The Cumberland Throw

Live Blog – Jersey Flegg Round 13 vs New Zealand Warriors

Parramatta Eels Jersey Flegg side
1. Sione Fonua
2. Haze Dunster
3. Tuimavave Afualo
4. Noel Aukafolau
21. William Kei
6. Todd Sapienza
7. Jaydn Field
8. Sean Keppie
9. Ayden Carling
10. Michael Tupou
14. Nick Okladnikov
12. Salesi Faingaa
13. Jesse Cronin

15. PJ Vaigalu
16. Steve Dresler
17. Bruce Ward
20. Austin Dias

Late Mail


A few final changes for the Eels. Taufa Afu and Dylan Clifford drop out of the team today with William Kei and Nick Okladnikov coming into the starting team in their place. Austin Dias comes from the shadow bench onto the game-day bench.


First Half


The Warriors will be kicking off and running towards the cricket oval for those that are familiar with Ringrose Park.

Wowza, a swirling gale kicks up as soon as the Warriors kick off and the ball is held up in the air for an age. It hits the deck and the Eels dive on it to secure the opening possession. Early settlers from the forwards get the Eels over halfway before a strong run from Noel Aukafolau sets up Parramatta on the last.

A deft kick Todd Sapienza finds the ground behind the defensive line and it takes a nasty break for the Warriors’ winger. Haze Dunster is flying through in pursuit and scoops up the ball before rolling through the cover tackle to score! Superb first set.


Try scored by Haze Dunster. Conversion unsuccessful by Todd Sapienza.

Eels lead 4-0

2min gone


A string of penalties carry the Eels down the field and they are on the cusp of scoring down their right edge before John Fonua loses the ball heading into contact at the final gasp.

First possession for the Warriors and they throw the ball around with some quality offloads but the cover defence for the Eels is awake to the danger. Midfield bomb on the last but New Zealand lose the ball forwards in the contest.

Simple stuff from Parra now. They punch it up through the middle before giving Aukafolau a carry late in the set. Sapienza completes the set by finding the grass with a shallow kick. It takes a favourable bounce for Parramatta from there though and the Warriors will start the set from inside their red zone.

They aren’t there for long mind you. More late offloads quickly take them to halfway before the ruck defence for the Eels goes to sleep on an offload to the New Zealand fullback. He slices through the retreating defenders and just scorches past Fonua at the last line. Too easy.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion successful.

Warriors lead 6-4

10min gone


Oh dear. Out on the full from Fonua here. Inexcusable error there and unfortunately, young John has some form in this regard. The Eels dodge the bullet when some clever work from our right edge reefs the ball loose and causes a turnover.

Parramatta ride the switch in momentum down their left edge as Fonua redeems himself somewhat by forcing a line drop out from a grubber kick as Aukafolau gives pursuit.

Jesse Cronin nearly crashes over next to the posts but strikes the upright and is barely held up. The Eels look to force a second line drop out with a neat grubber kick from Jaydn Field but excellent work from the New Zealand #1 gets the visitors out of trouble.

The effort amounts to zilch for the Warriors though as they turn the ball over two tackles later.

Bit of scrappy play from Aukafolau as he throws a loose pass to William Kei. The 2018 SG Ball graduate does very well to reel in the pass and fling an offload back into play. Aukafolau shows plenty of hustle to get back and dive on the ball. What a crucial effort that was as well because two plays later the Eels are over!

It is the dummy half Ayden Carling who is the culprit! Holds the ball up from the play the ball and burrows over for the go-ahead score.


Try scored by Ayden Carling. Conversion successful by Todd Sapienza.

Eels lead 10-6

17min gone


Whooska! Two huge carries from Michael Tupou and strong supporting runs from Sean Keppie and Jesse Cronin rock the Warriors before a tidy kick locks them on their goal line. Strong defence in the reply set forces an error! Eels pouring the pressure on here.

Scratch that. A very loose pass from Carling at dummy half is easily intercepted by the goal line defence. Who was he passing to? There wasn’t an Eel in the post code of that pass.

A penalty follows as the Eels are caught inside the 10m but the touch finder is very nearly caught by Sapienza. Alas he loses the ball into a flying chaser and the Warriors will survive the near embarrassment.

New Zealand don’t overly exert the Parramatta defence from the resultant set but they manage to get an error out of Tui Afualo on the last as he tries to dive on a grubber kick in the front line.

Another set for the Warriors and another penalty follows as Faingaa is caught offside.

The Eels lift spectacularly in defence and outlast New Zealand as Dunster cleans up a grubber kick and gets back into the field of play.

They transfer that energy into the following set as they drive the ball to halfway and Sapienza knocks it into touch 10m from the New Zealand goal line. Great footy right there.

Parramatta are caught inside the 10m again, really hurting themselves in that regard and the Warriors make them pay. They run the ball on the last and create a 2-on-1 overlap down our right edge. Dunster correctly shoots from the wing but is caught in two minds as to take the runner and block the pass and he ends up doing neither as the Warriors cross untouched. These penalties are really killing the Eels.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion unsuccessful.

