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20 Jan 2018 18:04
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Scott to strengthen Eels for NRL finals

    Beau Scott and Kaysa Pritchard are likely to be included in the line-up for Parramatta's final-round NRL clash with South Sydney.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Renowned hitman Beau Scott will give Parramatta the defensive steel they need for a charge at the NRL premiership, according to Eels coach Brad Arthur.

    The Eels are set to get a pre-finals boost with Scott (bicep) and Kaysa Pritchard (knee) likely to make shock returns from injury in Friday's final-round with South Sydney.

    Neither player has appeared since suffering what had initially been diagnosed as season-ending injuries in June. However, they will get some crucial minutes under their belts against the Rabbitohs.

    "We'll get through training today and, if everything goes to plan, we should get some time into them," Arthur said before Thursday's captain's run.

    The inclusion of co-captain Scott would be an enormous lift for an Eels side lacking in big-match experience and in need of a win to sew up a top-four spot.

    Arthur believes the 2010 premiership winner (with St George Illawarra), whose season appeared over when he ruptured his bicep, would improve a defence that gave up 34 points in last week's win over Brisbane.

    "It gives us experience that we probably don't have and what he brings to the team in terms of just tightening up those defensive lapses," Arthur said.

    "He'll be good for those periods where we take the foot off the pedal a little bit. He'll make sure that doesn't happen."

    After starting at hooker for the team's opening 15 games of the season, Pritchard is also certain to come off the bench on Friday and for their finals campaign.

    Pritchard's season also looked finished two months ago when he injured his PCL. But, Arthur is intent on staying with back-up rake Cameron King through September.

    "We know Kaysa was doing a good job before he got injured, but that's footy. When someone goes down, it's an opportunity for someone else and Cameron's taken it," Arthur said.

    "Now we've got good depth there and it keeps everyone on their toes."

    Forward Nathan Brown, who claimed the club's Ken Thornett medal on Monday as their player of the season, is also a certain starter despite failing to train this week due to a virus.

    "He got the award on Monday night and he's put the slippers on, hasn't he? He was a bit crook, but he'll be right," Arthur said.

    The Rabbitohs had won three on the trot before getting touched up 64-6 last week by Melbourne, and will start Tom Burgess for the suspended Zane Musgrove.

    STATS THAT MATTER:

    * Parramatta are aiming for their third-straight win over the Rabbitohs for the first time since winning 10 in a row from 1996-2004

    * The Eels are making the least amount of tackles in their own 20-metre zone in the league this year, at 22.5 tackles per game

    * Eight of the past 11 matches between these teams have been decided by at least 13 points


    NZN




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