The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Spinal Tap Edition

NRL Team List

 

I have had the good fortune of never requiring a spinal tap in my relatively young life but it seems Brad Arthur is ready to go to extreme lengths to diagnose what is wrong with his ‘spine’ this week. While you can’t go freely rearranging your vertebrae on a literal basis, rugby league allows for some more creative tinkering to the backbones and Arthur has done just that as he switches Corey Norman and Clinton Gutherson to fullback and five-eighth respectively.

It should be noted at this point that I am no fan of this switcheroo (preferring to say, outright drop Norman) but it seems that ‘BA’ is intent on exhausting all possible permutations of the (extremely) limited first grade roster he has available currently before turning to unproven options.

On some level it makes a degree of sense. Gutherson has struggled to finish off backline movements in recent weeks and could benefit from handling the ball more often as he looks to shake off understandable playing rust. Norman on the other hand is playing out of sync with his left edge and could potentially be aided from the streamlined role in attack that comes with playing fullback.

My issues here are two-fold though. Firstly is the concern that it is a matter of public record that Norman is reticent to play fullback. Secondly is that even if the Eels break the shackles on Thursday night, the composition of this line-up is not necessarily conducive to longer-term success and thus you are back at square one.

The first point can potentially be reasoned as a direct response to Norman’s reluctance to don the #1 with his coach issuing a personal challenge to his mercurial play-maker in the hope that it kindles a competitive fire in a man that is running ice cold on the field. It is harder to frame an argument around the second point beyond the time old ‘it is so crazy that it might just work’.

‘BA’ was cagey when prompted by a question in the Round 11 post-match press conference as to whether he would be looking to blood more rookies with the season all but over.

The answer for now is a tentative no.

Scrambling the spine in such a manner feels something more akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic given our issues team wide. The decision will likely be met with apathy and frustration (and understandably so) but if you look closer at the team list you will note that Ray Stone and Jaeman Salmon are creeping their way up the depth charts as the occupy jerseys #18 and #19. Furthermore, Marata Niukore retains his spot in the provisional game-day roster as the winds of change blow ever so gently over Western Sydney.

Still, this could very well be a case of Arthur issuing a final ultimatum to one his highest profile players in Norman. Mitchell Moses answered the call on Friday night when his coach pointedly and publicly stated that Moses needed to be focused solely on the Eels rather than an Origin berth.

Now it seems that the blow torch has been turned on his partner in the halves…just how will he respond to the challenge from his coach?

There is some other team news to report with Siosaia Vave vaulting from the Intrust Super Premiership right into the starting line-up for the Eels following the season ending ACL injury to Beau Scott. The move means that Manu Ma’u will possibly start the game in a more tradition left-edge role after taking over the duties at lock in the last month or so. The in-form Peni Terepo is listed to start the game at lock as Parramatta throw a TLT vibe of looking to muscle up against the Broncos.

Kane Evans makes his return from a calf injury (the non-Humble kind) but will likely have to fight his way back into NRL contention from the ISP.

 

Parramatta Eels side
1. Corey Norman
2. Bevan French
3. Michael Jennings
4. Brad Takairangi
5. George Jennings
6. Clint Gutherson (c)
7. Mitch Moses
8. Daniel Alvaro
9. Cameron King
10. Siosaia Vave
11. Manu Ma’u
12. Tepai Moeroa
13. Peni Terepo
Interchange
14. Will Smith
15. Suaia Matagi
16. David Gower
17. Marata Niukore
18. Ray Stone
19. Jaeman Salmon
20. Kane Evans
21. Josh Hoffman

 

Intrust Super Premiership Team List

 

Wenty fell short of a spirited comeback against the top seeded Mounties on the weekend landing 10-points adrift at 24-34 but the youth brigade did their part well as they start to take control of the bits and bobs line-up at their disposal. Jaeman Salmon and Reed Mahoney genuinely threatened the defence of the competition front-runners and will be looking to bounce back against the Bears this week.

As we have come to expect on TLT, the Wenty roster looks somewhat lacklustre when stripped of the 4-man contingent named on the NRL shadow bench. Salmon, Ray Stone, Josh Hoffman and Kane Evans will provide a substantial boost for the plucky Magpies as they look to keep in touch with the Top 4 in the ISP.

