EELS – 18 (Tries: B. French, N. Brown, J. Hayne. Goals: Gutherson 3 from 3)
DRAGONS – 20 (Tries: M. Dufty x 2, E. Aitken. Goals: G. Widdop 4 from 4)
@ WIN Stadium
Wow… what can you do huh? Even though we were the much better side, that doesn’t give you the two points.
For Will Smith it was an appearance he’d rather forget. Forward pass from dummy half just happens to be one of my biggest bug bears in the game for a dummy half. That kick. Yes, I can see what he was trying to do. But just play out the set. All game we were making the Dragons come out of their own end and did it very well.
I think tonight showed we lacked football smarts when we need it the most. Maybe brutal but its true. That last 10 minutes, play out the set then the ball should have just gone to the halves for them to control the ending as they were doing.
Michael Jennings was again guilty of leaving the right side totally exposed, while rushing out of the line. Another example of lacking football smarts. Then we get a short kick off and Takairangi tries to offload in an impossible position. Best form of attack is a quick play the ball.
But you have to find plenty to be pleased about in a performance like this against the table topping Dragons. There were big games from Norman, Moses, Mannah and Hayne. All four lifted and were brilliant to watch. Congrats to you boys.
Every Eels fan tonight is left gutted (once again) after we showed we can put it to the top teams. Typical of this season, for some reason or another, losing has become a habit.
It does go to show that 3 mistakes (very costly) late in the game can cancel out a great 70 minute display.
Will Smith might pay the price with Reed Mahoney and Kaysa Pritchard back for the next game. With the bye, we have to wait another two weeks for.
I’m still dumbfounded by tonight’s loss.
Let’s look at the numbers for tonight’s game.
Full Time Stats
|33/39 (85)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||33/41 (80)|
|36:07||Time – Opposition Half||44:17|
|13:20||Time – Opposition 20||21:49|
|4||Goal Line Dropout||0|
1st Half Stats
|18/20 (90)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||16/19 (84)|
|12:31||Time – Opposition Half||27:31|
|6:52||Time – Opposition 20||12:49|
|2||Goal Line Dropout||0|
2nd Half Stats
|15/19 (79)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||17/22 (77)|
|23:36||Time – Opposition Half||16:46|
|6:28||Time – Opposition 20||9:00|
|2||Goal Line Dropout||0|
We did spend a lot of time in the Dragons 20 metre area. With all that time we should have come up with more points. Two early unforced errors from Alvaro and Brown right on the Dragons try line killed off some good lead up work and also released the pressure valve.
The positive was forcing four line drop outs from the Dragons in a good sign of patience and pressure building football.
The completion rates from both sides were fantastic under the cold wet conditions. Great football from both sides in that regard.
*MP: Minutes Played, T: Tries, C/A: Conversions, PG/A: Penalty Goals, PTS: Points, R(M): Runs (Metres)
LB/LBA: Line Breaks/ Assists, TA: Try Assists, K(M): Kicks (Metres), TB: Tackle Breaks, TAK: Tackles
MT/TI: Missed Tackles/Ineffective Tackles, E: Errors, PC: Penalties Conceded, OR: On Report
Must say a much better hit up map then in previous rounds. Our go forward was a lot better tonight and we worked the Dragons middle really well. Good concerted effort all round.
To be in the game for 70 minutes with not many restarts deep in the Dragons territory was good to see. Our long range game was on song tonight with Tim Mannah’s line break and try assist a highlight of the game for the Eels.
Think my final thoughts were said in the opening to tonight’s piece.
I’m still shaking my had at some of the dumb plays tonight, which is a real shame because that is over shadowing (as I have said) some really good performances out there tonight.
But, that has been Parramatta’s season and now we just look ahead to our next game against the Knights in two week’s time, and pray we can finish off the final rounds strong.
Yours in Blue and Gold.
Stats courtesy of Champion Data.
All these stats and more can be viewed on our match centre at http://mc.championdata.com/nrl/ including live game stats.