The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – I Rope? You Rope! It’s The Final(s) Countdown Edition

NRL Team List


We bounce right out of the Ken Thornett Medal and into the final Team List Tuesday of the regulation season! The Eels will host the Rabbitohs at their mutual home ground that is ANZ Stadium with a guaranteed shot at fourth place on the line. Results (long odds as they may be) involving the Roosters and Broncos mean that third and even second spot on the ladder could be up for grabs.

Brad Arthur, as expected, has kept Bevan French on ice. Will Smith has proven to be a more than capable backup in the recent weeks and his versatility will see him compete fiercely for a spot on the bench once French does return. Manu Ma’u returns from a one week suspension to reclaim his starting role in the backrow, bumping Kenny Edwards back to his traditional impact role from the bench.

David Gower keeps hit spot on the bench after nabbing a late try in the Eels’ rout of the Broncos. Kaysa Pritchard, Beau Scott and Frank Pritchard round out the shadow bench with Kaysa and Beau potentially in the mix for a return to the field after also been named last week.


Parramatta Eels side

1. Will Smith

2. Semi Radradra

3. Michael Jennings

4. Brad Takairangi

5. Kirisome Auva’a

6. Corey Norman

7. Mitch Moses

8. Daniel Alvaro

9. Cameron King

10. Tim Mannah

11. Manu Ma’u

12. Tepai Moeroa

13. Nathan Brown


14. David Gower

15. Kenny Edwards

16. Siosaia Vave

17. Suaia Matagi

18. Kaysa Pritchard

19. Josh Hoffman

20. Beau Scott

21. Frank Pritchard


Holden Cup Team List


Plenty of changes this week for our NYC troopers. Following their narrow defeat to the Broncos in Round 25 Luke Burt has made an enforced change. Fullback Anthony Layoun is unavailable so Burt has made an interesting shuffle to fit in some big time reinforcements.

Boom halfback Dylan Brown shifts from the #7 to the #1 which in turn paves the way for senior shot-caller Troy Dargan to take over the half-back role. Dane Aukafolau will lock down one of the centre spots while Ray Stone will work from the left edge in the backrow.  The bench features a very notable inclusion with Tuimavave Afualo scheduled to make a long over due return from injury.  Tui carved a reputation out this year as a bruising ball runner in the centres and he will give the Eels another difference maker on the edges as they enter the finals.

Like their senior brethren the Eels are playing for a berth in the Top 4 and should both the NRL and NYC squads finish the year in the Top 4 it would cap a remarkable turn around for the Eels after the horrors of 2016.


1. Dylan Brown

2. Greg Leleisiuao

3. Dane Aukafolau

4. Noel Aukafolau

5. John Fonua

6. Dean Matterson

7. Troy Dargan

8. Sean Keppie

9. Denzal Tonise

10. Oregon Kaufusi

11. Ray Stone

12. Salesi Faingaa

13. Mitch Butfield


14. Reed Mahoney

15. Tangi Hokai

16. Frank Salu

17. Tuimavave Afualo

18. Emosi Alamoti

19. Nick Okladnikov

20. Dom Murphy

21. Austin Dias

22. Joseph Taipari

23. Kamren Cryer

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22 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – I Rope? You Rope! It’s The Final(s) Countdown Edition

    1. Forty20 Post author

      Can a dope really get roped if they are jamming to classic 80s rock? These are the sort of questions that should define our existence.

    2. Achilles' Eel

      Where do we go now? Are we heading for Venus? Or will she take me away to that special place? I guess there is no one to blame. Reminds me of childhood memories. Will things ever be the same again?

  1. The rev aka Snedden

    40/20 like you n all fellow eels fans I’m really excited by our team being in the finals.

    I like many will expect some players coming in n others dropping out of the top 17.

    I think Hoffman will come into fullback n smith coming off the bench to ease the work load from king.

    I also notice that brad has not picked Peni ….is he injured or just not in the frame at this stage ?

    1. Billy

      not to dis you or anything The Rev, but what do people see in Hoffman that makes them think that BA will pull him from the extended bench into the # 1? Its been a long time since he played in that position and his history suggests that he has only ever been a fill-in in that position since his days at the Broncos.

      Will Smith has proved more than capable at # 1 and has been getting better and better back there. He also has a stack more ball playing ability than Hoffman and has yet to let anyone done wherever he has played this year.

      BA is also extremely loyal to his players that have done the job for him and, on this count alone, I wouldn’t expect any change to the 17, bar Beau coming in for Gower.

      1. The rev aka Snedden

        Billy all is good.

        The reason behind Hoffman going to fullback is because his a bigger body n has played a lot more fullback then smith has played 1st grade games.

        Hoffman is a natrual fullback n centre. Not a winger but can play wing at a pinch.

        Just think of his line break vs south that smiths try was called back as forward. Plus it free’s up smith to help out king at #9 not that he needs help ATM.

