Both teams enter this game on a winning note, but it's the Eels rather than the Roosters who are unbeaten.

Despite the absence of key players and a poor start against the Bulldogs, Parra came from behind to claim a convincing victory.

The Eels are already a third of the way toward their six wins in 2018 and appear to be a much tighter unit than they were this time last year.

The Roosters bounced back from a first-round loss to Souths with a clinical win over Manly, though they seemed to clock off 10 minutes early and let the Sea Eagles get closer than they should have.

Still, it was a solid overall performance without key regulars Cooper Cronk and Jake Friend, and Trent Robinson will hope to build on that on Friday night.

Match: Eels v Roosters

Round 3 -

Full Time
Eels

Home Team

Eels

Scored 18 points
Roosters

Away Team

Roosters

Scored 32 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

The Rundown

Team news

Eels: The unbeaten Eels have rushed Michael Jennings straight back into the starting side after his suspension. Peni Terepo is also back from a club imposed suspension and will come from the interchange bench. David Gower and George Jennings were omitted from the squad on Thursday and Oregon Kaufusi and Josh Hoffman dropped out an hour before the game.

Roosters: Cooper Cronk (hamstring) will miss another week and his place at halfback is again taken by Luke Keary. He will be partnered in the halves by Latrell Mitchell with Mitch Aubusson moving to the centres. Jake Friend returns at hooker, Angus Crichton starts in the second row and Isaac Liu at lock. Victor Radley was named to start on Tuesday but reverts to the bench alongside Zane Tetevano, Lachlan Lam and Poasa Faamausili. Matt Ikuvalu replaces Brett Morris (knee) on the wing. Asu Kepaoa was omitted 24 hours before kick-off and Brock Lamb and Nat Butcher were left out an hour before kick-off.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
    Centre for Roosters is number 12 Mitchell Aubusson
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Brad Takairangi
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Daniel Alvaro
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Marata Niukore
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 17 Angus Crichton
  • Lock for Eels is number 19 Peni Terepo
    Lock for Roosters is number 14 Isaac Liu

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Jaeman Salmon
    Interchange for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Tim Mannah
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane Tetevano
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Kane Evans
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Poasa Faamausili
  • Interchange for Eels is number 18 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Roosters is number 23 Lachlan Lam

Key match-up

They may not be directly opposed but Blake Ferguson and Latrell Mitchell will no doubt be chatting to each other every chance they get. Ferguson has been in superb form in the opening rounds and would love to claim bragging rights in his first clash with his former teammate.

For the Eels to win

Parra didn't panic when they fell behind early last week and came back strongly to claim a comfortable win. But they can't afford a slow start against the premiers. Ferguson will be looking to have a big game, while Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown have to be at their best against two of the best in the business.

For the Roosters to win

If the Eels let Luke Keary have his way like he did with Manly last week they will be fighting an uphill battle. The Roosters were good last week but need to cut out the mistakes. As long as they don't under-estimate the Eels, the Chooks should have too much firepower all over the park.

Brett Kimmorley says ...

With the way Luke Keary is playing, no Cooper Cronk doesn’t seem to matter all that much right now. Their forwards are great and they leak minimal points defensively. Keary’s ability to take his game to a whole new level is really exciting to watch. With Parra, I’ve really liked Reed Mahoney. He’s a really smart dummy half and defensively he is really tough. His decision making when he runs the football is terrific. I look forward to Reed Mahoney and Dylan Brown up against the premiers. Roosters by 2

Eels Stat Attack

Ferguson has quickly won over Parra fans with his ability to get the Eels going forward. Ferguson leads the NRL in run metres (458) and is equal-second in post-contact metres (128). Brad Takairangi has also been effective and leads the competition in off-loads (8).

Roosters Stat Attack

Keary is equal-first with Adam Reynolds in try assists (4) and Mitchell is the only player in the NRL to have a 40/20 kick after two rounds. Surprisingly James Tedesco has the most handling errors (5) and the Roosters have the most handling errors as a team (25).

And another thing ...

Brad Arthur deserves a wrap for getting the Eels in the right frame of mind to start the season. Parra aren't expected to figure in top eight calculations this year, but while there's a long, long way to go, the early signs are good for Arthur. A Friday night battle with the Roosters should tell us if the Eels are legit or not.