The Cumberland Throw

Live Blog – Harold Matthews Grand Final vs Manly Sea-Eagles

Grand Final


Here we go again, Manly and Parra! We are live from Leichardt Oval on a spectacular Saturday afternoon as the Eels vie for the Harold Matthews title with the Sea Eagles. Fittingly the two fated rivals are locked at one win a piece versus each other this season. In other words, today is the ultimate bragging rights game.


As always with the District Rep Grand Finals, you can follow the action with my live blog or watch is all on a digital live stream courtesy of NSWRL!


Get ready for the 12:00PM kick off!


Team List

2. Matthew KOMOLAFE
4. Viliami PENISINI
5. Simon TITO
6. Jabriel KALACHE
7. Jakob ARTHUR
8. Peter TAATEO
9. Kyle LEONARD9
10. Trey MOONEY (c)
11. Desmond RAUKETE
12. Oscar MEZZOMO
13. Caleb TOHI
14. Drew LLOYD
15. Mika TONU
16. Samuel LOIZOU
17. Taylor MAUALA


First Half


Manly are kicking off are running towards the Keith Barnes Stand. Early penalty for the Eels as Oscar Messomo wears a high shot. Some powerful carries from Tohi and Taateo set Parramatta up for a right-edge shift but Josh Tuipulotu is shunted over the sideline as he glides down that side.

The Sea Eagles have to work it from deep in their half though and the Eels do a pretty good job containing them before Tuipulotu cleans up their kick and uses Tito for the return. A good carry from Komolafe gets the Eels moving forwards and Arthur rifles a kick downfield early in the set catching Manly slightly asleep.

Unfortunately some lax discipline getting back 10m costs the Eels the field position as the referee pings them on the first tackle of the set. A second penalty for Manly follows as the Eels are pinged for pushing down in the ruck – quick tap from Manly! The Eels scramble well to cover the first run but the Sea Eagles looked to have crashed over on the second. No! He has lost it! Wowza. 20m restart.

Parramatta storm downfield with strong runs to Penisini and Tohi before running down their right on the last. Great offload from Russell to keep play alive but the final ass to Komolafe is intercepted! 12 point turnaround? No! Komolafe has come from the clouds to make an incredible try saver! What an amazing tackle! And the Manly player has lost the ball! Wait no! What has happened? Within half a second of the tackle the Eels are penalised and worse, sin binned! Horrific call there. Could be a game changer. I think he has Parramatta for a flop there even though the ball was lost.

Of course Manly go on to score from the one player advantage. Just embarrassing officiating there.


Try scored by the Manly Sea Eagles. Conversion successful.

Manly lead 6-0

10min gone


Oh dear, and from bad to worse for Parramatta as they kick out on the full from the restart. They somehow survive the raid as the Sea Eagles drop the ball over the line. Somehow the referee manages to miss a blatant tackle over the horizontal as Komolafe is dumped on his shoulder.

The Eels make things worse on themselves with an error in a carry over halfway. The main official finds a strip in a loose carry (apologies if I am coming across as overly salty but the referee has had a huge impact on this game) and the Sea Eagles cross down Parramatta’s right edge as the undermanned defensive line can’t hold out.


Try scored by the Manly Sea Eagles. Conversion unsuccessful.

Manly lead 10-0

16min gone


Oscar Mezzomo is finally back on at the conclusion of the kickoff set. The Eels get a penalty from their kick return and hilariously are prevented from a tap restart which saw Leonard interfered with by an offside defender. Instead of a sin-binning to the infringing Manly defender the Eels are forced to tread back the mark.

A second penalty follows as Trey Mooney has the ball reefed out in a multiple defender tackle. Parramatta can’t cross despite a great indiviudal run from Jakob Arthur and despite the referee missing an obvious grounding from the Manly fullback as he tried to dive back into the field of play the Eels get some karmic justice as the Sea Eagles drop the ball on the following tackle.

The Eels need a result now after absorbing a huge ten minute period of pressure and they turn to their mercurial fullback from the scrum win. Josh Tuipulotu glides down Parramatta’s right edge and just slices through the defensive line! The Eels are back in this!


