A POTENTIAL backline shuffle looms for Parramatta after their tough 32-24 win over the Warriors at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.

With star halfback Corey Norman revealing on NRL Tonight he could return from a knee injury as early as next week, a selection headache will present itself for Eels coach Brad Arthur.

Utility Clint Gutherson has been a shining light in the halves, while the club has invested big time in new recruit Mitchell Moses who made a mid-season switch from the Wests Tigers.

Fox Sports' NRL expert Greg Alexander believed there was only one real way Arthur could fit all three into the backline.

"Clint Gutherson's been outstanding," Alexander told Friday Night Footy on Fox League.

"You could find a position for him on the wing and leave (Josh) Hoffman out.

"Honestly, I'd move Gutherson back to fullback and push Bevan French to the wing where he was a success last year."

The decision could already be made for Arthur, however, after Hoffman was forced from the field in the 30th minute with a medial ligament knee injury.

The Eels flyer went down in agony, but attempted to play on with strapping until the injury proved too great to overcome.

It wasn't the only injury the blue and gold suffered on Friday night after hooker Kaysa Pritchard was knocked out of the game after just nine minutes with concussion.

 

Nathan Brown of the Eels is tackled by Jacob Lillyman (left) and Simon Mannering of the Warriors.
Nathan Brown of the Eels is tackled by Jacob Lillyman (left) and Simon Mannering of the Warriors. DAN HIMBRECHTS

David Gower also had a dislocated finger assessed in the second half.

Before all their injury worries, the Eels were first on the scoreboard in the fourth minute through Kirisome Auva'a when a great pass from Nathan Brown found Tepai Moeroa in space who in turn found the centre.

The Eels' right edge was back at it just six minutes later when Hoffman wove his way around defenders to dive over.

Parramatta then clocked off, slightly opening the door for the Warriors which they ended up kicking open midway through the first half with tries to Simon Mannering and Ken Maumalo levelling the score at 12 points apiece.

The home side regained the lead in the 33rd minute after a poor kick from Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson ended up in the hands of Semi Radradra who raced 85 metres to score.

Poor discipline hurt the Warriors after the break and the Eels took full advantage.

Gutherson kicked his side further head when Johnson was pinged for offside, then Moeroa crossed moments later to make it 26-12 after the try was converted.

But the Warriors wouldn't give in and Kieran Foran soon set up his second try of the night, passing to backrower Ryan Hoffman who was too strong close to the line.

Seven minutes later, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck showed off his fancy footwork and suddenly the difference was just two.

Despite being badly beaten up, the blue and gold showed enough guts and determination to hang on, and with just one minute remaining, Gutherson sealed the game with a well-deserved try.

News Corp Australia

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