The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 7 vs Sea Eagles

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 44

 Manly Sea Eagles 10

The Good:
At last, eventually and ultimately the Eels have finally won a game in Season 2018. It’s been a long time coming.

When the Eels finally win again.

I obviously can’t stop there, as this wasn’t just a win, it was a triumphant blast back into attacking form. In order to overcome this disjointed Manly outfit whose minds seemed either entrenched in the week’s controversies or still immersed in a Gladstone strip club; the Eels didn’t just bring a gun to a knife fight, they brought a heavy duty tank.

The Eels completed at 89% (31 from 35 sets), brought back the flair and confidence in their attack and by golly they actually seemed to still be enjoying one another’s company. That latter point is particularly astounding if you choose to dwell and believe in the inevitable gutter gossip that seem to sprout like fungai when a team starts a season on a 6 game losing streak. In unrelated news, I’d like to give a shout out to both the Lurker and Dean Ritchie if they’re reading.

Our backs were good, but it was our forwards who really took the game to the northern beaches outfit, feasting on the carcass of Manly’s attack like a pack of hungry African hyenas.

Just quickly, the Eels ran for a total of 2275 metres, with Manly only running for a total of 1283. Furthermore, we made 238 tackles, missing only 12; whereas Manly made 325 tackles, missing 30 (with another 21 ineffective). Wowzers.

Oh and we also finally won in our new jersey design. Another monkey wrestled from our collective backs.

It was quite the day.

The Bad:
Although it was an amazing game to witness, particularly in context of our season, it certainly wasn’t perfect. Although Manly put on 10 points against us, I thought we were very lucky for them not to have 12-18 more points through the Joel Thompson obstruction, Shaun Lane’s (?) dropped ball over the line and Uate’s batting the ball up disallowed tries.

Again, it was a game worth celebrating but I’m sure these lapses won’t go unnoticed this week in the video review.

X-Factor:
The Eels aggressive, enthusiastic identity is back.

It finally felt like we got the bounce of the ball and rub of the green today, so here’s hoping we can ride this wave into the coming weeks. As Forty will tell you, our margin of error for making the Finals remains at 5 games, so this is no time to rest on our laurels.

In other news, this week it was revealed by James Hooper that the Eels have apparently re-signed and brought home Joseph Junior Paulo for 2019. I suspect there’ll be more names added to that list in the coming weeks and months.

Today’s X-Factor is a once-off 20% discount, so now is a great time to get amongst it an as Eels fan.

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The MVP:

Special mention to Tim Mannah, Kaysa Pritchard and Manu Ma’u, but today belongs to our passionate number 7. The Prince of Egypt is very much back.

His 3 try assists were terrific, but it was his running game (highlight by a terrific break and offload to our new captain in the 67th minute) that most impressed me today (more on that below). Mitch’s 5 runs for 54 metres and 3 tackle breaks were also a very handy reward for his recent rebounded enthusiasm, even through our losses.

Good to see a big smile on the young bloke’s face, and I bet he’s even more ecstatic to be this week’s MVP. Whoever tells him, make sure he’s sitting down first; I’m sure he’ll be rapt.

1- Clint Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

What an auspicious return to the winner’s circle under the all powerful captaincy of Lord Gutherson. The Eels hierarchy apparently wanted Gutho’s promotion to galvanise the side and bring back and sway favour with the referees. Well, after a 7-1 first half penalty count to the Eels (finishing at 13-6 at the end of 80), and a dominant 34 point win over the club that dropped 54 points on us 5 weeks ago, I think it’s safe to call today’s first foray for our new captain a resounding success.

Clint’s individual numbers weren’t too shabby either, with 13 runs for 141 metres, 1 tackle break and a cracking finish to a terrific team try, long live the King and may his reign be eternal.

Find someone who looks at you the way Clint Gutherson looks after an Eels victory.

