The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Fulfil Your Role, Step Up To Responsibilities

They were rolling us 60-70m through the middle and kicking it to where they wanted to. It’s frustrating.” 

If you don’t control the ruck, if your forwards lose the battle in the middle of the field, you will inevitably give away penalties and field position. You will almost certainly lose the match.

This is not unique to Parra. This is rugby league as we know it. This is exactly what happened in the Storm v Dragons, Warriors v Tigers, Raiders v Titans and Panthers v Cowboys games this past weekend and it is certainly what happened in the Eels v Sharks.

I am sick of hearing that our forward pack is bad. Anyone who watched Manu, Tim, Daniel or Tepai play ‪on Saturday night‬ or Nathan Brown before he was injured, cannot seriously say they are not first grade forwards. They all did their job on Saturday, and most weeks go above and beyond it.

From the stands, six forwards stood out above the rest on Saturday night and in my opinion we had four of them. That should have been enough to give our backs a real chance to win. No doubt some blame needs to land at the backs’ feet as well.

But, from the stands, you could see that the Sharks had an entire forward pack who did their job. Their performances weren’t as spectacular as Fifita, but it was exactly what the team needed them to do. Collectively they gave their backs and halves the platform, field position and time they needed to work from. On the other hand, we had a couple of forwards who, from the very opening set, failed to recognise that their job was to put pressure on Fifita and Prior and get us going forward in attack.

Whatever you think about Craig Bellamy and his coaching tactics, he has no doubt built a successful team and club. In his book he said, ‘ My values are simple, but they are black and white. There aren’t no grey areas there; hard work, effort, team mentality and honesty.’

I imagine BA is no different. So just like when Bellamy dropped his first, and arguably his best halfback option in Brodie Croft because he could not be relied upon to do what the team needed him to do, we also need to be able and willing as a club to make similar decisions.

Clint Gutherson made a frank assessment of the Sharks match.

The quote I used to open this post did not come from me, nor did it come from a commentator or journalist. The quote came from Clint Gutherson in the post match press conference after this loss. It was raw and emotional – but it was also the truth. If our identity under BA is all about hard work, discipline and team first mentality, then we need to protect it at all costs, otherwise the frustration will continue to grow and we will lose more than just games this year.

Our next two opponents, the Dogs and the Warriors, have forwards very much like Fifita. They might not be in his class, but they play the exact same way. We need to give ourselves a chance to win and make them beat us a different way and not straight through the middle.

I am still proud of my team and will support them at ANZ on Friday night. There is no question of throwing the towel in. But just like BA said a few weeks ago, enough is enough and for me this past game reached that point with a few of our players.

This is the pain of total investment.

I will finish with one scenario to justify my strong opinion this week. Can you imagine if Moses had decided he was not going to take that last kick, that he was not going to attempt to do his job for fear of looking bad or making a mistake or because he was too tired after the try? His investment in his role was there for all to see in the pain of the miss.

Our team can’t afford to have anybody not fully committed or focussed on their role, their responsibilities, each week. All get out of gaol cards have been used up during the first six rounds.

A few players not stepping up in any match makes the task of winning a difficult one for everyone else. Whether it was giving away ridiculous penalties, dropping the football, or allowing Fifita to rampage through the middle of the ruck, there were forwards guilty of letting their team mates down against the Sharks.

Those concerned need to accept that responsibility and step up this week.

Shelley

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yaya
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yaya

@Suaia Matagi

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, 200% in what you have said in this post, especially in regards to the words that you have put in the title, those sentiments have to be fully on show and happening from the first whistle to the last one. I will be sitting down and watching the game on Friday night, I will be yelling at the box, with all I can, and hopefully it will be all cheers. A win should be the very tonic the players need, not only that but it will mean they leapfrog the dogs who go to the bottom of the ladder… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

A win is important and if they all play well I think that should be a given. As a fan I can always excuse mistakes, injury, bad luck and even poor choices or execution but I just felt for a couple they did not even try to do the primary job- to stop Fifita.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley I think we are all in the same canoe in those items. Certainly Fifita on his day is a hard man to bring down, but our players should have known what he was going to do, he basically is one of the old school bash and bargers, thing is those responsible in stopping him had to lift, yet what I read is they treated Prior the same way and he’s not in the same class/school as Fifita If our forwards go missing against the likes of Klemmer and Woods, then we are going to have a hard night. The… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Agreed on this blog; effort and hard work. Nothing less. Seasons on the edge. Players and all have to stand up – i know that we will probably lose the penalties after D Pays outburst and they will go at us in the middle.
No Hayne; No Brown; No Mannah; No TREX and No K Pritchard. We have to stand up.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Milo this is going to be a hard game. There primary pack is tough and strong, their hooker aside the lightest player in the run on squad is Jackson at 99kg Our mob really will have a job to do on the dogs, and they have to not just stand up but to really stand up against their big men in defence but when attacking try to run them down by getting them to chase the attack, this is the game where perhaps throwing caution to the wind may be the best option. It may really help our primary forwards… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Could not agree more Col; it is worrying as i had faith this time last year and in 2016; but am not confident at all tbh. Will the real or the bad Parra turn up…?

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Milo, they have to arrive, turn up, stand up, and that’s just the beginning, and have to do it for the full 80 or whatever minutes the game goes for. I see perhaps the key player in this match for the eels being MM, he needs to run, and show the elusiveness he has, that along with working with Gutho from the back, also Norms needs to have a big game, they to me are the keys. The forwards though have to ensure they push the doors to open them for the others to get down the hallway and to… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

corey is our biggest problem and the sooner he goes the better – crabbing more than sef paulo ever did .

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Great post Shelley. I reckon you’ve nailed.