The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 16 at Dragons

Note: Due to a site migration, the original version of this post (and its 100 or so comments) were lost. This is a copy and paste of the original article. Apologies that your comments were not able to be recovered. It’s probably time to move on with your lives. -Mitch


Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 18

 St George Illawarra Dragons 20

The Good:
Pretty much everything until the final 3 minutes. We were active, fierce in defence and looked pretty fluent in attack. If that game was our Round 1, I would feel pretty good about Season 2018.
The Bad:
For about the 50th time this season, I am absolutely gutted.
On a cold and wet night in Wollongong, anyone who was there and not collecting a pay check deserves a medal.

If it makes you feel any better, this loss would be even more frustrating if our season were still alive. In the midst of your pain, there are hopeful signs here. I know, it still really sucks.

The MVP:


Gutho easily could have and Gennings almost did, but from the back of the field comes the ever talented Corey Norman to claim his first MVP of 2018. Man, the next few months are going to be interesting/nerve wracking for Eels fans as rumours continue to swirl around his place in the Blue & Gold. Despite the result, at least for tonight, he was outstanding.

1- Clint Gutherson

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Clint got smashed by DeBelin and Sims on back to back kick receptions in the first half and responded by taking three hit ups in the latter set of six. That’s put the team on his back-esque leadership. I thought Lemon played an outstanding game, reminding us once again tonight of his immense natural talent. A massive 17 runs, 151 metres, 19 tackles and a tackle break makes it a great game from Gutho with a gutting conclusion.

2- Bevan French

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Other than dropping a nightmare of a kick from Ben Hunt late in the first half, I thought Bev had a pretty good game tonight. With that said, how many teams can afford for their winger to only have 6 carries in a game?

I thought Bev and Jenko looked much better tonight than our right side defence of Jenko/Jenko last week. Then again, a wet tissue would have provided more defensive resistance than the collective effort of last week’s right side.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

Why go hard when you can just go home?” – Michael Jennings, tonight.

Look, I really don’t like picking on the same bloke week after week; but honestly Jet you’re not even trying, mate. I suggest all Eels fans go back and watch Dufty’s first half circus try and watch Michael Jennings completely GIVE UP moments after getting completely stood up by Tim Lafai. Jennings had the opportunity to easily prevent that try, but instead decided to clock off and take in the sights of WIN Stadium with a leisurely stroll along the western touchline.

Jet did some good things (15 runs, 127 metres), but moments like those mentioned above completely eviscerate them in my opinion.

Particularly when you consider his representative history, Michael Jennings’ play and effort is simply not good enough at the moment, and hasn’t been up to scratch for quite some time.

4- Jarryd Hayne

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

So that makes it 4 tries in his last 3 games for Jarryd Hayne; for the team coming dead last.

Sure he missed 4 tackles, but he broke 5 of his own, so I figure that’s a net positive. Despite what the media says, I’m firmly of the belief we should re-sign Jarryd Hayne, particularly considering his 15 runs for a stellar 150 metres, linebreak and try saving tackle effort tonight.

5- George Jennings

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Speaking of people the Eels need to re-sign, enter George Jennings.

The favoured Jennings ended up with 17 runs, a mammoth 186 running metres and 3 tackle breaks. The 4 missed tackles sucks a little air of out his bright blue balloon of a game, but surely only him running over BA’s cat could stop him from getting a contract extension.

6- Corey Norman

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Gee that was a pretty ball from Corey for Browny’s first half try, but it was outdone by a sublime kicking game from Normy. In the midst of a rumour whirlwind, it was terrific to see his absolutely busting his gut for the team. To be honest, I thought he was close to best on field tonight.

7- Mitch Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Although his game was soured by a couple of poorly timed, ill disciplined penalties, I thought our halves combo looked pretty great tonight. Both Mitch and Corey showed some nice kicking touch throughout most of the game, forcing repeat sets or simply opting to kick it into the corners. Mitch had 29 touches to Corey’s 34 tonight, and other than the end result, it felt like the best of 2017 again. More of this from both of them would be ideal, but we’ll see what comes.

