EELS – 40 (Tries: J. Hayne x 3, G. Jennings, C. Gutherson, M. Moses, S. Vave. Goals: M. Moses 6 from 7)
DRAGONS – 4 (Tries: L. Leilua. Goals: B. Hunt 0 from 1)
@ ANZ Stadium, Sydney
This was 22 weeks in the making – actually a bit longer than that, and truthfully way too long for long suffering fans.
That said, all credit to the boys for pulling out a top drawer effort like that against a top 4 side. And the best thing – it got us off the bottom of the ladder for now.
The performance was just quality from all over the park and the bench as well. Finally we saw what we knew and had been waiting for. Simply a sublime effort from the Blue and Golds.
FULL TIME STATS
|38/43 (88)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||21/30 (70)|
|44:26||Time – Opposition Half||35:52|
|21:34||Time – Opposition 20||10:47|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||1|
What a fantastic effort. Check out the completed sets and high possession rate. But the most pleasing statistic is the low penalty count. Discipline wins games and it showed on Saturday night.
FIRST HALF STATS
|23/25 (92)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||9/13 (69)|
|18:53||Time – Opposition Half||21:07|
|9:40||Time – Opposition 20||5:24|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||1|
Our first half set the game up. The impressive completion rate didn’t give the Dragons an inch. They had no quality time with the ball and this frustrated them when they finally did get possession.
SECOND HALF STATS
|15/18 (83)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||12/17 (71)|
|25:33||Time – Opposition Half||14:45|
|11:54||Time – Opposition 20||5:23|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||0|
The second half featured great game management. The penalties started to flow for the Dragons but this was quickly nipped in the bud by the Eels who again reeled in their discipline and focus to close out the game.
Eels – 1874m from 196 runs (9.6m per run) – 6 Line Breaks
Dragons – 1198m from 137 runs (8.7m per run) – 0 Line Breaks (WOW)
There was a stat put up on by a Twitter account with the claim that the Dragons made more metres per run than the Eels. This neither showed up in these stats nor did it reflect in the game itself. The Eels sent a lot of traffic jamming up through the middle then shifting the ball wide against a compacted defence.
The reality was that the Dragons attack was easily handled by the Eels defence. Their forwards rarely bent or broke the line as the Eels held strong.
Eels – 279
Dragons – 392
Missed Tackles/Ineffective Tackles:
Eels – 13 missed / 16 ineffective
Dragons – 27 missed / 13 ineffective
Eels – 90.6%
Dragons – 90.7%
Eels – 5
Dragons – 11
Eels – 5
Dragons – 10
Obviously the many Dragons kick off’s would see majority red in our own half. But all in all it looked as though the Eels game plan was to stick to the middle of the field and tire out the big Dragons forwards then shift to the edges. Great game plan. Worked to a tee.
Quality ball all over the park and didn’t the Eels capitalise. It was great to see fluid ball movement especially from dummy half. It was another match featuring superb service from Reed “Cash” Mahoney.
One thing I was disappointed about on Saturday night, I didn’t hear a “Bring on the Storm’ chant. Haha. Maybe I should have started it.
But in all seriousness, if we can play like we did against the Dragons we can definitely cause a big upset over the much hyped Storm.
The Storm to me look tired and the spark is fading from the great Purple Machine. Love to see Reed really give it to Cameron Smith.
Parramatta has a good chance at pulling off this upset through their discipline.
Repeat the same game plan as Saturday night and we could be well on the way to getting away from the dreaded wooden spoon.
I can see another Jarryd Hayne masterclass and, as history has shown, he and Billy Slater have had monumental battles over the years. I can no doubt see Hayne giving Billy an unforgettable send off Blue and Gold style.
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.