The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 23 at Melbourne

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 4

 Melbourne Storm 20

The Good:
At least we weren’t the team dealt a truckload of injuries.

What a deflating spectacle. These Grades are not going to be pretty.

The Bad:
In short, our attack.

Some weeks the Eels’ attack simply clicks, whereas others we just look like we’re on an awkward 13 man, first date. Tonight seemed very much the latter; with the Eels looking all sweaty and nervous, realising the opposition was very much out of our league.

The Automatic Melbourne Storm War Machine 2000 ground down the Eels relatively feeble attacking structures into powder, even when they reduced to 1 man on the bench and 12 men on the field. It was almost like whenever you cut off one of their heads, two more purple robots rose to take their place. Whether blunted by the Storm’s defensive prowess or not, the bottom line is that tonight’s attacking execution was simply woeful from the Blue & Golds.

X-Factor:

 

The Eels’ ongoing inability to take advantage of a midgame opposition weakness is also pretty mind blowing. Halfway through the second half, the Storm right edge was being held together by duct tape yet we continued to press right towards Munster, Curtis Scott and Addo-Carr. Brandon Smith limped around the field for a full five minutes and was only forced to make one tackle.

The Rasputin-esque influence of Cameron Smith over the on field referee was also relatively short lived tonight, as the million game veteran apparently succumbed to a sore back, as if he were actually human.

Also, this:

That neck breaker of a move he pulled on Jarryd was actually really dangerous and completely unnecessary.

The MVP:
I feel like handing out an MVP after a wet paper performance like that would only serve to further cheapen an already questionable award.

At least the Eels showed nice touch at one point in the evening:

I’m just thankful we never, ever have to face Billy Slater again.

1- Corey Norman

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Yeah, nah, not really.

2- Jarryd Hayne

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Even though Jarryd Hayne has had more tries in recent weeks than you’ve had hot dinners, tonight’s final ever clash with Billy the Kid didn’t quite live up to expectation. Jazz had some nice early touches, but ended up with an underwhelming 9 runs for 71 metres, 1 tackle break and 8 tackles. To be honest I thought he looked a bit more dangerous than those numbers suggest.

Jarryd also copped a couple of very dubious bounces of the football, the second leading to the Storm’s last try. I’m not mad at him or anything, I guess it just wasn’t our night.

3- Michael Jennings

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

On the ball The Jet played pretty well (11 runs, 112 metres, and a team high 4 tackle breaks), but it was his off the ball work that let us down.

Running through the defensive line. Kick chase. Wrestling in defence. Pursuing the play. Not conceding penalties. None of these things seemed to matter to Michael tonight, and it showed.

4- Clint Gutherson (c)

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Credit where it’s due, Gutho topped our running metres (17 for 156 metres) and scored an out of this world freakish try to break the goose egg for the Eels.

On the other side of the coin, Clint also gave a very poor pass to Jaeman Salmon midway through the second half to deflate a pretty good attacking raid. So, you know, swings and roundabouts.

5- George Jennings

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

For about the millionth time this year, George played better than his infinitely wealthier brother.

6- Jaeman Salmon

Five-Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Tragically tonight’s loss was Jaeman’s first taste of defeat in the Blue & Gold, and the rookie also had himself a couple of rookie moments, including a perfectly placed kick for Billy Slater. Nonetheless, the 6 runs for 84 metres is an excellent return, and he’ll only get better on the back of this late season experience.

7- Mitch Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

On the back of a game last week that made me wonder afresh why Mitch never called me back, I’m suddenly diverting all of his calls to my voicemail.

That kick out on the full, the lack of attacking cohesion, the dearth of team direction. Mitch still needs to learn that leading a team sometimes means dragging them up a hill, not just running in front when the going is good. Speaking of in front, he must have been only half a metre in front of Michael Jennings for that No Try with 3 minutes to go, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

The talent is there, but consistency is key. Class always wins out over form in the end.

17- Siosaia Vave

Prop, Parramatta Eels

When the most memorable moment of your game is injuring your own team’s best forward, this isn’t exactly one for the Pool Room. Siosaia James Vave had 8 runs for 56 metres, 2 tackle breaks and 22 tackles. *shrugs*

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

It wasn’t stellar, but Reed just goes out and does a job each and every week for the Eels. Tonight that meant making 50 tackles and getting his face stepped on by Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Discounting external recruits, you’d have to think he’s nailed down the starting 9 spot come 2019.

