The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 21 vs Titans

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 28

 Gold Coast Titans 12

The Good:
I’ll be honest, our string of close defeats left me more dismayed in recent weeks than Alan Jones after he was snubbed by the Immortals panel.

But tonight. The indescribable moments of your life tonight.
The impossible was possible tonight.
Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight.

We got ourselves another win, tonight.

Did the Eels win tonight?

You know, I’ve been waiting all year to use that joke and it’s not even funny.

In other news, a quick shout out to the good people you run into at the footy. Eels fans are generally a pretty great bunch of people.

The Bad:
Eels fans no doubt felt a touch of deja-vu when Anthony Donn’s 90 metre intercept try brought the Titans within striking distance for most of the second half, and some interesting refereeing decisions (including the just-as-perplexing-as-Corey’s-last-week sin binning of Tim Mannah) certainly added to the overall drama of the clash. Thankfully that’s as close as it got on the scoreboard before Normy’s clinching try put the game to bed.

Oh and only 6000 or so fans at ANZ Stadium made me feel sad and alone. But hey, at least we won.

X-Factor:

 

It was more a case of little victories than it was statistical dominance for the Eels tonight (possession was 50/50, running metres 2055 to 1799, completion 74% to a pretty paltry 63%), but at least the scoreboard indicated we were all over the Titans in this one. I guess it was accentuated by Moses’ sharpshooting 4 from 5 and Michael Gordon not being able to hit the broad sign of a barn (0 from 3). Overall to me it nonetheless felt more a gutsy win than it did a comprehensive one.

The MVP:
Gutho, Browny, Moses, Terepo and George Jennings were all in with a shot, but I thought Kane Evans’ impact on the game was particularly meaningful, and to some extent almost gave Eels fans a reason to crack a smile in an otherwise drab Season 2019.

Sure it’s only one game, but Kane’s 13 runs, 135 metres, 4 tackle breaks and an offload is a mammoth return to the NRL from the ISP wilderness.

Sure it’s only one game, but Kane Evans might yet prove to be part of the solution to our forward recruitment plans for 2019.

Sure it’s only one game, but quit stalling and just make him the 14th Immortal already.

You the MVP this week, Kane. You the MVP.

1- Clint Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

As I said last week, ACLs tend to keep healing well after players return to the paddock, so I’m very much looking forward to a fully fit King in Season 2019, but his 2018 evidently still has plenty of life, too. Cracking game from the young captain.

PS – Oh and 3 linebreak assists, too.

2- Bevan French

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

After a pretty dreadful game last week, this week Bevan came out and suggested he wanted a crack at fullback, and would be willing to join another team to do so. As luck would have it, tonight’s opposition, the Gold Coast Titans, quickly emerged as a possible destination.

Well making 5 errors (that is NOT a misprint) and getting hooked for a young debutant doesn’t scream “sign me”, but those Titans seem to enjoy players in the middle of a form slump (see Cartwright, Bryce), so he might have actually done his chances a world of good. Outside of his own personal error festival, Bev’s 8 runs for 75 metres, tackle break and a try performance in themselves were improvements on his recent body of work, and he made a great cover tackle on Sami after a Gordon linebreak, so that’s something, I guess.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

After he was denied a try in the second half, I enjoyed Jet’s aggressive impersonation of this guy as much as anyone.

4- Jarryd Hayne

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Other than the early drop on the left wing, over 100 metres, 3 tackle breaks, a linebreak, a linebreak assist and a try seems pretty standard affair for Jazz at the moment. What was Jarryd Hayne, our left centre, doing over on the right hand side giving the last pass to Bevan for our 3rd try of the evening? This and other unsolved mysteries, tonight at ten.

Sign him up for 2019 like a billboard in lights.

5- George Jennings

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Gorgeous George got down and dirty with 12 runs, 119 metres, a linebreak, 2 tackle breaks, 2 tackles and a try.

*whispers* Will somebody please also extend his stay at the Eels? Please and thank you.