Try scored by Josh Tuupulotu. Conversion successful by Sean Russell.

Parra trail 6-10

23min gone


Holy dooley, talk about karmic justice! The Eels make a monstrous break down their left edge as they unleash Tito. The rampaging winger beats two or three defenders before he is pulled down on Manly’s 30m mark before a blatant flop slows his play-the-ball down. The referee has now choice but to send the Manly defender to the bin in light of the precedent he set earlier on.

Parramatta can’t score from the resultant set but they need to build pressure in this window of opportunity.

Sets are traded between both teams before another error is forced from the Eels, this one comes from a brutal shot on an inside pass. Good read from the Sea Eagle defender.

Big run from Komolafe to start this set. Could have drawn a penalty there but no luck. We punch it through the ruck before Arthur stabs a kick in behind. Manly’s five-eighth had dropped back to play wing for some reason there and takes it on the full.

Manly create something out of nothing with a line break from one of their big forwards but a massive cover tackle from Trey Mooney saves the day and the Eels effect the turnover on tackles on the next play.

Parramatta drive to halfway in response with a minute on the clock and Arthur heaves an end-over-end bomb up with 20 seconds left. He is cleaned up late and cops a pretty big verbal from the defender as well. Amusingly though the hit draws a fair penalty from the spot of the landing ball and the Eels will shoot for goal with time expired.


Penalty conversion attempt successful by Sean Russell.


Half Time

Manly Sea Eagles 10 lead Parramatta Eels 8


Second Half


Parramatta are kicking off this half as they trail Manly by just two-points.

Awful start for the half for Parramatta as they go fishing for a big hit and give up a huge line break as a result. Manly go over halfway on the first tackle and then earn a penalty two plays later. Huge defensive stand needed here for the Eels and they provide just that as they hold out and let Manly produce the error with a forward pass.

A big run from Trey Mooney sets the tone from the scrum win and Mauala follows it up by earning a penalty with his carry. Left to Penisini from the restart and he has a nice little carry in behind the ruck. Parramatta head to the posts on the next tackle which lays it up from Drew Lllyod. He shapes up to his half Loizou on his right before darting left and diving over under the posts!

For the first time in front for the Eels today!


Try scored by Drew Lloyd. Conversion successful by Sean Russell.

Eels lead 14-10

34min gone


Powerful carry from Mauala from the kickoff. Great second phase ball unleashes Lloyd down the left and the Eels storm right to the goal line on the last when Lloyd tries to crash over from dummy half. Referee has him held up though.

Manly work it to half way in reply and send a bomb up that Tuipulotu sensationally defuses with a monstrous leap and catch. He is clipped by a chaser though and careens into a fellow Eels’ shoulder and does not move as he hits the ground. A hush over the ground now as the trainer races out and immediately signals for the stretcher. Bad, bad signs here.

Josh is moving his arms and legs at the very least but he is carried off on the stretcher. Hoping the best for the young star here.

The Eels pick up a penalty from the clipping of Tuipulotu’s legs and find touch.

Maulaua and Mooney get the going forwards before they sortie left where they are turned back by Manly.

Arthur sizes up his last tackle options and aims a cross-field bomb for his flying flanker on the right edge in Matthew Komolafe. The uber-athletic winger soars through the air and says this ball is mine!  He has leaped between three defenders and somehow gotten it down! What a superb kick and take.


Try scored by Matthew Komolafe. Conversion unsuccessful by Sean Russell.

Eels lead 18-10

40min gone


Solid set from Manly and they complete it by testing out the fill in fullback in Samuel Loizou. He is easily up to the challange of the bomb before making a good 12m with some nifty footwork.

A huge bust from Penisini takes the Eels miles downfield as he surges through the waves of cover defendes before he is pulled down inside the 20m mark of Manly’s red zone.

The Eels can’t score or force a repeat set as Manly scramble for their lives but in the following set a bullocking kick return from Komolafe gets the Eels over halfway. Superb effort there from one the Eels’ best.

