Salary cap cloud hangs over Eels
Parramatta could be in for a roller-coaster ride with speculation the NRL will next week announce the Eels will lose premiership points for salary cap rorting.
It could come on top of news captain Kieran Foran has been sidelined due to mental health issues.
According to a statement released last night, the Eels have granted the former Sea Eagle "an indefinite leave of absence to seek the best possible medical treatment regarding a personal matter".
Foran's clash with fellow No.7 and game-breaker, Moses Mbye (Bulldogs), was to be one of the highlights of tonight's match at ANZ Stadium, though it already had a major cloud hanging over it.
Even if they were to beat the Bulldogsat ANZ Stadium tonight, stripping at least eight NRL premiership points would dump the Eels from a top-four spot to near the bottom of the ladder.
After setting salary cap precedents with Melbourne, which was stripped of two premiership titles, and the Bulldogs, who lost 37 points in 2002, the NRL is expected to throw the book at Parramatta.
Eels coach Brad Arthur and his players have put on a brave face, winning five of their eight games so far this season.
But the reality is the NRL's salary cap investigation has uncovered some disturbing information in relation to player payments and third-party arrangements.
The players will have to put speculation that the matter could come to a head next week behind them as they try and bank two more premiership points against a Bulldogs outfit which has been criticised for its inconsistency in recent weeks.
All eyes will again zero in on Parramatta's human torpedo, winger Semi Radradra, whose selection in Mal Meninga's Kangaroos side to play New Zealand next week has been one of the most contentious in many years.
While the giant Fijian meets the criteria to be picked to wear the green and gold, the overwhelming opinion is it would be far better for the international game if he were to play for his native Fiji.
Radradra is the fourth Fijian behind Lote Tuqiri, Petero Civoniceva and Akuila Uate to play for Australia, but the first player in a century selected for the Kangaroos who is not eligible to play interstate rugby league.
Meanwhile, in other NRL news, Penrith's rotten run with injury has continued with classy centre Dean Whare, who instead of making his comeback from a calf tear against Canberra this weekend is headed for surgery after rupturing his ACL at training.
He joins young Panther Te Maire Martin who is not expected to play again this season after injuring his shoulder, which will require major surgery.
St George Illawarra, meanwhile, was left red-faced after news its coach Paul McGregor had been arrested last weekend and charged with low range drink-driving after recording 0.063.