12- Tepai Moeroa

Prop, Parramatta Eels

I’ll be honest with you, despite this being one of the drabbest affairs in living memory, I straight up loved Tepai’s game tonight. The big unit had 16 runs, 138 metres, 42 tackles and tackle break, continuing a recent rich vein of form for the native Cook Islander.

11- Marata Niukore

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Crunch’s 10 runs for 69 metres is nice and all, but it really doesn’t indicate the quality of his game tonight, or his growing impact on this team as a whole. Hopefully each member of his fellow rookie class can continue to grow as he has done (and continues to do) in 2018.

15- Brad Takairangi

Back Row, Parramatta Eels

Get out of the way, Brad Takairangi.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Another 15 runs, another 128 metres, another 47 tackles and a tackle break. The Cyborg knows no different. He continues to plug away, oblivious to feelings, emotions, and what it means to be a human being.

Interchange

8- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The Peni dropped… several Storm players on their asses tonight, on his way to a team high 4 tackle breaks.

At times Peni seems to run with the directional awareness of a dizzy 10 year old. Someone find the bloke a compass, or at least point him in the direction of the try line.

Still, it seems relatively effective.

14- Oregon Kaufusi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

A pretty great opener from the young buck, getting through 9 runs for 70 metres, 10 tackles and a tackle break. Give him a few more weeks and a preseason and he’ll be right as rain.

Ps – Wait, I thought BA didn’t blood juniors?

16- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Old man Gower, breaking tackles and taking names.

… he ended up breaking 3.

20- Ray Stone

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Forget that average pass in the closing stages of the game, this kid’s got talent. Debut done, and now we should just get on with looking forward to another young buck’s future.

In other news, Stoney and Oregon become the 4th and 5th debutants BA has blooded in Season 2018, following in the footsteps of Marata, Reed and Jaeman.

Ps – If you missed the edition of The Watchlist previewing one Raymond Stone, you can find it here.

Excuse me while I peel myself up off the floor to watch another replay of last week’s game.

Next week we head to the far north of Queensland, facing JT in his last ever game at Townsville. A big crowd will be there, Jason Taumololololo will be running rampant and I hear they’re even reviving the zombie of Matty Bowen just for the occasion. Oh boy.

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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Kaul Pent
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Kaul Pent

Never play ray stone at 9 again for dear god help us all.

I’m all for brad, but this was a silly idea with the game potentially still on the line or at a slim hope winnable. God this team needs help.
Only shining lights are marata and Mahoney and the juniors that keep getting a run. 2019 all of a sudden doesn’t look pretty

sixties
Admin

Ray is a back rower. The coaches know he is a back rower. We only have one dummy half who is fit and he needed to be replaced. Hence Stone plays there.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Why not move Brown to hooker and Stone to lock then?

The rev aka snedden
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The rev aka snedden

Yes he is no DH its time we left reedy on for the full 80 mins
next year will be much better brad n the boys know it. look at the signings jr paulo , shuan lane n Ferguson bigger forward means more yards n more skill in the back line.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

WTF is Ray Stone playing 9.? It was embarrassing. I felt sorry for him as hos service was disgraceful. Poor guy play him where he is comfortable.. In all seriousness some one please tell me what Salmon offers.? Anything. If you play in the halves you require a few things, Great running game, Great direction and organisation. Great kicking game. Creativity. Salmon has none of this. Its been 3 games and im sure ill get roasted, But he has shown nothing, No glimpses at all.. Dylan brown can not be developed quick enough. Natural half we everything going for him.… Read more »

sixties
Admin

Was just about to reply to this when I saw Mitch’s succinct reply. I understand your emotions about the substandard attacking game, but you should look at the older heads rather than the young ones – and this is where Moses needs to be dominant far more often. As Sterlo said, the be a quality half, there should be minimal difference between your best and your worst. Salmon will be a 250 game player. Stone – he’s a back rower and was not selected as a dummy half. However, Reed was gassed and our back rowers were our best players.… Read more »

The rev aka snedden
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The rev aka snedden

sixties its time we start asking these ppl to put a name to there comments.
you said it at the start about salmon good running game n good kicking game. remember his a rookie not a jt or cronk his still learning.
As for moses he wiill come good remember his played less then 100 games. our spine is young n with a good offseason will get better

