The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 8 vs Tigers

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 24

 Wests Tigers 22

The Good:
I’ll let Denzel portray my feelings as the final buzzer sounded.

Sweet fancy Moses, we got another win. Well, the latter stages of the first half were pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the middle stages of the second. There’s something to be said for consistency across the 80 minutes, but we did enough to get a win over a much more fancied opposition; so enjoy that win Eels fans, you earned it.

This also marks the second week in a row that the opposition forward pack has failed to register a player with more than 100 metres. That’s great signs for a previously shaky defensive record. Hopefully this shuts up the BA/Mannah/Halves haters for a few more weeks, too.

In other news, I read today that the Cowboys have only won 3 of their last 14 regular season games, so it might be worth taking your pitchforks north.

The Bad:
Two incredibly poor lapses in defence almost cost the Eels dearly; the first for the Marsters break/Thompson try, and the second for the Luke Brooks pass/Eisenhuth try. You could probably make a case to say our defence was otherwise excellent; so once again the Eels illustrate/are taught the importance of playing the full 80 minutes.

Still, it’s hard to complain about anything other than T-Rex’s injury in our second win of the season.

X-Factor:
Well for one, Mahe Fonua’s haircut.

Mahe, I thought I told you to shave those sideburns.

Seeing that possession was very close (51% Eels, 49% Tigers), as were completion rates (78% Eels, 75% Tigers); it’s probably no surprise the Eels had only a slight edge in meterage (2070 to 1897). It’s amazing what a little confidence from a previous week’s win could do, and it’s no coincidence that our second win of the season came straight after our first. We also scored four tries to the Tigers’ three, but a missed conversion and a penalty goal made it feel much, much closer.

To take a different approach, a missed sideline conversion or a forward pass call on Jet’s first half try and suddenly this game, our situation, our standing and our confidence look all the more bleaker. It’s that close.

Today’s X-Factor is just how close wins and losses often are, but thankfully today was our day and you couldn’t say the boys or BA didn’t deserve a(nother) win. Here’s to a second week of actually enjoying Rugby League in 2018!

In more pleasing news, this post is sponsored by the good people at:

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Wear it to the game, wear it to bed, wear it to a bogan wedding.

It’s win, win – buy yourself a cracking looking polo and support the work of The Cumberland Throw.

The MVP:

 

I saw Kaysa Pritchard won the RSL’s Anzac Medal for today’s game and have absolutely no complaints with that decision. However, I can’t go past Manu “Monster Mash” Ma’u for his involvement in almost everything good we did today.

His 15 runs for 128 metres and 4 tackle breaks are excellent numbers, as is his 38 tackles with only 2 misses; but statistics don’t give him credit for his timely offload that led to Taka’s try, the return of his one time signature aggression, and his ultimate match winning four pointer of his own. Great to see such a hideous beast of a player back in career form.

Besides Kaysa and Manu, shout out to Mannah, Alvaro and George Jennings. All pretty brilliant today.

1- Clint Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

By his lofty standards, this was not Gutho’s finest hour statistically, with a sub 100 metre game (8 for 81 metres), a couple of loose passes, a missed grubber and no tackle breaks. However, more importantly was his try saving tackle and leadership qualities, as the King maintained his perfect winning record as a captain.

There’s something amazing that Gutho is already such a fine leader at the ripe age of 23 years old, and as such is still paying too much for his car insurance. To be honest, I cannot wait to see him leading in the Blue & Gold for many years to come. Long may he reign.

2- Bevan French

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

That’s a pretty great comeback game from Round 6’s most maligned winger, not least his outstanding 29th minute pearler above David Nofoaluma. Bev’s willingness to get involved was a complete 180 from his last appearance in the Blue & Gold, rucking the ball up a terrific 10 times (83 metres), including a “what’s he doing over there?” hit up on the right wing. Seems that shoulder was either healed or numb enough for Bev not to notice.

Let the record show that “French Flies” was another popular reaction.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

The Jet must have been in stealth mode today because I do NOT remember Michael Jennings making 14 hit ups. His 95 running metres nicely compliment his standard 3 tackle breaks and always excellent defensive numbers (17 tackles without a miss). The man is a Rugby League ninja.

