The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 22 vs Dragons

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 40

 St George Illawarra Dragons 4

The Good:
I must say that win was very unexpected, but oh so welcome to the eyes, ears, hearts and minds of Eels fans across the land. The Eels have been building and bubbling away at a performance like that for the past month so; and finally tonight it all clicked for the Eels.

Poise, humility and grace were not apt descriptors of the life I lived tonight. In fact, this is basically how I left ANZ Stadium.

Regardless I think it is important to show restraint, respect for your opposition and not get too carried away from a single victory.

The Bad:
X-Factor:

 

I’ll be honest, this win was as unexpected as an Anthony Griffin Christmas card to Gus Gould. Let me be crystal clear, it is oh so important we relish and devour tonight’s win. Watch it on repeat, get it tattooed across your back, hook it up to your veins. Enjoy easily our best win of the year.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that just because we beat a team in the Top 4 by 36 points, that doesn’t mean that absolutely everything we did tonight should be considered our best plan going forward. Yes, the forwards dominated, the backs combined incredibly, Mitch Moses had the ball on the string and our young blokes more than stood up. With that said, an NRL team is always a work in progress, and our combinations still have a very important preseason ahead of them. I have no problem with what we did tonight, but at the same time all our problems weren’t solved, either.

Tonight is a terrific reward for our coaches, players and fans, but there’s still work to be done.

The first half penalty count and relatively harsh sin binning of Cameron McInnes played into our hands brilliantly, as did 58% possession, 88% completion and 2600 metres to 1843. It was as good as it gets for the Eels tonight, and it’s definitely worth celebrating how much we took advantage of what came our way.

Ps – Happy Women in League round to all the players, mums, wives, sisters and daughters who help make our game so great.

The MVP:

Straight up, Jarryd Hayne’s first half hat trick makes him a pretty easy choice, but tonight I’m giving it to The Prince of Egypt, and I’m not looking back.

Do you doubteth my judgement? Well, check this out, see if this one moves you. The young half had a massive 48 touches, 14 kicks, 9 tackles, 5 runs for 80 metres, 6 goals, 4 try assists, 2 tackle breaks, 2 line break assists, a line break of his own and one of the sweetest individual tries you will ever see.

I’m going to go overboard with the A grades in this post, but I dare say tonight Mitch Moses played the best game of anyone in Blue & Gold this season, don’t @ me. A well deserved A+ from The Prophet, and a very positive look towards 2019.

1- Corey Norman

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

With all the above accolades for his long term halves partner, Corey Norman also had a pretty terrific game at fullback tonight, whilst also finding time to chime in as our third halfback.

I will say that Corey Norman certainly likes to play deep as a fullback, well back behind the defensive line. At one stage in the second half he was so deep he could see the Pink concert over at Qudos Bank Arena. Corey had 16 runs, 159 metres and 3 tackle breaks, 6 kicks and 20 touches tonight in a pretty great showing at the back.

2- Jarryd Hayne

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Hayne-ibal Lecter, amiright?

Remember all those fans, opposition fans and NRL journos who thought signing Jarryd Hayne was a bad idea? Or even those who blamed him for derailing our season as he sat injured on the sideline?

Tonight Jazz ran out a first half hat trick, played very solid defence, had 15 runs for 148 metres, 6 tackle breaks, a line break and 6 tackles of his own.

In conclusion, those aforementioned people, they were wrong.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

You know, I thought Michael had a pretty solid game tonight, but his 11 runs for 130 metres seem to suggest I’m underselling his impact. Jenko also had 2 tackle breaks, 11 tackles and a line break. He’s definitely heating back up again, particularly compared to his arctic-like mid season form.

4- Clint Gutherson (c)

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

In a welcome back to the frontline moment, Gutho was like a Blue & Gold piñata out there tonight, abused in a number of face mashing collisions with the Dragons defensive line. As he often does, however, Gutho took such lemons and made sweet tasting lemonade to the tune of 18 runs, 165 metres, 14 tackles, a try assist, a line break assist and try of his own.

Wow, when you write it out like that, that’s a pretty phenomenal game from a bloke playing centre. Sign The King up for life.

5- George Jennings

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

George had a backline high 20 hit ups for 167 metres, a line break, a tackle break, 4 tackles and a try of his own. In an otherwise pretty dreadful year, George has been a consistently terrific find for BA and the team.

 

6- Jaeman Salmon

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

The still undefeated Fish went oh-so-close on three different occasions to scoring the first four pointer of his NRL career, so you can’t imagine it’ll be long. As BA said in the post game presser, he very much handled the physicality of the NRL, which is an excellent sign for a bloke who is younger than Google.

Jaeman had 3 runs for 34 metres, a line break, a try assist and made all 21 tackles that were asked of him without a miss. A huge step forward for the young bloke and a good showing for his first start in the halves.