Warriors lock it up 10-all

30min gone


Break break from Cronin in Parra’s next set! He just slices between defenders up the middle and nearly beats the fullback as he breaks to his left! He is brought down by the cover chasers but is clearly held down and the penalty and sin-binning comes as a result!

Big passage of play for the Eels here and they start it as ideally as possible as Sapeinza dabs a grubber kick in behind for Nick Okladnikov to chase and the backrower beats the defence there for the try. Really nice work.


Try scored by Nick Okladnikov. Conversion successful by Sapienza.

Eels lead 16-10

33min gone


A great set by Parramatta after points leads to a line drop out as Kei’s chase, along with two over defenders, traps the Warriors in goals. Alas with only 30sec on the clock the 40sec run off for drop outs mean the half is over.


Half Time

Parramtta Eels 16 lead New Zealand Warriors 10


Second Half


Parramatta are kicking off in the second half. Thankfully it doesn’t fly dead with Fonua kicking into a hefty breeze.

The Warriors struggle for metres coming out of their half and heave a midfield bomb up. Dunster loses the ball backwards in the contest, no, a knock-on from the Warriors.

A surging carry from Afualo has the defensive line bending and buckling before he offloads to Field! Great second phase ball and Field pinches another 40m! He is clearly held down after the line break and the penalty comes but bizarrely there is no sin-binning as the referee gets gun-shy on binning two Warriors at the concurrently.

Tap and go from Fonua but Sean Keppie drops the ball cold on the second. Huge let off there.

Both teams trade sets now, the Eels seem to be getting on top in the territory battle but they concede a penalty that undoes all the hard work. Big set now for Parramatta as the Warriors start a fresh possession from halfway.

A near intercept to Haze Dunster! He can’t quite drag the ball in as he saves a try. The ball pops up for the Warriors and they play the advantage as they race for the corner but Afualo and Faingaa push across in support and bundle the runner into touch. No advantage for New Zealand there.

Another penalty for the Warriors now, the count must surely be ballooning out now, this one for the Eels slowing the ruck down.

The weight of possession proves to be too much as our left-edge caves in. As with the first two tries, it is a bit soft as the right centre for the Warriors pulls the handbrake and cuts back inside. The Eels all over commit on the slide and he is gifted an easy passage to the line.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion unsuccessful.

Warriors trail 14-16

47min gone


Ooh, an offensive penalty from the Warriors here. Sloppy play the ball near halfway. Sadly the Eels reply with a shocker of their own as the pass from Carling is called forwards from dummy half.

Another offensive penalty from the Warriors as they are done for an obstruction now. The Eels surge and draw a second penalty from a terrific ruck carry from Afualo. Carling taps quickly and runs as the Eels get into the Warriors’ red zone.

A great kick from Sapienza is bettered by some stellar fullback play as the New Zealand custodian gets back into the field of play but hustling kick chase drives him back in goals!

That is a booming drop out with the assist from the wind and the Eels lose it backwards on the first attempt. They eventually clean it up but lose a chunk of ground and the set end up going no where quickly as Aukafolau loses the ball in the ruck mid-set.

Phew, big break for the Eels as something of a nothing kick from the Warriors on the last is allowed to bounce by Fonua. Naturally everything goes to shit as a result as it skitters back to the posts, cutting off several Parramatta defenders. The Warriors get to the ball first but can’t cleanly possess it and it comes out for a 20m restart to the Eels. Crazy passage of play.

The Eels bash and barge their way downfield and are desperately unlucky not to draw several ruck penalties. A tip on from the Eels down their right side is intercepted but the runner channels the spirit of Ben Roberts as he loses the ball cold while a good 8m clear of any chaser! What is even happening right now?

Gee that is frustrating officiating. After allowing the Warriors multiple line ball tip ons that could have been called up he pings the Eels for a dropped pass that clearly went backwards.

The Warriors pounce on the opportunity with the scrum set 25m off Parramatta’s line and score the go-ahead try down our right-edge. Block play from the Warriors but the Eels read it correctly and had to numbers for the sweeper but Afualo and one other fall off and let the runner crash over.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion successful (controversy about whether it was in mind you)

Warriors lead 20-16

61min gone


It is all falling apart for the Eels here. PJ Vaigalu is left strewn on the ground and clearly concussed on halfway but play carries on. The Warriors get consecutive possessions when Dunster loses the contest for a bomb and with the Eels now two men short in the defensive line as Sapienza is slow to get up.

No surprise as the Warriors power over through the 11-man defensive line.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion unsuccessful.

Warriors lead 24-16

63min gone


And now a late penalty for the Warriors. The official has certainly made a huge impact in the backend of this game.


Penalty conversion attempt successful.

Warriors lead 26-16

65min gone


Complete collapse here. The Warriors run the ball on the last and throw it around to keep the play alive. The Eels seemingly had it well contained right up until they didn’t and the Warriors manage to get over in our right corner.


Try scored by the New Zealand Warriors. Conversion successful.

Warriors lead 32-16

68min gone


There is a possession left for both teams but nothing amounts to anything and the siren will ring out will the Eels squandering a first half lead.


Full Time

New Zealand Warriors 32 def. Parramatta Eels 16

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Great stuff 40. So far so good. C’mon Elvers.


And so it goes. Ta 40.


Not a good result. How are the injuries?