THE Eels will look to kick-off life at Bankwest Stadium with a bang when they host the Tigers at their new ground for this Easter Monday clash.

Money continues to pour in on the Tigers in this one, and despite the big occasion for the Eels and their fans it’s easy to understand why punters are siding with Michael Maguire’s side.

The Tigers defence has shown itself to be resilient force all season and they’ll look to slow down the tempo early and turn this into a grind from the get-go.

So far this season, Wests are allowing just 6.0 points per game in the opening 40 minutes of games. In fact, not a single Tigers game has seen a combined score clear the 18.5 point total – the closest was when they trailed 18-0 at HT to the Dogs back in Round 3.

Brad Arthur’s side will certainly need a response after being shutout in Canberra last week, but to do so they’ll need to be a bit more creative in attack and look for Reed Mahoney to keep things ticking over through the middle.

The Tigers currently rank 4th in the competition in line speed and unless Parramatta get creative around the ruck they’ll have a difficult time picking up easy metres on this defence.

That being said, the Eels also rank among the top teams in terms of defensive line speed (5th in the NRL) and with the Tigers attack being secondary to their defence points are going to be hard to come by for both sides in this one.

While Parramatta’s attack has been clicking at times, they’ve often been reliant on their points coming in the second period.

The Blue-and-Gold are averaging just 7.6 points per game in the opening 40 minutes (38 points combined in the first half of games this season), while defensively they allow just 6.4 points per game in the same period.

We’re expecting a very typical Tigers performance early on as they look to slow the game down and take away the energy Parramatta will have in their new stadium.

The Tigers will want to make this a frustrating afternoon for the home side and to do so they’ll need to control the tempo. Look for the experience of Robbie Farah to help steer the side around the park and keep the Eels attack from getting going.

RLE Stats & Trends

  • Tigers defence mauling teams: So far this season, the Tigers rank 3rd in the competition in points allowed per set (0.33 points per defensive set). Only Melbourne and Canberra rank higher.
  • Eels lack shock in twilight games: Last season, the Eels averaged just 14.33 points per game in twilight fixtures. Since 2013, they’ve averaged just 17.6 points per game in this time slot; staying Under today’s points total in 60% of those games.

Tips:

  • 1st Half: Under 18.0 points @ $1.98 (Top Sport)
  • Parramatta Eels u/19.0 points @ $1.88 (Top Sport)
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