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NRL: Pressure on Tigers and Cats

There is plenty of action to look forward to on Easter Monday with Wests Tigers taking on Parramatta Eels in the NRL, while Geelong face Hawthorn in the AFL.

It has been a busy Easter period with lots of excitement in the NRL, AFL, A-League and Super Rugby, but there is still time for some more.

In the NRL, Wests Tigers are still looking for their first win of the season and the pressure is starting to mount on coach Tim Sheens and his players.

Parramatta are also expected to win despite a disappointing start to the season by their standards, so the pressure is also on in the Eels camp.

Talking of pressure, Geelong will also be feeling it the AFL. The reigning premiers have lost their opening three games and although no-one in the Cats camp will be panicking just yet, they need to hit a winning streak ASAP.

Hawthorn have just the one win to their name so far this season but that did come against North Melbourne last week so their confidence should have been given a boost.

Lots for NRL and AFL supporters to look forward to so let’s take a closer look at both games.

What:Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels
Where:Accor Stadium, Sydney
When:17:00 (AEST) Monday 10th April, 2023
How to watch:Kayo, Foxtel
Odds:Tigers 4.00, Eels 1.25

Tigers fans were feeling optimistic heading into the 2023 season with a new coaching set-up in place and a number of top new signings arriving.

However any such optimism has been blown away by five defeats on the spin. The jury is out on Tim Sheens and his assistants Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah and they are desperate for a result. 

The Tigers have been involved in a couple of close encounters against the Knights and Bulldogs that could have gone either way, but last week they suffered a heavy defeat against the Brisbane Broncos.

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There is enough quality in the Tigers squad, they just need to show it, and Sheens will tinker with his side for Monday’s game. Adam Doueihi is back in the side and will play at five-eighth, while Charlie Staines is set to start at fullback.

The Tigers are also boosted by the return of Brent Naden from illness and he will take his place at centre. Parramatta have also had a very disappointing start to the season and sit just one place above the Tigers after winning one game out of five. 

Brad Arthur’s side thought they had turned a corner when beating Penrith in a golden-point thriller two weeks ago, only to slip to defeat against the Roosters the week after.

The Eels may have lost a number of key players in the off-season, but they still have enough quality to be much further up the ladder.

Bailey Simonsson, Matt Doorey and Waqa Blake are all out of the Eels squad for Monday’s game, with Sean Russell, Shaun Lane, Haze Dunster and Ofahiki Ogden all called up.

What:Geelong v Hawthorn
Where:MCG, Melbourne 
When:16:20 (AEST) Monday 10th April, 2023
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo 
Odds:Geelong 1.15, Hawthorn 5.50

Reigning premiers Geelong head into the Easter Monday clash sitting at the very bottom of the ladder after losing their opening three games.

Defeats against Carlton and Collingwood were disappointing enough, but it was the loss against the Gold Coast Suns last week that would have really set alarm bells ringing.

They cannot afford another loss against a Hawks side that are going through a rebuild and are expected to be in the lower reaches of the ladder this season.

The Cats have made four changes to their side and are boosted by the return of Gary Rohan and Rhys Stanley, who were both managed against the Suns last week.

Mitch Duncan and Jake Kolodjashnij have both missed the opening three games of the season and will make their first appearances against the Hawks. Sam De Koning misses out through injury.

Hawthorn picked up their first win of the season when beating North Melbourne last week and will be hoping to go back-to-back against the Cats.

It will be a tall order, but not out of the question, as they showed last year when winning this fixture by two goals. It is no surprise that head coach Sam Mitchell has named the same side that beat the Kangaroos.

Chad Wingard has missed the last couple of weeks with a calf injury but is back fit and has been named as substitute for the match.

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