The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Identity

Welcome back Parra.

I’m not sure why my Eels ever left, and I really have no idea how they turned it around in one week, but that team I had the pleasure of watching at ANZ on Sunday was my Parra team again.

I welcomed back a team full of passion, grit, determination, pride and commitment. This team, born and bred under adversity in 2016, returned. My family and I are so glad we had the opportunity to watch it come back to life.

The unbelievable skill and at times freakish talent in the backline was there for all to see and from the stands you could see the penny had finally dropped for our team.

Talent does not give you the right to win games, it simply allows you to ice it once you earn the right to do so.

Sixteen players in our team did their job. They were disciplined, both in attack and defence. They were controlled. Our back five started the sets really well, our middle forwards ran hard, straight and got quick play the balls. Our edge forwards ran strong damaging lines, used footwork and caused the defensive line to make decisions.

Our new co-captain was inspirational.

The offloads were beautiful, as Gutho’s try showcased, and as the game progressed it went from just Gutho supporting the forwards and encouraging offloads, to the rest of our spine consistently moving up and expecting an offload. From the stands, it was apparent that our team believed in one another and themselves again.

Our halves complemented each other magnificently. Norman was patient and controlled with his general play. His kicks had purpose and were pin point. Once we got Manly trapped in their own half, his kicks and the team’s fantastic chase and defensive discipline kept them there. As the game went on and Norman grew in confidence he took the line on more with conviction. Moses was able to shine brightly because he was running and attacking first. This opened space for his wonderful skill set to shine and shine it certainly did. This combination has the potential to be absolutely brilliant but for this to happen they need the people around them to do their job. This past Sunday they all did.

Kaysa Pritchard had his best game in Eels colours.

Sixteen players did their job, and one player stood out.  I thought Kaysa Pritchard was superb. I’ve always believed that he could defend and be brilliant in attack – I just didn’t think he could do both consistently in the one game.

Didn’t he prove me wrong!

He was controlled but still aggressive in defence. He finally started running with the ball and kept the markers engaged. It opened up our attack, giving time and space to our halves and forwards. I think we clearly saw that a dynamic 60 minute Kaysa is far more crucial then an 80 minute tanked Kaysa.

Finally, while the win was much needed for the team, supporters, coaches and club in the 2018 season, it was far more important than that. From my perspective, the most important thing that was rediscovered this past Sunday was our spirit, or to steal BA’s words- our identity.

All great clubs have a unique identity and we somehow rediscovered ours. We’ve dug a really big hole for ourselves in the 2018 season and who really knows if the hole is too big to get out of this year. But there are two things I feel sure about: my team won’t give up and this past Sunday got us back on the right path as a club.

Welcome back Parra!

It’s good to have my team back again.

 

Shelley

 

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JonBoy
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JonBoy

Well written Shelley…probably sums up how most of us feel. I love this photo of Gutho you’ve used. It has that “after sex glow” about it and I’m hoping for the man that he has the opportunity to use it many more times this year!

Come on boys…let’s re-write the history books!

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Well writing that Shelley I can hear the excitement in your voice. Like all of us real n loyal eel fans. Wasn’t it good to see our boys play like it was 2017. Know ppl will say what about the opening 10 minutes all that ball n only 2 points scored. We let me say this Shelley to all those ppl going to say about those opening 10 minutes. It’s called building pressure it’s not always about scoring points. Yes it’s good if we can score but I’m just as happy to have repeat sets. To me Shelley it tires… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Have to agree Rev. On reflection, when we got in front against Penrith in round one, the points came a bit easy, basically they were probably feeding off the win in the Maitland trial and the ease of it, When Penrith scored their first try, off sloppy defence, they seemed to drop their guard, the next gave them shell shock, meaning they lost their energy very quick. The Manly game was a continuation of being shell shocked. Last weeks training, with the bust ups, was the best cure that they could get, as it knocked their lethargy out in the… Read more »

Rowdy
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Rowdy

An ignorant God hating politician once said. “Well might you say God save the Queen, but nothing will save the Governor General” Ah, you say. What’s your point, and fair enough too. My point is this: God does save the Queen. In spite of the many doubters. He also hears the prayers of the righteous (people who are willing to supplicate themselves before Him to seek correction and to find favor. At least 7, perhaps 8 of our NRL team did that last week. You could see them on their knees in a circle, after the game. Giving thanks to… Read more »

Ray
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Ray

You’ve got me worried now Rowdy, the Tigers have a much bigger God Squad than us. LOL

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Good point Ray, although I would argue the numbers are quite similar to our own. Never the less, it was clear Manly only had Akuila Uate bold enough to join the circle on his knees. I might add we don’t just give thanks for the victory, it more about giving thanks that He is our God regardless of results.

Offside
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Offside

The great soccer player Johan Groff was asked when he succeeded in spain he said one as he was walkung out he saw every player in the ither team pray as they walked out and all 10 of the his team mates do it at this point he realized he’s going to have to do it himself as everyone else is hoping that if there is a god hes going to support there team.

If we God was real im pretty sure hes not a eels supporter

Milo
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Milo

Nice words Shelley; like your confidence.
I will say we are back if we can string a few wins together by round 10. We have to be consistent and back it up otherwise this will be all for little. I know this may sound a bit pessimistic but they have to be better this week.

BDon
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BDon

Agree with that Milo. If we complete at 85% and square the penalties/errors that is a worse situation than last week but enough to have a good shot at winning most games. If we improve in some areas then it will be a strong shot. A closer score will improve our 80 minute focus. Need good stats to build form and confidence, but geez there were some good signs.

Milo
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Milo

Agreed on that BDon.

Anthony
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Anthony

Very well said Shelley, once again you’ve captured the spirit of the game. However, I am curious on one point, which of the 17 do you believe didn’t do their job?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I think 16 played the way they should but one I Kaysa played well above what I expected him to do.

Optimistic Eel
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Optimistic Eel

The boys set the years benchmark…anything less than that this week will be deemed a failure. If that is our “identity” we need to use the confidence gained to build week on week if we are any chance of a miraculous finals appearance. From what I saw on the week end our identity consists of run hard, hit harder, off loads, our halfs taking the line on, or getting as close to the line to give our edge back rowers and backs some room. It consists of Kaysa pritchard engaging the markers and taking on the line against some lazy… Read more »