        With French back for the finals n BA having a all forward bench. I don’t think smith will be in the top 17 billy.


        1. Billy

          I take your point Rev, however IMHO Hoffman has no passing and kicking game and they are two of the most desirable aspects for a modern day FB, essentially act as a 2nd 5/8 in attack.
          You are correct in that Hoffman has played more FB, but that was a fair while ago and the role of FB has changed since he was a first choice FB (i believe that was way back in his pony days). In mine and a lot of others eyes, Hoff is a winger only these days and, to be honest, nowhere near the top of the tree.
          I do agree with you that most likely whilst King is at 9 and French is at full fitness, Smith wont be in the 17. But if BA has any doubts over French’s fitness, then Smith will be there.
          I also dont believe Kaysa should be in the 17 either. King will play 80 and, if required, Edwards or Brown will take a stint at 9.
          I think we will have to agree to disagree on Hoffman though.

  2. Rowdy

    I expect numerous changes to our top 17 and perhaps a few in the run on 13 also.

    I can’t see Brad taking a punt on Beau or Kaysa outside of necessity without them having had a gallop before the semi’s so this is certainly the opportunity to give them a hit-out against a large and aggressive pack in Souths.

    It is good to have so many troops to pick from at this time of the year. It is also great to have proven NRL class footy players in Hoffman, Beau and Kaysa as back ups in case of injury.

  3. Hearndo

    Hey Forty, i’ve just read on Fox Sports Market Watch that Rory O’Brien has been released. Hadn’t really heard anything about this, do you guys know why he’s been let go? Seems odd as he played a few NRL games this year.

  4. Chief

    Forty I’m not liking you’re analogy of Smith going back to the beach in cover for french.

    Especially as it now seems likely Scott may come into the 17 meaning semi final one’s bench may look somthing like


    I’m sorry but that bench lacks impact, it’s small and we’ll definitely be dominated.

    In recent weeks we’ve had monster benches which I think have been the catalyst for our recent success

    Terepo or Frank

    So in saying that – Smith cannot come off the bench to cover French – meaning French must be 110% fit or he doesn’t play

    Does anyone agree ?

    1. Chika.

      Yep, also think that even if kaysa is available smith covers 6,7,1,2,5,9, kaysa 9 and maybe 13 thats it .

        1. Anonymous

          No, he hasn’t Chief. I think Chika is making the point that Smith remains a strong candidate for inclusion going forward. Firstly, if Bevan gets a run, he’ll be there. Secondly, Smith has greater versatility than someone like Kaysa. He can cover a variety of positions and becomes the ideal inclusion on the bench.

          1. Rowdy

            G’day Anon, with all due respect mate, I think you may have missed the point Chief was making?

            I believe Chiefs point was about the clear and present danger we face if we put any player of utility value on the bench if he doesn’t weigh in at 100kg + Our recent run of success has clearly been defined by our rotation of 4 big aggressive boppers continuing the carnage created by our starting pack. The opposition packs who’ve gone with us for the first 20 minutes all drop off when their bench rotation is confronted by ours.

    2. John Eel

      Agree totally. The big bench is the reason that we smashed the Broncos twice. King does not need to be covered he has shown now that he can play the full 80 minutes. Edwards would be your utility. I like the bench of Edwards, Matagi, Alvaro and Terepo.

      Can’t be wasting a bench spot in case of injuries

    3. The rev aka Snedden

      I agree chief …

      We must stick with a much bigger PACK.

      Smith cannot be on the bench for French in the semi’s gus would say no no no no no.

      Our bench should be as is.


      No room for smith in my eyes.

  5. Rowdy

    Well, this has become a lively discussion on our bench. One that really interests me and I would think the whole coaching staff. I agree with Chief that our bigger bench has been very successful and we don’t need another little guy there as a “just in case we need to cover” Kenny is our utility at a pinch, but I do think we need a fit Beau Scott as part of that bench even if he only comes on for 15 mins and 10 mins each half.

    Beau brings roar aggression, a skillful offload in traffic, a steely resolve and big game experience with leadership.

    My bench would be:
    Alvaro, Edwards, Matagi and Beau Scott.

    With Vave in the starting 13! We have much depth outside the 17 with Gower, Fritchard, Peni Hoffman and Will Smith joining them when Bev comes back.

    1. Mitchy

      Yes agreed Chief and Rowdy on the bench; need a mix of props and backrowers, and particularly guys who play an edge too; Scott / Edwards both can do and Pritchard too. We just need defences back in order

  6. Achilles' Eel

    Quite simply, the return of kaysa pritchard and beau scott complicates matters. I don’t envy BAs selection headache. While it is good to have options up one’s sleeve, it won’t be easy to justify omissions.

  7. MattL

    IMO I can’t see Kaysa getting another run this year & depending on Bev’s hammy, the 4th bench spot will prob. be Smith or Gower who covers more wide positions than the other big boys.

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