 

Wentworthville Magpies side
1. Nathan Milone
2. Nathan Davis
3. Kirisome Auva’a
4. Dane Aukafolau
5. Eddie Aiono
6. Brad Deitz
7. Arana Taumata
8. Magnus Stromquist
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Haimona Hiroti
11. Matt Woods
12. Piki Rogers
13. Yileen Gordon
Interchange
14. Jack Morris
15. Daniel Dole
16. Oregon Kaufusi
17. Kurt De Luis
18. Dylan Izzard

 

Jersey Flegg Team List

 

Parramatta prevailed against the Mounties in an eerily similar reversal of the ISP scoreline as they secured a 32-24 victory. Impressively, the Flegg squad overcame a lopsided 3-11 penalty handicap en route to claiming the two competition points. Strong performances from young stars Dylan Brown and Stefano Utoikamanu paved the way forwards while the savvy and industriousness of backrower Jesse Cronin also proved more than useful.

Sydney Shield prospect Todd Sapienza is performing admirably in his relief play-making duty as he steps into the considerable boots of Joe Taipari.

Coach Dean Feeney makes minimal changes to a roster that has been competitive throughout the 2018 season. Salesi Faingaa shifts back into the starting line up and blog-favourite Steve Dresler looks set to be cleared for his first action since Round 2 of 2017. James Porter is the odd-man out but presumably through injury with the rangy forward impressing in his maiden Flegg season.

Parramatta will host the Bears at Ringrose Park on Sunday.

 

Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side
1. John Fonua
2. Haze Dunster
3. Tuimavave Afualo
4. Noel Aukafolau
5. Taufa Afu
6. Todd Sapienza
7. Dylan Brown
8. Sean Keppie
9. Aden Carling
10. Michael Tupou
11. Dylan Clifford
12. Salesi Faingaa
13. Jesse Cronin
Interchange
14. Nick Okladnikov
15. Stefano Utoikamanu
16. PJ Vaigalu
17. Steve Dresler
18. Vea Tapa
19. Bruce Ward
20. Charbel Tasipale
21. William Kei
22. Valance Harris

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Clive
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Clive

What a disaster this season has become. At the end of last year we were one of the competitions form teams with one of the best halves pairings in the game. Now we can’t beat anyone and our “fashion designing five eight” is more interested in his next collection of shitty clothes “dropping” than his footballing career.
If I was Brad I would drop Calvin Corey to reserve grade and bring Jarryd into the halves. Let Moses run the team and tell Hayne to run the ball.

Can’t go any worse than we are now.

Milo
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Milo

Great read 40. I am happy BA has moved Norman albeit not out the door but maybe he’s trying to give Hayne another week. Guth will provide some stability IMO in the halves. Norman if he BUYS into the team can float around the halves etc. IMO Smith is not the best option for halves. I also think we are closer to winning this week than losing.
With some media speculation around Bellamy and Broncs could it unsettle them? Who knows…..

mitch
Admin

For a controversial take (which Forty and I have already discussed), I respectfully disagree with Forty’s comments regarding Corey. IF (note the capitals, IF) the rumours of Corey’s impending sale are true, obviously you’d want to keep his price up. Forty maintains (with supporting evidence, mind you) that dropping Corey to ISP would not affect what a team is willing to pay for him. I disagree, I think it would cause his price to drop. The season is effectively over and you can do little but make either big or little changes to try win games, whilst at the same… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Would definetley affect his value !!!!!!!

John Eel
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John Eel

I am with Forty on this one. Paul Vaughn was dropped to Mounties and the Dragons paid $700,000 for him for the 2017 season. Anyone interested in Corey would have a view to his ability already. I do agree his value and what other clubs are willing to pay to buy out his contract is critical.

The other point that has infuriated me this season with Corey is him running into Cul-de-sac’s and getting tackled in possession. I wonder if Colmac could give us stats on how many times he has been tackled in possession.

Shelley
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Shelley

First reaction- must have misread it, he is either 5/8th or dropped. I will admit if late changes are made, i.e Norman dropped altogether I will be pissed as I respect BA’s honesty with fans, especially as he has given interviews about why Norman has been moved today. I get keeping game plans secretive but at this time the Parra fans need some clear and honest responses. Second reaction- oh brave, very brave BA. Is he feeling okay? He must have confidence in either his job security or Norman to do this. ( possibly both) Third reaction- You know what… Read more »

mitch
Admin

Great post. So much meat.