Finally, I just thought it was worth pointing out:

2- George Jennings

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

You should be curious about this George no more. Personally, I grow fonder on the lesser Jennings with every passing week. I hope the last month of football earns him another contract with the Blue & Gold as he would be a strong, fast, dependable winger on a presumably modest contract; and those sort of signings are like gold in the modern salary cap era. Today’s 12 for 93 metres and 2 tackle breaks probably belies the quality of his game today, as Gennings often took those thankless hit ups from our red zone into an aggressively converging defensive line.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

If I’m honest I frequently found myself congratulating him in my head only to find it was his younger, less esteemed sibling. Nonetheless, Jet’s 8 runs for 73 metres, 1 tackle break, 1 offload and a “who cares what he did, we won” represent a solid, but not spectacular stat sheet.

4- Brad Takairangi

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Thought he was another to sit firmly in the ‘solid, but not spectacular’ basket, often taking tough hit ups, charging into a big bodied defensive line. He also led the team with 4 much needed offloads (part of a team season high 15).

Way to go, Idaho.

5- Jarryd Hayne

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

I was legitimately so excited to see him back this week, particularly after hearing how angry he was at the rumours that BA had lost the dressing room. In his very short stint Jarryd ran for 42 metres from 5 hit ups and had a tackle break. Josh Hoffman was very good for Wenty today, so I suspect he will get the call up in Hayne’s spot. Nevertheless, get well soon, champ.

6- Corey Norman

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Yeah, nah, hell yes.

If you ever sit near me at the footy you will hear me wax lyrical about the importance of our halves straightening up the attack by taking the line on, at least in the early stages of the match. Otherwise it is all too easy for defences to sit back and watch halves run across field and pass, knowing there is no threat from the man with the ball (see Rounds 1-6). Today, Corey and Mitch spent the first 20 or so minutes doing exactly that – just running and taking the line on. Our 6 and 7 were subsequently rewarded in the final 60 with a continuum of space and time, thanks to the platform they laid in the early stages. Normy’s whopping 9 runs for 103 metres (that is not a misprint) and game high 6 tackle breaks and try assist show that he and Moses are far from a failed experiment and have plenty of life left in them.

That was one sweet try, too. Welcome back, Corey.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Blow the dust off your 90’s CD collection and crank Dr Alban’s electronic gospel hit Sing Hallelujah – the Mitch Moses of old is very much back in Parramatta.

As touched on above, Moses was in everything today, and deservedly picked up the TCT PGG MVP for his efforts. I particularly encouraged his unheralded shoot-out-of-the-line, wrap up tackle on Jake Trbojevic in the 22nd minute.

Although they were both excellent and I don’t want to mess with a good thing, I think if I had to choose I’d nominate Moses as my preferred dominant half going forward, but feel free to tell me why you disagree in the comments below.

17- Daniel Alvaro

Prop, Parramatta Eels

The Polar Express also went off today, with 16 runs for a massive 143 metres, 2 offloads, a tackle break and 36 tackles with only one miss. It was so good today to see our forward pack not only win, but dominate the battle in the middle of the field, and Danny Boy was a big part of that.

Imagine this team but with more Nathan ‘Cyborg’ Brown added.

9- Kaysa Pritchard

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Today was probably Kaysa’s best game in the Blue & Gold, ever. Outside of a weird pass into the backside of a retreating Eel, his service was pretty good today. More so, Kaysa’s willingness to not only engage the markers before passing but to run at them when we had the advantage made a world of difference to our game overall. A good 9 is like a rugby league chain reaction; when a rake gives good service, it gives the forwards a better chance to dominate the middle, leading to more space for rakes and halves to run. When it all clicks it is a thing of beauty, and today Kaysa was at the beginning of all that.

Despite giving him a lot of grief in recent weeks, I must admit Kaysa’s try in the 39th minute was probably my favourite play of the day.

Well said, Mr. Facts, and hats off to Kamikaze.

20- Suaia Matagi

Prop, Parramatta Eels

I thought Suaia (or ‘Takairangi’ as the commentators seem to know him as) was excellent today. Although the lesser heralded of the two, Matagi honed in on one of Manly’s most potent attacking weapons all afternoon, continuing their ongoing rivalry.

Statistically his 10 hit ups for 97 metres was also good to see.