4- Brad Takairangi

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Thought he started the game running a little sideways, which negated his otherwise terrific hit up numbers (10 runs for 86 metres). Still, once again he was there to soak up those brutal off-your-own-line hit ups, made a line break and was Johnny on the Spot for the Manu to Kaysa offload, leading to his crucial try.

5- George Jennings

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Dear Eels brains trust, re-sign this kid immediately. A massive game from the lesser known Gennings, with 17 runs, 166 metres, a team leading 5 tackle breaks, a line break and no missed tackles. I suspect I wasn’t alone in considering whether or not George would cut it at NRL level; so it’s been a pleasant surprise to instead consider each week whether or not he’s been our best back.

6- Corey Norman

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Another game, another 2 try assists for everyone’s favourite larrikin half. This afternoon Corey has 26 passes to Mitch’s 27, once again illustrating a freakishly even-keel approach to our halves situation. Corey himself also had 3 tackle breaks, and a line break assist of his own. Answering the doubters one week at a time.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

I’m thinking of getting a tattoo that simply reads “I love it when halves run first, pass second”, as Mitch was rewarded for his early probes with a brilliant flick pass try assist to the elder Jennings. The Prince of Egypt also had a line break assist, and went within a whisker of a 40/20.

8- Daniel Alvaro

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Holy moly. The Polar Express went bananas with 15 runs, 118 metres, 2 tackle breaks, and 46 tackles. Shine on you crazy diamond, shine on.

9- Kaysa Pritchard

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Kamikaze’s first half was a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, Kaysa’s smashing of Luke Brooks in the 18th minute will be remembered and spoken about fondly by our ancestors. On the flip side, however, Kaysa now has Ersan Masters’ handprint tattooed on his face from the Tigers’ first try.

In the past, playing the full 80 minutes has seemed to have gotten the better of Kaysa, yet today’s second half performance was something else. A massive 8 runs for 72 metres (bettering his 6 runs last week), 43 tackles and a try assist don’t speak of his tenacious defence and game changing darts from dummy half. If last week was Kaysa’s best ever game in the Blue & Gold, this afternoon surely gave it a run for its money.

Captain Clint Gutherson was asked about Kaysa’s game today and replied “He’s a lunatic … he’s got no chill!” Well said.

Back to back brilliance from the little bloke.

10- Suaia Matagi

Prop, Parramatta Eels

So you’re saying you ran 6 times for 45 metres, and dropped the ball that led to a Tigers try? That’s not ideal, Suaia.

Credit for not missing a tackle, I guess.

11- Manu Ma’u

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

I don’t know what has been done or said to Manu in the past couple of weeks, but he is a completely different beast (and I use that description literally). Tonight Manu went scorched earth on the Tigers, and Eels fans can only hope he similarly enjoys the acquired taste of Shark meat for next week.

12- Tony Williams

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Ugh. Knee injuries suck, particularly when you’re playing for another contract. There are rumours floating around that he’s done his ACL, so we hope that’s more Lurker-esque than it is reliable or accurage information. Whatever the case, get well soon you terrible lizard.

Please note that the grade to the right is for the possible season ending injury, not the player.

13- Peni Terepo

Lock, Parramatta Eels

There was a lot of cross field from Peni, explaining how such a destructive runner ends up with 10 runs for only 76 metres.

Fun fact: Peni Terepo’s partner is Jacob Loko’s sister. Take that, Woman’s Day.

Interchange

14- Will Smith

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Credit where it’s due – Will Smith didn’t miss a single tackle or make a single error. He also played zero minutes.

15- Kenny Edwards

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

He will likely be most remembered for the Matt Eisenhuth miss, but Kedwards was just as guilty in the Benji try with a key miss on a rampaging Mahe Fonua. As such, up until about the 70th minute, Kenny’s defensive contributions were about as welcome as a DCE dinner party invitation. However, a key one on one strip (second time is the charm) went a long way to shutting down yet another Tigers attacking raid, so credit where it’s due to the Krampless Kenny.

