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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 23 Jun 2007 09:46:00 GMT
The Eels and the Roosters do battle at Aussie Stadium on Saturday night. There are two questions I believe this game shall answer.

They are; have the Roosters improved enough since the Eels last played them and flogged them five weeks ago?

Secondly, are the Eels the real premiership deal?

I believe the Roosters have made strides.

And I believe Parramatta are a well balanced team with genuine strike power and attack, size and toughness in the forwards and players who can pass the ball ''at, before and after'' the defensive line.

EELS

Strengths:

They have Speed and skill all over the ground and shift the ball in attack well laterally.

There is plenty of good variety around the dummy-half via the contrasting styles of play of hookers Mark Riddell and PJ Marsh.

Riddell offers strength and a robust game when at dummy-half and also acts as another running forward in open play.

Marsh is a very strong tackler and being an ex-half has a good kicking and passing game.

Lock Daniel Wagon and Chad Robinson have also been the unsung heroes this year.

They are a hard, straight runners and workhorses in defence while Krisnan Inu at left centre is a talent in the making.

Second rower Feleti Mateo will be a super player in three years time.

Weaknesses:

Occasionally, like they did against Canberra - the Eels put in a shocker when they play lethargically and look rudderless in attack.

Defensively, they can be can be caught short on the edges of the field with big back rowers aimed at halves Tim Smith and Brett Finch.

ROOSTERS

Strengths:

The young players at the Roosters have improved in the past month.

Mitchell Pearce and Setaimata Sa are the halves pairing to persevere with this year.

Skipper Craig Fitzgibbon is running more freely and passing the ball now like he did when he started with St George Illawarra and in his first few years at the Roosters.


Craig Wing, while he is South Sydney-bound, has been more selective with his dummy-half running and Kiwi winger Shane Kenny-Dowall offers stacks of pace.

The Roosters have tried hard in every match and the hard work is paying off.

Weaknesses:

Dropped balls and pressure passes have been their problem this year.

One belief is that the Roosters when they couldn't win games at the start, were so up tight and tense, forcing the players with the footy to throw hard uncatchable passes.

Another weakness are the outside men in attack, back rowers included who have stood too flat for the ``inside'' players to position them into space.

Verdict:
The Eels should win by 12 but this will be a genuine contest for 70 minutes. However the superior skill of the visitors will get them home. - Read More, Here