Poke. The. Bear.

11- Manu Ma’u

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

THERE. HE. IS. The ferocious Manu, the aggressive Ma’u, the crash and bash Monster Mash. The Beast was running lines, busting heads and breaking Silvertail hearts all afternoon. Manu’s 13 runs for 139 metres and 21 tackles (with only one miss) were not nearly as impressive as the return of his aggressive line running and bad ass, Police Academy buzz cut.

Agreed, other Mitch.

12- Tony Williams

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Once again the large coelurosaurian theropod was in excellent form today, showing both power and intelligent line running to put on 115 metres from his 12 bustling hit ups with 2 tackle breaks. Give the bloke another year, he’s earned it already.

13- Peni Terepo

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Peni looked a little scatterbrain out there today, like a kid hyped up on red cordial. Still 99 metres is a good return from a once off part-time lock, part-time Butcher, with a terrific 3 tackle breaks, 20 tackles and zero errors. Very good, Peni.

Interchange

10- Tim Mannah

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Word around the traps is this interchanged Tim is the new Mannah, and it could not have gotten off to a better start. Only a shade away from taking home today’s MVP, Mannah Time went into overdrive today with 16 runs for a RIDICULOUS 191 metres, along with his 16 tackles (without a miss).

This week I once again look forward to droning idiots continuing their baseless mantra that the game has passed Timmy by. What a terrific game from the old horse.

14- Will Smith

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

So he’s not really a winger, but the fact that we had him available for Kaysa’s HIA and then didn’t have to put Manu in the centres when Jarryd went down makes me even more sure he belongs in our 17 each and every week. Sure he only had 3 runs (for 37 metres) but somehow managed a ridiculous 4 tackle breaks in that time. Not just a pretty face.

15- Kenny Edwards

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Kenny had 8 runs for 73 metres, 3 offloads and a tackle break. He’s crazy as a cut snake but he certainly brings both energy and versatility to a team that seems to need both each week.

Kenny also scored an outstanding try, but almost destroyed our spine/Gutho’s knee with an over exuberant try celebration in the 39th minute.

16- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Honestly, today I was just expecting a “won’t let you down” sort of game from the Good Doctor Gower. He sure showed me up, shoving 11 runs and 115 running metres right in my face.

The Doctor will see you now.

We got our first win of the season, and against the Manly Silvertails, no less.

Oh, how sweet it is.

 

Anyways, these here are my grades. Enter your name below and tell me your thoughts.

Bring on the Tigers next week as the 2018 Revenge Tour rolls on.

Go you Eels,

Mitch.

 

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Photos courtesy of the Parramatta Eels. Stats courtesy of Champion Data.

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Gem KM
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Gem KM

How much more fun was this to write!! Look at all those tasty run metres 💯💯💯💯

That’s how we know we can play, and I can’t wait to see it for the rest of the year

JonBoy
Guest
JonBoy

One of the most notable items for me today was how much talk there was on field and it wasn’t Moses swearing at people. There was still a little bit of “clunk” in the attack today but let’s hope that M&N grab that confidence boost they have needed with both hands and continue to “run” with it! Ma’u was a standout for me today and may have trumped Moses had I been in control of the grades, but the longer I reflect the more inclined I am to split the prize 17 ways as it really was the TEAM effort… Read more »

Trouser Eel
Guest
Trouser Eel

I couldn’t agree more Mitch. I ‘m not sure about which half should be the dominant one – perhaps that needs to switch from game to game, or half to half (pardon the pun.) It’s definitely good to see them taking on the line though.

Milo
Guest
Milo

Trouser I expect Norman to be the main half but i see him as a bit inconsistent- his kicks at times are avg (chips). There were times today when he was not ready as first receiver but maybe Moses was also to blame. They did well though. Have to be better next wk

Pou
Guest
Pou

How good is it to win again. As for dominant halves, Norman has been playing a central role with Moses and the fullback of the week split right and left, respectively.

