Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
In recent years the Parramatta Eels have become well known as the team who always seem to drop right out of form when the finals are on the horizon.
After sitting atop the NRL ladder with eleven wins from thirteen games midway through the 2020 season the Eels would go on to win just four more games during the regular season and were eliminated from the finals in straight sets.
Last year they went on a four-match losing run after having their annual bye round and would once again see their season end in the second week of the finals.
This season’s late dip in form has not been as significant as in 2020 and 2021 thus far but the Eels did not reach the same heights earlier in the season as they did in those years meaning they still find themselves in a similar situation.
Parramatta are still winning games for the most part but are finding themselves in competitive matches with bottom eight sides and are losing key games to teams like the Broncos and Rabbitohs.
We just aren’t seeing the Eels step up for the big games that will directly have an impact on their ladder position.
Former Melbourne Storm great Cameron Smith has commented on the Eels issues on SEN and believes that the return of halfback Mitchell Moses won’t even help.
“It’s almost a replica of last year when they started so well and gave their fans so much hope about ‘this is our year, this is the year we can push for a premiership’,” said Smith.
Jahrome Hughes, Mitchell Moses, and others are set to return in Round 23! 🏉
— NRL (@NRL) August 16, 2022
“But they’ve fallen into old habits in the back half of this season where you just don’t know what football team is going to turn up on the weekend.
“Let’s not forget, I think Mitch Moses… I ran into him after the match, so he’s had surgery on his finger, he’s missed the last two games.
“But if you think about the game that they played against the Bulldogs earlier in the year, Mitch Moses was there and they were beaten.
“The Bulldogs beat them convincingly.
“I just don’t know if Mitchell Moses makes a difference.”
Moses has been out with a broken finger since the Eels big win over the Penrith Panthers in round 20.
He has been named to return this weekend as Parramatta seeks revenge against the Bulldogs for beating them with ease earlier this season as Smith mentioned.