end on Sunday afternoon at Mt Smart with the Warriors going in marked favourites.
The Warriors have lost Manu Vatuvei, Solomone Kata and James Gavet with Ken Maumalo, Jono Wright and Bunty Afoa into the team. Parramatta are unchanged.
Parramatta have a 19-16 all-time advantage over New Zealand but the Warriors have won the last three including 29-16 and 17-13 wins last season. New Zealand have won the last five at Mt Smart, four by margins of greater than 13. Six of the last seven matches have topped 42 points. Warrior Jono Wright is a former Eel while Parramatta half Jeff Robson joined from the Warriors this year. Semi Radradra has scored four tries in three games against the Warriors.
New Zealand are 10th on the ladder with a 10-13 record and a -66 differential. They have lost their last three – including two against teams outside of the Top 8 – and have conceded at least 34 in all the defeats. Parramatta are 14th despite their 12-11 record. They have defeated just Manly and St George Illawarra in their last seven matches. Since Round 11, New Zealand rank 7th in attack and 10th in defence while Parramatta rate 13th in attack and 11th in defence.
Tuimoala Lolohea v Bevan French. Two of the most dynamic young players in the premiership, Lolohea and French both have the ability to light the field up. Lolohea has been jerked around by Andrew McFadden all year but he is at his best position of fullback. French made his first start in the No.1 jersey last week and scored a hat-trick in a sublime performance. This should add plenty of excitement to a meaningless match.
Stats That Matter
New Zealand are 10-13 ATS with a 13-10 over record while Parramatta are 13-10 ATS with a 14-9 under record. The Warriors have failed to cover three straight while the Eels have gone over in three straight. Overs matches in the final seven rounds of the season salute at 59%. The Warriors are 12-16 ATS as a favourite at Mt Smart since 2013 and have covered just 1 of their last 8. When favoured by over a converted try they are 9-13 ATS and 14-8 over with non-covers in five straight. The Eels have gone over in 5 of their last 6 road games. Road outsiders of 6.5 or more off a double digit win are 28-39 ATS with a 38-29 under record. The Eels have covered four straight day games.
Both teams are unreliable when ahead at the break with the Warriors 5-2 and the Eels 7-4 when ahead at halftime.
With both teams just happy to wrap the season up this one looks a lottery. The Warriors are terrible when heavily favoured so worth a little look at Parramatta straight and at the line.
How It’s Shaping Up
Parramatta by 2
Parramatta +7.5 ($1.90)
Parramatta 1-12 ($4.55)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Bevan French ($8.00)
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