Milo
Guest
Milo

Good read mate; thanks. I had Matagi as our best fwd. IMO he took the first hit ups often and if the pack play like this most weeks we will make the 8. Not sure of his stats but his energy was superb.
The bench was well managed imo.
Halves v good; Moses was v good. Norman for me was good but needs to make his passes quick and execute better. He ran well.

Tad
Guest
Tad

Good to see most players playing closer to their potential. Good win as we haven,t had dominating type wins for a long time including last year. The only other dominant win I can remember was against Knights in the trial..We still have a way to go — and need to get into consistent good football. Hopefully some of the urgency into looking what needs to be done will stick and we can further improve with some consecutive wins. Confidence can still fall apart

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Mitch, great report and loved the player ratings. PROBLEM, where will Nathan Brown fit next week? Replacement for the Hayne spot? A stellar roll out by the team especially the forwards makes next weeks team selections a huge puzzle, who deserves to be dropped, a big 0 I would suggest but how do you keep Brown out. I would imagine he would be very much P’D off in missing this win today and will be one angry ant next week, Oh! i forget what about Tepai? I was pleased to see Gower get a run and I never doubted he… Read more »

Brian
Guest
Brian

He’ll come into the starting side and I suspect that’ll either push Peni or Gower off the bench. Smith’s utility value is too strong IMO.

The Tigers have a big pack so that may mean Gower goes, however his ability to find offloads gives us another dimension, so I’ll be happy if he stays.

SorenLorenson
Guest
SorenLorenson

Brown in for Terepo. I like Peni, but that’s a no brainer.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Agree all round. Its amazing what a bit of discipline can do. Still saw some weakness around our edges but overall a good game was really impressed with manu not just plsying on his edge but he did a good shift in the middle and it looked like it suited him.

How important is it to have the fresh prince on the bench? He did a serviceable job on the flank and was pretty good in the middle before the forced move wide.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Terrific effort and execution from the mighty Eels. Once Trex runs as hard as the rest of the boys we’ll be on fire.

BDon
Guest
BDon

Our discipline was pretty good and allowed us to put together a decent game. We’ve had a 6 -blot taste of turning around and trudging back the 10, and no one likes it. And funny thing, I reckon Manly could have been pinged some more for holding down/slow release. Lots of good things happened because momentum didn’t continually fall apart. Pritchard was great, his ability matched his heart and showed us he can do it, Mau got into a groove and Moses/Norman got some time and space. If Tony Williams can stay fit, big upside coming there. Those 2 soft… Read more »

Lady Eel
Guest
Lady Eel

Agree with your comment re holding down by Manly, also at the game the talk on the field was loud and consistent the whole game, not quite so obvious watching the replay. Post try celebrations were wild and included the whole team. Long way to go but we have started the journey.

Rocket
Guest
Rocket

I think Gower needs to be in the side. His footwork just before the line makes a difference. They can’t all be bash and barge.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

Mitch not much to add here and I am happy with the grading’s. More importantly happy with the result. I will have another look at the game later in the week. I sit just behind the bench and when Tim came off for the final time yesterday he received a warm round of applause from the grateful supporters for his effort. I think in part most supporters are sick of the carping about his ability and inclusion in the side by some ill informed people. Colin you have stuck solid with Kayser and your belief in him was justified today.… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

While I am pleased with the Kaysa play, and I hope to see the game next Sunday and him continue in the same vein even better if possible. I think a lot of it was confidence in being over injuries. Confidence also in being able to lift and perhaps BA has said to him play to your abilities and get involved. In the past, except towards the end when he got injured last year he really had a weight on his shoulders, King breathing down his neck, and the coaching staff wanting him to slow down, along with more often… Read more »

Tad
Guest
Tad

Colin you have mentioned a couple of times now that you haven,t had a chance to see non televised games. Someone posted this free to Air Fox broadcast on this betting site you maybe interested in. I watched it on Sunday and it was great. You need to download a streaming site.I downloaded Sopcast and you can virtually see any sport from around the world for free. If interested
http://livetv.sx/enx/allupcomingsports/17/

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thanks Tad, have set up an account and see how it goes, ATM can only do it on computer, but should move to new home sometime later this year and will be more set up into a so called smart home set up and TV, hopefully will be well and truly ready for next year.