 

7- Mitch Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Good gosh, that try. I weep at the thought of that try. Mitchell split them open like Jarryd Hayne’s face. He split them open like Moses parting the Red Sea … or even like Moses parting the Red V.

That pass for Jarryd’s first try wasn’t bad, either.

Is Mitchell Moses a flat track bully? Maybe so. Nonetheless tonight still shows that with a little room, momentum and a bit of confidence, Mitch is still a very talented footballer. Tonight was the best of games, certainly not the worst of games.

8- Siosaia Vave

Prop, Parramatta Eels

You probably remember the moment Siosaia Vave reached out and scored a try to take our tally to 40 points; but what you mightn’t realise is that moment came on the back of a massive 16 hit ups, 141 metres, 2 tackle breaks, a line break, a line break assist and 20 tackles. Viva la Vave!

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Reed Mahoney’s impressive impact on this side’s chances of winning a game of football continues to grow, week after week. If we held on against the Bunnies in Round 20, Reed Mahoney’s win loss record would read 5 and 1. Considering the year we’ve had, AND the fact this is his debut season, even the actual 4 wins, 2 losses record is pretty crazy.

Tonight Reed had 5 runs, 48 metres, 98 touches and 32 tackles. Still, the aforementioned impact on the team’s chances is surely his greatest contribution at present.

Also, not unlike some sort of modern day protege of Fagin from Oliver Twist, how about that ridiculous one on one strip from Cash Mahoney in the second half? He’s got to pick a pocket or two.

15- Kane Evans

Prop, Parramatta Eels

I want to be mad at Kane Evans for skirting across field before the point of contact, particularly as I predict how much trouble it will get us into when we’re on the back foot, but his 14 runs for 122 metres, 19 tackles, tackle break and line break assist performance tell me to keep it to myself for at least another week. Kane was also my MVP last week, and will live the rest of his days with the imprint of James Graham’s face on the side of his head, so maybe I should just back off.

11- Marata Niukore

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Right now, in the middle of a darkened, isolated ANZ Stadium, there is little sound. In the middle of a chilled playing surface, the only noise heard is the soft chewing of Marata Niukore, as he quietly feasts on the flesh of the Dragons forward pack.

In the distance, a door creaks as it crashes shut.

*fade to black, end scene*

12- Tepai Moeroa

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Mr Moeroa ran 8 times, for 80 metres, he broke 3 tackles, made 36 of his own and missed none. Played strong, done good.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

The Cyborg was met with a well deserved standing ovation as he left the field mid way through the second half, after clocking up 21 runs, 186 metres and 30 tackles in his 67 minutes of game time. Another outstanding knock from the one time NSW Cricket representative.

When Nathan Brown rounded up and subsequently pantsed Jordan Pereira, I knew we were home.

Interchange

14- Will Smith

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The last time Will Smith played for us was also against the Dragons. Will Smith did not ruin the game for the Eels this week, and for that, we are grateful.

16- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Peni Terepo’s cross field running is absolutely out of control, but who’s complaining? Another 4 tackle breaks for The Butcher tonight along with 11 runs, 114 metres, and 14 tackles.

17- Brad Takairangi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

There’s something wonderfully awkward about Brad Takairangi in the forwards. To me it looks like Brad is being controlled by a kid who got the NRL Xbox game but doesn’t yet understand what all the different buttons are for. Brad seems to run into the line, then has this weird spin, step, offload move that looks more like a glitch than a deliberate footballing play. Still, tonight he ran 10 times, made over 100 metres, and at the end of the day he didn’t do anything all that stupid; so do whatever you want out there Bradley, we love it.

19- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The way he plays the game and the fact he looks near 50 years old, Gowie should deadset be moving as slow as dial up internet. Yet his 12 run, 103 metre, 2 tackle break performance suggests there’s still plenty of football in those legs yet.

Here’s a shot of me being wrong on Twitter.

Wrong again, you clown.

In other news, we’re also not last on the ladder any more. I love tonight.

In closing, tonight was an absolute pleasure, and next week will no doubt be a walk in the AAMI Park against the scarily precise and robotic might of the Melbourne Storm.

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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Jimmy CorboAnonymousRowdyMiloThe rev aka Snedden. Recent comment authors
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Rob
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Rob

That was an outstanding game from us, we just dominated them all over the park. If only we had been able to produce another half a dozen or so of that kind of performance over the course of the year…!

Mahoney, Moses, Gutherson and Brown were in EVERYTHING. Hayne finished spectacularly, as is his wont. It all just worked tonight.

Hallelujah!

Gem KM
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Gem KM

I have the biggest, goofiest smile on my face reading these grades because holy heck tonight made me bloody hell. 17 blokes, Including those who have been much maligned up until now, stood up and played as one tonight.
It’s just a sport but bloody hell i am feeling a lot of pride tonight.