6- Corey Norman

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

The overarching storyline for our halves in 2018 hasn’t been particularly pleasant. We aren’t scoring points or converting opportunities, and our halves aren’t taking the line on combining like they once did. For most of Season 2018 you wouldn’t have followed either one of these blokes in a conga line with any sort of confidence.

However, the first half felt right tonight. For a side often known for defending in packs, tonight we finally started attacking in a pack, too. Moses, Norman, Gutho, Hayne, Taka. They were like a hungry pack of velociraptors out there, hunting their helpless prey. And it felt good.

Both our halves were pretty good tonight, Normy vocal in his organisation, Moses particularly apt in both involvement and execution (for the most part). Both had 6 runs for 50 something metres, Corey had 6 kicks to Moses’ 9, 20 passes to Moses’ 28 and 1 tackle break to Moses’ 2. Like twin brothers, I really shouldn’t compare them, but in this climate I do and I will. It was Moses for mine tonight, but talent has never been an issue for either of our halves, we’d just like to see it consistently.

7- Mitch Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

I just want to add, I thought Moses was pretty excellent in defence tonight, and it’s nice to see his pinpoint conversion rate return in recent weeks.

8- Siosaia Vave

Prop, Parramatta Eels

We won! Viva la Vave!

 

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

A full 80 minutes, a clever little kicking game, 108 passes, 0 errors, 45 tackles with only 2 missed?

That’s Cash Mahoney, fam.

Thought for the day: Reed Mahoney has played in 5 games this year, including 3 wins and the “we should have won that” loss against the Bunnies. Somehow in a dreadful season for the Eels, he’s somehow almost 4 from 5.

PS – There was an article today that sort of suggested Reed wasn’t under contract in 2019. That is not the case, he is under contract next season. Rest easy, Eels fans.

10- Tim Mannah (c)

Prop, Parramatta Eels

I thought Tim Mannah was the nice guy? The Big Easy got sin binned for the second time this season (and for his career, mind you), and it’s starting to feel like a buddy cop story starring nice guy Tim Mannah and bad boy Nathan Brown is a film the world has been unfairly denied.

11- Marata Niukore

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Crunch’s defensive game is almost as dangerous to mankind’s future as climate change. Something or someone has lit a fire under Hukuna Marata in recent weeks as he was particularly ferocious again tonight; running 9 times for 86 metres and making 22 tackles without a miss. CRUNCH.

12- Tepai Moeroa

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

If Tepai were a cricketer, his ability to somehow find the grass in the middle of that first half linebreak would be applauded by the Members Stand; it was quite extraordinary.

It’s a shame it was during a game of Rugby League, however.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Cyborg run hard, Cyborg play good.

Browny went off for 20 runs, 191 metres, 2 tackle breaks, 1 offload and 33 tackles of his own. Probably deserves MVP, but he’ll have to wrestle it off Goliath Kane Evans.

PS – how about that run back off the 28th minute drop out? It left me with chills.

Interchange

14- Jaeman Salmon

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The Apprentice’s first grade debut went off without a bang, but at least the pretty faced new bloke left ANZ Stadium tonight with a perfect win loss record.

In limited run, the new bloke went for just the one run for 11 metres, and 7 tackles without a miss. Tidy.

PS – If you missed my preseason Watch List preview on Jaeman, you can read it here. Note the embarrassing air of confidence about Season 2018, and then immediately disregard it.

15- Kane Evans

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

It’s funny that the Post Game Grades format makes Kane Evans’ picture look so small, because in reality he’s so big it’s like he could eat me for breakfast and still have room for toast. Speaking of toast, Kane Evans had his way with the Titans tonight, and that sort of performance on a consistent basis does wonderful things for our 2019 outlook.

16- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

After an absolute screamer of a game against the Bunnies, The Butcher didn’t shy away from some huge runs and even bigger defensive plays in back to back weeks. Tonight the Torpedo went off for 10 runs, 98 metres, 4 tackle breaks and a line break. I love that we’ve extended his contract for another two years.

Feed ’em, Peni. Feed ’em.

17- Brad Takairangi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Taka had 10 runs tonight for 94 metres, which is only 4 metres less than Peni Terepo made from his 10 runs. Just let that marinate for minute.