Tad
Guest
Tad

If you have a problem let me know Colin -sometimes a bit tricky.The week before I managed to see about 70 % of the game with a bit of fiddle.Last week no issues

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Peni didn’t drop the ball… say no more!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

As always a good read, so much better when winning.
Timmy Mannah best game I’ve seen from him in a loooong time. Hope they all bottle that energy, intensity, enthusiasm for the remainder of the season. I’m calling it: based on the performance yesterday no other team would’ve beaten us this week not even Melbourne

Anthony Turri
Guest
Anthony Turri

Finally! Well written mate. Couldn’t agree with you more!

Hamsammich
Guest
Hamsammich

Can’t say I agree on Moses being the dominant half yesterday. According to champion data, Norman had 64 touches whilst Moses only had 44 touches. It seemed like Norman was playing more in the middle of the field whilst Moses mainly stuck to the right.

DDay
Guest
DDay

Great to see the win and the self-belief return as the game went on. I though Hayne was important today in breaking the malaise – his run followed by the ball he promoted to Manu for the 1st try changed the momentum.

Tigers will be a good indicator of where we are at.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

Hayne had a good return for the minutes he was on. Five hitups, 42 metres, a tackle break and a try assist.

Hate to see him injured while he is in this type of mood.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Very true

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Good write up Mitch. Like you n many other eel fans I’m a very happy gentleman today …well at full time I was over the moon. To me it felt like a GF win … I think George Jennings has earned another contract say 2 year deal. I’m liking the Jennings boys combo it’s starting to click I really like it. I think it can get even better n start to worry other teams. Update me on his try’s this year plz. I was not shock by the good doctors numbers Mitch. He might be getting old in the legs… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Punch drunk? worth every ache, and I don’t dwink. Why didn’t ya mention my fav in Kaysa Bro? Good stuff. PS, I just watched the try that Kaysa scored, Gutho was up ready to go into dummy half and Kaysa came up and ran to the dummy half, you could see that he was watching the Manly defence as he came up, and grabbed the ball up, pushed the off side manly player out of the way as he went to the try line and scored. For the condemnation he cops, and if we really sat down and watched that… Read more »

Tad
Guest
Tad

Colin Kaysa has always looked good for me as you know from my posts on the other site-His work rate is high and is still learning the role in a vital position—at his age he could develop to be a top notch player-I struggle to understand the criticism often thrown at him considering his age and heavy work ethic. Mistakes always happen when you carry a dis proportionate workload when heavily involved in the ruck area

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Tad, I don’t know what it was about him that I initially liked, still don’t but I have stuck solid even when he has been down, not just with the injuries but in play. On Sunday the Kaysa I had that initial liking to really stood up and showed he is a NRL player, he had shown a lot in the past especially last year, but his unfortunate injury really took any shine off the year. Now he’s back after a good off season, and is fit, the future really is at his feet, and he needs to grab it.… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

I could write up a comment on every player but at the end of the day we are all proud as punch.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Cannot argue with that Rev, would love to see that attitude and opinion across a wider arena.

Shelley
Guest
Shelley

I agree with all the grades. Gutho needs a seperate grade each week simply because of his ability to get the best out of others. Suddenly our forward can offload- who would have thought? the difference this game to last week was it that Gutho was not the only support, Taka, Moses and Kaysa were there too supporting the forwards and encouraging offloads. Gutho has the potential to be a great leader. Our balance both in backs and forwards was so good. Gower and Kenny’s late footwork at the line caused trouble. Mannah, Terepo, Alvaro and Matagi ran so hard… Read more »

MattL
Guest
MattL

Still walking around with a big smile on my face. Happy daze.
Shame about JH’s injury as he looked up for a big game on the wing. KP played better than I ever thought he could. Timmy may have found his mojo coming off the bench. Gutho is just unreal. JenningsX2 are very dangerous & the forwards were back to their brutal best!
Bring on the Tigers… Go Eels!