The Cumberland Throw

Stat Attack Review – Round 16, 2018: Dragons defeat Eels

EELS – 18 (Tries: B. French, N. Brown, J. Hayne. Goals: Gutherson 3 from 3)

Defeated by

DRAGONS – 20 (Tries: M. Dufty x 2, E. Aitken. Goals: G. Widdop 4 from 4)

@ WIN Stadium

Crowd: 6,933

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

51 Possession (%) 49
33/39 (85) Complete/Total Sets (%) 33/41 (80)
36:07 Time – Opposition Half 44:17
13:20 Time – Opposition 20 21:49
2238 Metres Gained 2264
10 Scrum Win 2
4 Goal Line Dropout 0
6 Penalty Conceded 10
0 Forty Twenty 0

1st Half Stats

52 Possession (%) 48
18/20 (90) Complete/Total Sets (%) 16/19 (84)
12:31 Time – Opposition Half 27:31
6:52 Time – Opposition 20 12:49
1231 Metres Gained 1176
4 Scrum Win 1
2 Goal Line Dropout 0
3 Penalty Conceded 4
0 Forty Twenty 0

2nd Half Stats

51 Possession (%) 49
15/19 (79) Complete/Total Sets (%) 17/22 (77)
23:36 Time – Opposition Half 16:46
6:28 Time – Opposition 20 9:00
1007 Metres Gained 1088
6 Scrum Win 1
2 Goal Line Dropout 0
3 Penalty Conceded 6
0 Forty Twenty 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.

Player Stats

*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.


Set Starts

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.

Final Thoughts

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 including live game stats.


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Thanks Colmac; while i cannot fault the effort at all, i am fearful of the way we lose. There were some superb efforts out there, but the final 10 mins was v sad.
It’s disheartening to think 12 mth ago we would have won these games and more!
I am concerned we may end up with the spoon……that would be hard to take.


We played a side who were totally bashed up.


Here’s the proper context. The table topping team, who’ve basically been able to field the same 17 every week, were on their home ground on a Thursday night playing against the cellar dwelling team, who’ve used 28 different players, with players ruled out for the season and confidence at an all time low.
Now which context is based on fact?

The Captain

A portion of both to be fair. The Dragons did have something like 7 or 8 players backing up from Rep duties. There’s a definite impact from that. It was still top v bottom though, we played a lot better than usual for this season and the Dragons played worse than usual for this season.


We also had players backing up ( or not, in Manu’s case). 6.wasn’t it I think?


Jennings, Hayne, Terepo. Lost Manu.
Evans, Matagi, Fainga’a all played in the rep games but played lower grades this week.


We played a team who were clearly fatigued through the gruelling rep season.
I think we played well, but still the dragons were way off imo

The Captain

There were some positives to take out of the game, but in the end it’s all about the 2 Points and again we found ways of playing very silly undisciplined football that sealed our fate. A culture of being able to close out games and battle hard until the final siren seemed to be growing over the past 2 years, and somehow it seems to have been all but lost in an offseason. Sure, there have been games where we’ve been beaten in the forwards, but overwhelmingly it seems our biggest downfall is the lack of smart football. We need… Read more »


Fair points captain with regard to calm heads. I think Corey should be that player in the spine and he was for the most part in this game. Unfortunately THAT kick came from dummy half. The ball didn’t get into his hands.

The Captain

Granted, Norman should be the calmer head in the spine and he didn’t have a chance to influence that play. The more I think about things, the more I want to see what a 1 Gutho, 6 Moses, 7 Norman, 9 Austin, 14 Mahoney would look like next season. Norman is like that crazy ex girlfriend – you know he’s probably going to let you down again, but every now and then he shows glimpses of what he can be and you just want him to stick around that bit longer. I know this probably flies in the face of… Read more »


Great analogy.


Thanks for the analysis Colmac. Much improved effort, some good performances but lacking ‘football smarts’ and composure. Draw a line under it and move on to focus on the next game against the Knights who have similar ‘football smarts’ and composure issues.

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