The focus at the minute is on Melbourne Storm in the NRL, with the usual suspects storming to a minor premiership playing some exceptional rugby league. However, they are joined by a host of clubs looking to cut them down, including Parramatta Eels, who have finished the regular season magnificently, with Brad Arthur’s side oozing confidence.
Parramatta finished the regular season with just one defeat from 12 rounds, fourth in the table, trailing only Melbourne, Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos. The Eels are without a premiership since 1986 and have not contested a final since 2009, with back-to-back wooden spoon finishes in 2012 and 2013 making the last seven years difficult.
However, Arthur’s side are in exceptional form following an impressive 26 rounds, with the Eels winning their last three fixtures of the regular season – beating the Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane and South Sydney Rabbitohs. That run of fixtures has seen one man impress and become an absolute certainty for the Fantasy Rugby League manager – Semi Radradra.
The powerful winger has been in exceptional form and has eight tries from his last three appearances, scoring four against Brisbane in a mesmerising display, before backing that up with a further three tries against the Rabbitohs in the 22-16 victory in Round 26.
Radradra has 20 tries to his name following the regular season, but his try scoring is not the only reason he will be popular amongst fantasy managers, with the winger also having five try assists to his name along with 23 line breaks. Added to that, Radradra has an average gain of 10.8 metres every time he carries the ball, making him one of the most devastating point scorers in the fantasy league.
Parramatta remain outsiders to become NRL champions later in 2017, with the likes of Melbourne and Sydney favourites. However, Australian free bets bookmakers have a number of offers for customers looking to place an unlikely wager on Arthur’s team. Other members of Parramatta’s squad will have to put their hands up during the finals, and Arthur will be hoping that creative duo Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses find their best over the remainder of 2017. Fantasy managers may be tempted to include one or both of the halfback pairing, who have the ability to unlock games, as Norman has shown in particular over recent weeks.
Norman has scored just three tries over the course of the season, but he has nine try assists to his name, four of which came in the final two rounds of the regular season, as the Eels flexed their muscles heading into the finals.
If the likes of Norman and Radradra can continue their impressive form over the remainder of the season then there is every chance that we could see the Eels challenging the likes of Melbourne once again in the Grand Final. And for the fantasy managers, a brief look at Parramatta’s record over the closing stages of the regular season, indicate including some of their key men would not be a bad move.
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