Blue and Gold for effing ever.

John Eel
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John Eel

I loved this one “He split them open like Moses parting the Red Sea … or even like Moses parting the Red V”. Great game tonight, good to be smiling again. They all did well tonight but Mitch and Jarryd were standouts.

Will watch it again in the morning and post again.

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

How’s the serenity? So much serenity

The rev aka Snedden.
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The rev aka Snedden.

Good write up Mitch. Just a quick not on Peni I checked the NRL stats for players from what the NRL.com site is saying that Peni had 6 tackle breaks not 4. I like most was expecting a win but gee wiz not by that score line. How bad are the dragons going oh boy there own fans are ripping into them. On our team performance I did see this coming ….I have said it b4 n ill say it again … I knew parra were coming good it was just a matter of when. I think we have found… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

Rev, cop it as a one-off, the top of the mountain cops are well respected by decent locals, well at least til they arrest and beat me for being an Eels tragic.

Ashleigh
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Ashleigh

Best grades I have read in a while, only because I was itching to read them and relive the win! Great bit of writing and a great team! Good job TCT!

Parastew
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Parastew

That was a joy to watch we actually won that game not the opposition lost,With our 2018 I can not believe our home ground record is 5 from 6 ( one in Darwin). We may even be able to put a win in the away box next week.
Please someone tell me that the season starts in August not March!

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Seems that that A’s have it, good vote. I am a bit in wonderment in all have the A though, and while Vave scored a try and played his part in the game, and the run numbers/metres gained seem ok, I felt that he was not running as hard as he could as he seemed to be stopped easily, I am fairly sure that had Mannah been in the team then we would have gained more metres owing to his better leg drive. That said, I’m happy for seeing the eels play a game style that we have not really… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Mitch you must be 1 of a small minority that didnt believe we could win comfortably, our form of 7 weeks has been outstanding and with continual injurys to the already depleted squad

West Coast Eel
Guest
West Coast Eel

What a win! For the first time this year I laid back on the couch and watched the Eels with a few beers. No stress or yelling at the TV at all. Looks like Moses is fat better when he solely runs the team. I thought Salmon was a pretty good foil for him – didn’t over play his hand, but still played well. MOM for mine was Brown. Absolute weapon! I’d be surprised if the storm showed up next week……

sixties
Admin

Ah, there’s nothing quite like a confident team, or confident supporters for that matter!

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

Yeah!

Big Pete
Guest
Big Pete

How good was the game and I love a win. Loved the Throw comments and especially the Red V. Thanks for your efforts Mitch as always look forward to your words of Eels passion

BDon
Guest
BDon

The penalties were good but we got our own discipline right and were able to play at A grades across the park. There was a 10 minute period in first half when St G were lifting, a few errors may have cost us, but the Gennings then Hayne tríes relaxed me big time.Niukore and Mahoney keep turning up and Salmon looks cool and measured, he seemed to know how he fits. I reckon Hayne adds more than is visible, after all his CV reads well.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

The noticeable thing to me with the not giving away the penalties was how some of the players when involved in the tackles would get up relatively quick and pull our other tacklers up to ensure no penalties from laying in the tackles.

I noticed that there were usually 3 in the tackle with one peeling off fairly quick with the other two making the completion of the tackle. Certainly was a big improvement and reading of the game for me.

Milo
Guest
Milo

Good result, and lets enjoy. Next wk will be little different in terms of team and venue and of course penalties…..C Smith to referee.

sixties
Admin

For the media, the big news is undoubtedly the Dragons late season fade. But if the Dragons had put away the last placed Eels in the same way as the Eels put them away, there would probably have been headlines about the Dragons returning to supreme form. The fact is simple from this – this was the Eels best form of the season and the manner in which they played gave the Dragons no chance. My first impression at the ground was how poor the Dragons were. After watching the replay, I’m convinced that the Eels never gave them a… Read more »

John Eel
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John Eel

There is a bit around social media about the Eels winning because the Dragons were so bad. However I like to think that the Eels followed the game plan for 80 minutes and controlled the ball thru high completions and built up pressure in the dragons team forcing errors. They are a bit wounded from their SOO hangover and so their confidence was fairly quickly eroded. From my perspective the big plus for us is that the Eels did not take the foot off the accelerator till the final whistle. This will give them a lot of confidence next week… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Agree 60,s , reporters are just that and nothing more ,they know no more than anyone else but they do have a platform to spruik from ,majority of them never played or coached but they know it all , bit like untrained schoolteacher coaches !

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Anon, very very true. When certain teams are at the bottom and their seasons are shot, they generally are targets for the media to either ignore or to find and target them as part of their agenda’s.

I also see them as targeting certain clubs in their agenda’s as those clubs are ones that are simply news worthy bot good and the hints of scandals.