Barring an unbelievable miracle, the Parramatta Eels will round out their season against the same team that ended it last year in the Penrith Panthers at BlueBet Stadium.
However this time around, the circumstances are much different. Penrith defeated Parramatta in last year’s grand final but in a fall from grace only 11 months later, the Eels will miss the eight.
That is unless Parramatta beat the Panthers by a big score and a number of other results fall their way over the final two rounds. The Eels will pick up an automatic two points next week with a bye.
MATCH CENTRE: Panthers vs Eels stats, scores, videos
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The Panthers, winners of their past eight, are humming along at the moment with Ivan Cleary’s only problem seemingly deciding which players to rest before the finals.
Fullback Dylan Edwards and winger Sunia Turuva have been given the Eels’ clash off, and they have been replaced in the side by young gun Jesse McLean and Tom Jenkins respectively.
Brian To’o was rested last week and is back in the side. Mitch Kenny, Izack Tago and Scott Sorensen are still another week away from returning.
For the Eels, Shaun Lane returns to the line-up after missing a few weeks with an injured shoulder.
The Panthers confirmed that this game is the first ever sold out Thursday night fixture in NRL history.
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