As always Kenny’s energy was worth more than his 7 for 60 metres and 2 tackle breaks, which statistically were more good than stand out.

16- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Although not as effective as last week, the good Dr. Gower came to the party with 11 runs, 88 metres, 2 tackle breaks, 22 tackles and a head that looked like it’d been polished with Mr Sheen. With the unfortunate injury to T-Rex, Gowie might still get a run next week, despite the likely returns of Tep and Browny. Heck, I hope he does.

17- Tim Mannah (c)

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Last week Tim ran 16 times for 191 metres. This week he was also incredibly effective, adding 2 tackle breaks, 23 tackles and no misses to his tally noted in the meme below.

Welcome to the age of the Mannah Renaissance. Soak it up, Eels fans.

That’s two in a row, baby; we are officially streaking in the win column.

As I said a week ago, the revenge tour rolls on for another week, as we take on the Sharks next round. See you then, sports fans.

Go you Eels,

Mitch.

 

Ps – Shout out to Tigers fans for not being knobs.

 

While you’ve got that winning feeling, spread some Round 8 cheer by making a purchase from our sponsor Sportfirst Nambucca, supporting the work of The Cumberland Throw.

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

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ChrisHinkley
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ChrisHinkley

Big fan of the throw, even bigger fan of the post game grades, especially after a hard fought W. Also thought today easily trumped Kaysa’s performance last week, he had an absolutely insane game, and Ma’u will only get better with each beastly game he plays. Gutted about T-rex, has been one of our best forwards all season and will be sad to see him miss the season if it comes to that.
Keep it up Mitch, I see you out here

Rob
Guest
Rob

I thought it was an incredibly gutsy and brave win, to keep coming back against a powerful Tigers performance, particularly from their outside backs, Fonua and Marsters! Luke Brooks was also very dangerous very often. To say Pritchard and Ma’u were good is an understatement, Norman and Moses were also doggedly impressive. Thank you to the whole Parramatta franchise for the smile on my face!

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

Devastated by the Williams news. This has the potential to end his career. I feel sorry for the man he has put in a huge effort since coming back.

happy with the relaunch of Manu’s game. A great effort from him tonight.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Williams loss is a big one, both figuratively and literally, however, we look like gaining Brown and Moeroa again AND am I the only one who can see Terepo owning that impact edge forward role? The guy always runs hard.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Rob, I would love to see Tepai back on the edge. Terepo was ok today, but prefer him off the bench and Tepai in that spot.
With Tepai on one of the edge sides and Manu regaining his aggression, it would really give the eels forwards a good balance in both defence but more so attack.

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Good write up brother Mitch. How good is it to have that winning feeling 2 weeks straight. I like your grading on the team. On will smith what was he doing on the bench if brad wasn’t going to use him ? Imagine bringing his fresh legs on around the 50 minute mark up against the tirying tigers forward pack he would have created havoc around the ruck. On MOM KP well earned. But it was very close for my liking could have chosen Manu ma’u , George Jennings , David gower, or even Timmy mannah. On our bench Mitch… Read more »

Hamsammich
Guest
Hamsammich

Was a fan of this post until the end. Tigers fans are knobs, only sing when they win

Offside
Guest
Offside

Fair grades can’t disagree. Im still a believer that for the club to go the next level it will be without BA in saying that hes turned the team around this last 2 weeks and they are playing as they should be so full credit to him Still along way to go but good signs.

G Jennings has been a pleasant surprise i saw him play abit for wenty but didn’t think he was as good as hes shown but some players rise when they they get a chance George is doing just that

Rob
Guest
Rob

Um… can you imagine ANY other coach being as committed and pure BnG as BA has proven he is? I certainly can’t. He’s inspirational. That’s what the team showed you last year, the year before and the last two weeks. Let us just ignore the previous six weeks as abhorrent.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Ive never doubted his passion our that he can coach i have doubt in his ability to go the next level and take the boys to that level. So coaches are great at the rebuilding and laying the foundations.

Ive not called for sacking him mid season unless the year is a failure for me that us not making the 8 then give him some dignity in a walk away to save face. 2 wins albit good wons does not change my mind end off the day he like every other coach will be judged on his overall record.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Whats your qualifications to judge anyone ??????