Alas they can’t capitalise on it as a shift down the left edge comes undone when Kalache drops a pass. That was called backwards for Brisbane in the NRL mind you.

Parramatta are marking up pretty well here and Manly try to drive a low kick in behind but Mezzomo deflects it in the line and then dives on it.

Offensive discipline is slipping here though as the Eels are correctly pinged for a forward pass from dummy half. Manly with a huge opportunity here.

Half break from Manly form the scrum win but a big hustle play from the prop Taateo brings the Manly winger down. Parramatta are scrambling well here but they lose the last tackle kick forwards in-goals so we will have a line drop out.

A penalty follows for Manly as their big number eight is held up near the line trying to score. Bit of a dubious call for mine but whatever.

Unfortunately the extra set proves to be what Manly needed to crack the Eels as their five-eighth slips between two defenders and frees his arm enough to reach out and score. Huge final ten minutes here.


Try scored by the Manly Sea Eagles. Conversion successful.

Manly trail 16-18

51min gone


Big collision from the kickoff there. Woo. Manly work it down their right edge before spinning it left and then back right with some second phase footy. They will kick from 10m inside Parra’s half. Manly have a chaser a good 6m offside from their kick but the referee has missed it, fortunately Loizou takes the ball cleanly.

A huge carry from Tohi takes the Eels over halfway and is followed up by Mooney who is hit by a cannonball shoulder charge and a penalty follows. A chance perhaps to put the game away for the Eels.

Mezzomo takes the tap restart and is followed by Tohi who takes an army to stop. Wide left for the Eels where it looks like Loizou might slice through but he loses the ball as he spins through the final tackle! Oh dear! Manly scoop it up and shift it to their left where Komolafe makes an important stop but on the following tackle there is a 50/50 call between lst and hands on the ball and it falls Manly’s way.

Huge defensive set here.

Manly go down their left for the first two plays before spinning right.  The Eels hold on but are nearly split on the next play by the five-eighth. They survive to the last, huge huge play here, and the Sea Eagles opt to roll in towards to posts. Is it too heavy off the boot? No it kicks up at the very end and a Manly chaser slides inside three Parramatta defenders to somehow plant the ball down. What a heart breaker. There is still roughly three minutes on the clock but the Eels will need a miracle here.


Try scored by the Manly Sea Eagles. Conversion successful.

Manly lead 22-18

57min gone


Long kick from the Eels.They are going to back their defence here. Immediately there is cramping by the Manly team, to the surprise of no one. Time is blown off quickly. 2:15 left on the clock, enough for one set. Approaching farcical levels now with the clock stopped for well over two minutes. Surely someone else can play the ball here?

Eventually the Manly backrower is chaired off so perhaps the cramping issue was legitimate but the fact it took nearly five minutes to resume play is ridiculous.

Manly complete their set by finding touch 18m off Parramatta’s goal line. The Eels have 90 seconds to go 80m and steal the win here.

Loizou nearly opens Manly up from the scrum win but loses his feet as he cuts back to his left.

Tohi surges left then right and on the next play the fate of the game is decided. Kalache sweeps right and tries to unleash Komolafe with a cutout pass but it is well read by the Manly flanker who swoops infield and intercepts the looping pass.

Komolafe, probably Parramatta’s best on the day, gives a valiant chase but he can’t make up the ground already given up and even if he did the game was over with the change of possession. Tragic end to a game that was turned on its head with the brutal injury to Tuipulotu. Credit to Manly for playing a tough game as well today, they are worthy premiers.


Try scored by the Manly Sea Eagles. Conversion unsuccessful.


Full Time

Manly Sea Eagles 26 defeat Parramatta Eels 18


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Some of the names of rhe manly team sounda very familiar ?


Some of the names in the Parra side sound familiar?


Many are from Parramatta District wasn’t picked so went to Manly.
Some names from Westfield Sports High School.


We have the biggest nursery the manly eels … parra just unlucky let’s hope big second half


Good to see the boys put in well; and just beaten it seems by the Sydney west Eels/ Panthers.

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