Taka also made 2 more tackles than the Butcher, but only had the single tackle break. It’s still Peni by a nose, but with several people suggesting Torpedo for the MVP award, Taka’s evidently had a pretty good night at the office. Like the rest of the NRL world, I much prefer him as a rangy, offloading (2 tonight) utility forward than I do a centre. Also probably deserved a try assist for the Jenko denied try.

We want to apologise to everyone who came to our Jarryd Hayne autograph signing session during the week. We didn’t realise people actually expected him to attend, and maintain our belief that Forty does a pretty good impersonation of his signature.

 

So it’s the :hot and cold, are they really choking Dragons” again next week. Maybe we should try let them get in front early and see if we can flip the script on them this time around.

Whatever happens, we’ll be here.

 

Go you Eels,

Mitch.

 

Sure we may or may not avoid the spoon, but you know what you shouldn’t avoid? Making a discounted purchase from Sportfirst Nambucca. Welcome to smooth segues and The Cumberland Throw.

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

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RowdyThe rev aka Snedden.Longfin EelLongfin EelJimmy Corbo Recent comment authors
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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Not dissagreeing with your report or the grades. You wrote Mahoney 0 errors i think the 3 wild passes that found the ground and not a player, I would classify those as 3 mistakes. He had 2 kicks, 1 was never an option with poor execution and the other was fantastically executed into the corner. I though reed’s defence was very good all game and showed allot of enthusiasm. I would like to see him kick a little more whether its long or short and be a little more creative around the ruck. All in all a great game bye… Read more »

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

I love the new song, watched it ten times already!! But each to their own

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Not much you do like

Kaul Pent
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Kaul Pent

Miss cued passes because your halves aren’t where they need to be on 5th tackle options aren’t errors. Simply miss communication by both party’s.

Jimmy Corbo
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Jimmy Corbo

Great to get a win but geez we got the wobbles again in the second half, luckily the Titans were off the boil. Reed continues to play well which is a great sign for the future, that consistent output at his age is a great pointer to a good career, up to him now how good he wants to be. I note your comment about our win/loss record when Reed plays and relate that to a comment made by Nathan Brown a few weeks ago on NRL 360, I paraphrase but it was roughly “show me a dumb dummy half… Read more »

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Annie-moose? what a ridiculous PS! At first I could not understand why you had received so many thumbs down as I agreed with quite a bit of your post. Mate, as a Parra fan we need to understand not just the “what” about things pertaining to our team. We also need to consider the “why” the team song was changed and the “how” it might impact the boys “who” are really the only ones that the victory song is sung by and created for! I loved it for those reasons. It was a privilege to be invited into “their” inner… Read more »

John Eel
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John Eel

Damn it was good to get another win. But it was also good to see the Big Fish swim in the Big Pond. Done nothing wrong and played with confidence. It was good to see Kane Evans play to the level that the club believe he is capable of. Great to see Peni get back to his best.

On the down side I heard at the game that there is other interest in our unsigned George. Had to happen.

How good is Gutho. A good effort tonight and after a good off season and he will be back to his best

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

It’s great to get another win!
On the subject of re-signing players (George Jennings, Hayne or anyone else) its hard to know what’s going on as the club have taken the silent approach and are not announcing anything. Outside of Ferguson and Paulo the club is saying nothing. It’s been reported by others that we have re-signed Peni Terepo and signed ShaunLane and Maika Sivo but nothing from the club at all.

Billy
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Billy

Wasn’t it good to finally see the reason we recruited Evans come to fruition? Loved him, Peni and Marata carting the ball up, and hitting in defence too. (Browny should get a mention there, but it’s just expected from him). And I do like Taka in the forwards, he just really needs someone to be running off him consistently to collect that offload he’s always aiming to give. And Mahoney is definitely looking the goods, at this early stage. Any whispers on us either re-signing one of KP or Kingy, or else going to market? The last few years are… Read more »

rayt
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rayt

Thanks,i was listening to ABC broadcast,explains why it was confusing at times listening to their rambling on

West Coast Eel
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West Coast Eel

Agree with your thoughts on Kane Evans. We saw a tiny glimpse of what he is capable of. I think Bev needs some time in wenty, just to give the poor bloke some confidence. He has none at the moment. We were very impressive defensively tonight, although I did think we were gonna get run down in the 2nd half. I’m just glad we won. Bring on the Dragons!