Rowdy
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Rowdy

You’re not allowed to say that about sheilas Mitch you can’t refer to them as meat anymore. Not even our Shelley mate!

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley as per usual you provide us with great posts & this all but says it all. The thing with Norms is that we all know he has the ability to play extremely good football but its no good making all the sounds in the world in interviews which to me just seems to be self promo bandwagon stuff where he says more at those gatherings but has his foot firmly planted in his mouth on the field as he is close to permanently doing the opposite of what he says. It would seem the only thing stopping him from… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

I thought that we needed a bit more of a change than what is shown in this team, and its going to be a hard night for the eels against the horses. I am happy to see Gutho in the halves but I an wondering about Norms at fullback, he’s dosey enough at 6 and that’s in the middle of the action, what’s he going to be like at fullback? I tend to think that unless Norms makes a showing from the back he will be told it would be in his best and the clubs best interests if he… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dane akafalou isnt and never will be nrl quality ,wenty forever !!!

Rowdy
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Rowdy

If Normy plays fullback for us like he did for the Broncos in his early career we’ll be in very good hands at the back!

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Rowdy, The biggest word in the English Dictionary. IF

Cappy
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Cappy

Corey should of been droppped weeks ago. No wonder French wants to leave the club give him a go at fullback while Gutho is at 6.
Anyway it’s been a disaster of a season.

sixties
Admin

Cappy, I’m not sure that Bev’s efforts are screaming out “I demand to be selected at fullback!”
My only positive take is that Normans involvement chiming in from fullback is that he now becomes an option for the halves, rather than him deciding what option he would take.

Fletch
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Fletch

I find it interesting that with all this talk that Norman may be being shopped around, potentially leaving the club, there is little comment on that itself as an issue. A few are inferring they’d welcome that, most are seemingly indifferent. As I said, interesting.

mitch
Admin

I must admit I would have felt differently/more optimistic prior to our game vs the Warriors. It was as bad as Mitch Moses was for the Tigers before joining us, almost as bad as Chris Sandow’s last game for us.

jonboy
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jonboy

Fletch- as much as Parra supporters have enjoyed Corey’s moments of brilliance and inspiration, I dont really feel that he has ever done enough to convince me that he is “a Parra Boy”. I just haven’t felt that he bleeds blue and gold. Compare that to so many of our other recruits in recent years…Beau Scott, Gutho and even Moses is already displaying that level of passion for the club. Corey, with his off field escapades and “gangster” bad boy image isn’t what Parra has ever been about. Titans, Roosters or Dogs yes, but not Parra. Maybe I am just… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

jonboy, I don’t especially go along with the Parra Boy aspect, as I actually wonder just how many of the players over all the grades really can be deemed that way? For me, every club has some form of culture, much of which players will sense what their team/club is like also those they play as opponents. Culture can under those circumstances be very very shaky over time. If one casts their memories back to last year and the lead up to this season, that culture was working with the whole team, some more so than others but, I doubt… Read more »

John Eel
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John Eel

Jonboy I know what you mean about Corey. I always have thought that he was biding his time at Para. Maybe it was the fact that he never brought a property here just rented whith a former friend from Brisbane.

I don’t know but never seemed committed to being in Sydney

JonBoy
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JonBoy

Gutho to 6 is, IMHO the right move. As much as the Moses/Norman pairing worked last year I think Gutho was outstanding in his tenure in the 6 at the start of last season. I suspect that he surprised many with how well he fitted in the role and I actually reckon that he is better suited to the 6 than the 1. Consider the enthusiasm and effort of a Moses/Gutho combination. The Corey to fullback move worries me but Bevan hasn’t done enough to earn the jersey. With JH still not ready to return and Will Smith not having… Read more »

John Eel
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John Eel

My biggest issue with Gutho going to 6 is his kicking skills. Whilst his passing game is OK he will be in a position that will require a better kicking game than he previously showed.

No doubt his best performances for the Eels have come since he moved to FB.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

John, we know Norms skills in that area, the problem is he is not using it. I believe that MM can be more than adequate in that area, also I think Gutho had some fair kicks when he was in the halves before. My personal thoughts though, and after I watched the BA pre donkeys interview earlier I get the impression that if the move does not work and Norms picks up his act, then other options will be looked at. Can you give me a ring, we have a new phone and I think it cut out part of… Read more »