Offside
Guest
Offside

About the same as yours i suspect like most fans ive played and been a coach in some form and i can have a opinion even if it is different ill stand by it at the moment we are still last thats not acceptable if we are in the bottom 3 end of season BA should be under alot of pressure.
That been said if he were to go id want a proven replacement experience etc.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Offside, agree re George, one that is showing up his value after being given a chance to show what he’s got. Worth an extension to stay a little longer.

The Daniel
Member

Sign him for life!

Even if he performs half as good as he is now he would still be head and shoulders above every other winger at the club.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Good report Mitch, I know the John Travolta miss on Wests Marsten didn’t look great, but neither did the misses by the other two forwards who allowed him to get to Kaysa, who at least got his hands to him. The Taka try was well executed and it looked very much like a set play, as Taka took his time to take the tap and pass in field, he was very animated in his talking to whoever was on his inside prior to the tap, when Ma’u took the ball up almost like a pixie in his run, until he… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Brother hussey I hope the club gives T-Rex 1 more year.
In the games his played his been very good.

My prays are being answered by the man upstairs.

Offside
Guest
Offside

Also can we give credit to the silent MVP the Jersey we looked like parramatta again shame were back to those good awful stripes next week.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Offside. What is it with the hate of the other stripe? While I admit to liking the other jersey and playing colours, as it is a big part of my time of following the eels. At the end of the day, both todays jersey and the striped ones, which if being pedantic, it should have been a real replication of the originals, including the stripes all round the sides and have the full white collars, are all part of our history and heritage as an eels or PDRFL team/club. Having seen every colour and design change that the eels have… Read more »

Offside
Guest
Offside

A Jersey is just Jersey ill admit that i just can’t bring myself to like this years one i can cope the blue one but the yellow away one is a big No for me

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Anything positive to say ,on wrong site mate ,seen your work elsewhere

Offside
Guest
Offside

I do i was positive about the team and the game yesterday. Sorry for not seeing everything as positive. Is it not allowed to see things differently?

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

I don’t disagree with you on the away stripe. Personally I do not see any reason why a club has to have two different outfits for game days. RL is a game of tradition, and while some clubs have gone by the wayside, the constant changing of what they wear is absolutely not needed. Why do we need a different set of gear for the 9’s every year, the Anzac, indigenous rounds and the like? The jersey that Wests played in yesterday looked very good, keep it for next year as well. For supporters and their families who have to… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Sorry but the real parra stripe jerseys are our traditional jerseys , i suppose it all depends when you started following , me 1947 so i reliving the dream !!

BDon
Guest
BDon

Right upfront, a Tigers player so far offside he sent Corey Norman into a weird circular running pattern, then 2 Checcin hair trigger penalties to cart the Tigers off their line and I thought ‘here’s one of those days coming’ but no, things settled into an absorbing game. We worked hard for every point, the Tigers didn’t leak anything, both sides competed fiercely. Despite a few blemishes here and there, great to watch RL played like that, even better when your team wins. How George Jennings didn’t make an error from fatigue I don’t know, that’s a Rugby League player… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Bdon Agree totally with you as far as a game spectacle it was tops, both teams played hard and credit to all the players.

When we gave away the first penalty and relatively early, I yelled at the box, HERE WE GO AGAIN, we have no chance.

I actually think that Chechin had a pretty good game really. Best I have seen him for a fair while now when in charge of an eels match, now to see how and if others respond in a similar or same way.

Disco Lad
Guest
Disco Lad

With Moeroa and Brown back I’m guessing Moeroa for Williams and for the love of god Brown for Matagi. I know we’re positive here but Matagi really gets on my nerves. He’s had his one good game a season it’s time to move on before he plays like this again.

The rev aka Snedden
Guest
The rev aka Snedden

Disco lad as they say if it ant broke don’t fix it.

Look a few players didn’t have good games but we still got the job done correct. So why change a winning line up.