Tim
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Tim

One thing I’d like to say, and this does not relate to just last night’s game, can we please get moving quicker on penalties. Oh, My, Gawd, we are so slow. We have a committee meeting before kicking for touch every time. Only once did Jarryd just grab the ball and tap it and go. It’s a symptom of the lack of energy we’ve displayed for most of the session, lets get the opposition on the back foot. Someone just grab the ball and go! P.S. We should have kicked for goal with 2 seconds to go from right in… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

Each week shows that Niukore and Mahoney are improvements to the team, well done and welcome to first grade.Was good to see Tepai come back on, the guy has had a stop start year with HIA and suspension. Loved the way Norman iced that game, big lesson there, one of our strengths, short kicking/repeats not seen in second half because we got the possession wobbles. Right on cue the Titans got the yips when Mannah got binned and we started to do the basics better. Good thought fodder Mitch, Evans/Brown, Moses/Norman, the discussion matters more than the verdict. It’s a… Read more »

Glenn
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Glenn

What can I say, but a win is a win. Thought we played really strongly in first half with the whole team playing at speed. In second half played like Parra. Really are we a 40 min team? It always appears we can only garner one decent half of footy each week. Although our second half was good I didn’t think it was as good as the first.

Billy
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Billy

Probably a lot to do with the farcical second half penalty square-ups that seem to happen in most games. I think we won the first half count 6-1, but if felt like we couldn’t buy one in the second half – not sure what the final stat was.

Plus, whenever we’ve had to work hard in defence, it seems like we try too hard to do something fancy in attack to relieve the pressure, which leads to a mistake, which leads to more defence, which leads to more attacking errors, which leads to… yeah, you get the idea.

Billy
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Billy

Any thoughts on the 6000-odd crowd figure? There seemed to be a ripple of amusement at the ground when it was announced. I’ve been there when the crowd looked as sparse as that, and they’ve announced figures several thousand higher (which I thought were garbage). It was noticeable that the away bay was empty, which is hardly surprising, that’s been the case with most Titans games I’ve been to.

Shelley
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Shelley

For me best and most impactful player on the field by a country mile was Nathan Brown. However the two players that pleased me the most with performances, energy and simply looking like they wanted to be on the field- Moses and Evans. From the outset Moses looked energised, happy and was taking on the line. He made many good choices. I have not been a fan of his but possibly with the club making some choices on players to keep and move on it has given him some certainty. Whatever contributed to his performance last night I don’t really… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden.
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The rev aka Snedden.

Mitch I think the club can stop looking for a DH n 5/8 we already have one in reedy n salmon they will only get better with a good offseason under there belts. I didn’t see the game but I saw Kane Evans stats I had to double check. This the same Kane who was having a really bad year n dropped to ISP. Plz parra re-sign G jennings. His only getting better. As for French I’m happy to see him go. His always running towards the sideline n getting pushed into touch. Fergurson n G Jennings on the wings… Read more »

DDay
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DDay

What a breath of fresh air! Good to see the “A” grades and all thoroughly deserved; Guth, Hayne, Brown & Evans were terrific – I’d include Peni in there too. The Forwards were great tonight, good defensive intensity, hard running with a few off-loads. The halves contributed, straightening the attack with smart kicks – for mine the best game from the halves this season. Great to see the intensity maintained for 80 mins. It feels a bit like the Roosters season from 2016 when they blooded Latrell, Manu & Matterson, they played without confidence and lost 8 games by <… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Fair marks Mitchy:) we will need to be on next wk to beat saints. It’s the game I think we need to win to try and avoid spoon as Cows last game will be v hard to win.

Longfin Eel
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Longfin Eel

I didn’t get to see the game unfortunately. Did anybody notice what position Salmon played? If that was in the halves, did that mean a backline shift?