8- Daniel Alvaro

Prop, Parramatta Eels

An early error and then giving the Dragons a leg up out of their red zone is not the start Daniel wanted, but he did finish with 2 tackle breaks, 30 tackles and a to-do-list like 9 runs for 71 metres.

9- Cameron King

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

If nothing else I love that Cameron King is just out there, rocking the goatee like an early 90s jazz enthusiast. To be brutally honest, if he stays on the park tonight, we win. Kingy had 34 tackles and provided good, consistent service for his forwards. In short, I thought he was really great tonight.

10- Siosaia Vave 

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Tonight marked Siosaia’s 100th NRL game, and he continued the Eels’ proud tradition of having a starting prop off for a HIA inside 20 minutes. Thankfully he found his way back on field for 10 runs, 81 metres and 20 tackles. Congrats on 100 game milestone mate, now allow me to immediately erase all memory of the event from my memory.

11- Marata Niukore

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

A facial injury to Manu Ma’u gave him the opportunity to start and play extended minutes, so it was only appropriate Marata celebrated by charging down the first kick of the night with his face.

Although he missed Euan Aitken from marker in the 14th minute, Crunch more than made up for it by showing desperation in defence the rest of the night, typified when he dived on a loose ball at the start of the second half. Hukuna Marata ended up with 9 runs for 78 metres, 3 tackle breaks and a stupefying 40 tackles with only the 1 aforementioned miss. Outstanding game from the young buck.

12- Brad Takairangi

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Brad Takairangi put Widdop on his backside so many times tonight, rumour has it Gareth has immediately retired from rugby league, moved to Albury and taken up cross stitch.

Although he might be remembered for a mistimed flick pass in the final minutes, Taka still had 13 runs, 103 metres, a mighty 4 tackle breaks and 34 tackles across 80 minutes, which you should be more than ok with.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Hey there, you big try scorer, you.

Cyborg ran 14 times for 100 metres, had 2 tackle breaks, made 31 tackles and scored his 3rd ever try. I will endeavour to confirm this rumour with the coaching staff, but I hear that during breaks in play Browny actually drinks coolant instead of Gatorade.


14- Will Smith

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

You turned my joy into sadness, you have stripped me of jubilation and clothed me in sackcloth.

Get in the sea, Will Smith; get in the sea.

15- Tim Mannah (c)

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

If you’ve ever seen him play a game of rugby league, you know that Tim Mannah has sidesteps and linebreaks for days. The Big Easy had 9 runs for 121 metres, 3 tackle breaks, 28 tackles and a try assist; sending a message to any who still doubt him.

16- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Good on him for being there when Matt Dufty destroyed all our hopes and dreams.

17- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Although I am struggling to find balance and joy in my life right now, I think I like Terepo better with no hair.

Tonight was a roller coaster of a game. An absolutely gutting, horrible, slap in the face, punch in the gut roller coaster that I never want to ride again.

Next week is the Eels’ bye week, but then it’s back to the grindstone, trying to unearth and hold onto our next win.

Whatever happens, we’ll be here.


Go you Eels,



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

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Colin HusseymitchAnthony Recent comment authors
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I’ll take a medal thanks! It stopped being wet and got colder as the night progressed both on and off the field. I concur with most of your rankings however, for mine, King’s service from dummy half was slow. There were times where he looked in slow motion getting the ball to the runners which is starting to show the difference between our efforts and the top teams this year. Was very impressed with the halves as well, I liked the game Mitch had particularly in the second half, and that ball from Normz for the try was gold. From… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Colin Hussey

Mitch I think you have put a good score rating up and the overall play of the eels. I felt that King had a mixed night but I agree had he stayed on the field we could very well have gotten the 2 points, although by the time he was replaced he looked v tired. I cannot understand why Smith was sent on so late in the game, if King needed a rest, to me better early in the 2nd half and have the main 9 on the paddock in the closing stages. I don’t know where MJ’s mindset is… Read more »