Hearndo
Guest
Hearndo

Matagi is a bit of a rocks and diamonds player – last week he was amazing, this week he made a number of costly errors.. In my opinion, he’s been a bit like this for his entire eels career

Lady Eel
Guest
Lady Eel

Agree about Matagi, he is not as good as you want him to be given his ability and one off games like last week. Just does not seem to work hard enough or be capable of repeating his best all the time. Yesterday was a great game, it had it all. At half time there was a discussion around us about whether we could win this one, many Parra members were not confident but we did it, and as well as giving our team confidence it will help supporters feel we can win battles like yesterday. Re the jersey, amazed… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Yep on matagi

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Will ray hadley announce paul green has lost the dressing room or just as many games as us !!!!!

The Daniel
Member

Do people still listen to that clown?

Such an agenda driven buffoon.

Brian F Stone
Guest
Brian F Stone

Agree with just about everything said above. Another underrated performance from Michael Jennings too – doing a lot of the small things right yesterday. He did a lot of the grunt work taking it out of our own end, put an outstanding hit on to dislodge an opposition ball and just hit hard on just about every tackle. Outside of a bad knock on close to the line early on, I thought he was up there with our best yesterday. It’s only been the last 18 months that I’ve really come to appreciate his contribution to the side. He’s no… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

M Jennings also has a habit of making incisive runs and reads the play well, more than once shutting down movements before they gain momentum. I was impressed with G Jennings’ tackle on Lawrence too. It was a very solid hit.

BDon
Guest
BDon

Totally agree. Prior to signing M Jennings our defence in own 20 was heart attack stuff. I think it was 2015 (2016?) we had 50 or so points put on us 5 times, last year only the Roosters towelled us one day when they had huge possession stats.

Milo
Guest
Milo

BDon Jenko imo has been one of our best buys in the last 10 yrs.

Milo
Guest
Milo

Good report Mitch; liked the toughness of the win but not some of the plays. We won and that was better than a loss. We have to improve our error rate and Cronulla will only try and belt us up front. TRex is a shame and i feel for the guy; had been playing very well and its sad. Our fwds need to keep laying the platform and halves take from there. I liked y’days jersey but also like the main one. Love it. We should only have the one strip and no traditional, no aboriginal, and no marvel. That… Read more »

Shelley
Guest
Shelley

I really think a major factor in the resurgence of forwards like Mau and Pritchard and our halves running comes on the back of getting much better starts to the set. Gutho and Taka, in the centre, makes such a difference and French yesterday ran hard, quick and straight, he did not get thrown around. George Jennings has been superb. So many players have struggled to catch Benji’s bombs but he looked so comfortable yesterday. Defending outside his brothers just works. Impressive win overall

sixties
Admin

It was a brilliant game to watch at the ground, and I thought it lost nothing on TCT when I watched the replay. Shelley, I thought that the speed of our carries in the opposition half was ultra impressive. Bending the line and getting faster play the ball then helped with the next play.
It was also encouraging to see the team execute what they train to do.

The Daniel
Member

It was a great game to watch live. A real shame there wasn’t more fans to see it.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

That’s the problem with ANZ, with the vastness of the place you need well over 20000 in attendance for it to look a reasonable crowd. The attendance on Sunday though was a fair crowd considering that many eels supporters would have stayed away, 17800 or more was given as the official number, which would have looked great at the old ground.

Think that’s what we can expect next year with the new ground being opened.

The Daniel
Member

Yep i agree. Obviously a few factors for why the crowd was lower than it should have been. Tigers fans are notorious for not showing up. Pretty concerning that they struggle to turn up even when their team is performing. (I am sure ticket prices have something to do with this as well). Our poor start to the year also has an impact on this, but it wouldnt be much. We pulled big crowds at parra when we were winning spoons so there are no excuses. People just don’t like going to ANZ and i dont really know why. Its… Read more »

The Daniel
Member

I did not notice that Will Smith failed to get a run. Very strange. Even weirder when you factor in that we lost t rex.

Thought it was a quality game despite the odd errors. Both teams just based each other.

Tigers are a very painful team to watch when defending their own line. Very surprised they do not give away more penalties. They practically sleep in the ruck.

I think the best thing to take away from this game was our ability to take back the lead twice. Shows a lot of courage. Speaks wonders for the team moving forward.