Salty Pete
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Salty Pete

I can’t believe this comment. Salmon is playing his second full NRL at 19 years old. It is obvious the team is not playing to his edge. These are the instructions. But have a look at the times he is on the ball in spite of this. Also take a look at his two try saving tackles on Kaufusi and Bromic. Yes, the Parra attack didn’t fire but how can you blame a rookie?? He has been thrown into a team running last to play probably 4 of the hardest games of the year. Need to look to the old… Read more »

The rev aka snedden
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The rev aka snedden

i agree salty pete it’s time they put there names to comments

Paul
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Paul

It was a good defensive effort for the boys tonight but our attack was disgraceful. I think we need to stop picking 3 halves in the starting team. For me I would drop Moses and put Gutho back to fullback. However, across 3 games Salmon has really struggled to inject himself into the game and never really gets into the line in our attacking plays. I am all for Salmon playing out the rest of the year for experience but he has a long way to go before he is consistent first grade player. Also really disappointed in the way… Read more »

A.B.
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A.B.

For myself it was very frustrating watching the game, as I’m sure it was for all Parra supporters. I thought the defence on a whole was good and showed a bit of passion. They hit hard and generally tackled in numbers like any good side should. I’m at a loss though on how to describe the attack without swearing. The frustrating thing about it is the team looks like it has no idea on how to get thru the line and they’re at a loss when the opposition rushes up on them. As for support play, can someone please tell… Read more »

dave
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dave

just embarassed by the attack tonight was very ordinary. thought tepai was probably best on field. thought this is great get to see eels games for last four rounds on tv, not sure i want to now

sixties
Admin

Very disappointed in our execution in attack. But take solace in 5 young blokes playing against Melbourne in Melbourne. What a learning curve.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Sell your tv

Pete
Guest
Pete

We lost and that’s bad. But the 3 trys 2 from kicks and except for the Huge-Sofa running busting over the line it wasn’t too bad a defensive display. I thought we were in this and just needed a little patience. The Storm despite injuries they came out and smashed us. It seems when Smith went off, Welch, Glasby and Finucane went nuclear. The second half became a game of da Vinci code for our attack. A bunch of headless chicken’s running around and kicking out on the full is almost capital punishment these days. Momentum wins games. When we… Read more »

FML
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FML

Lots of fight in us tonight. Tep, guth – outstanding. Peni and reed not far off. The thing we are missing in my opinion is a genuine half who can take the reigns inside the opposition 20 and steer our attack. Can’t wrap my head around Moses. One week a world beater the next he’d rather run sideways than straighten up our attack. If he wants to lead the team he needs to wake up and make his mark.

The rev aka snedden
Guest
The rev aka snedden

Last nights game was there for the taking…. that 1st attacking set was good but if jennings looked to his right instead of looking back inside he would have a try assist. Good job by the rookies tonight but there is 1 thing that brad know not to do again n that is play stone at DH. He needs to play reedy for 80 minutes. I’m having a man crush on reedy his got a awesome passing game & knows when to run n not afraid to tackle the big boys. Peni run straight my son run straight n hard… Read more »

The rev aka snedden
Guest
The rev aka snedden

sixties do we have attacking coach i know we have kiddie as our defence coach but gee our attack was blunt. we tried hard yes but that’s not good enough against the machine like storm outfit

BDon
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BDon

We probably defended well enough to win that game, Storm had to fight at their best to score 3 tries that each had an element of luck(one was lucky that a 20 stone giant barely got it down, well maybe).And if you want to scratch your head at luck, Jarryd got a bounce and slipped, so did Billy but he didn’t pay on the scoreboard. But our red zone attack got dictated and scrambled by a relentless rushing defence, the top teams ignore early penalties and just keep on rushing. I thought we had learned some lessons here, but not… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

Genuinely confused by the game. At least the game displayed in neon lights the burning question Parra coaches need to ask and get the solution for. Does Moses have the desire, ability and want to control this team and its game plan on a weekly basis? ( I don’t want an Anthony Milford halve, brilliant one week and non existent the next- ) OR Is the make up of the team ( the players selected to play on the field) not allowing Moses on a weekly basis to own the team and dictate how and at what speed our attack… Read more »

West Coast Eel
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West Coast Eel

I don’t know what happened to last weeks team, but we looked like the Parra of the early rounds. Just impatient and trying to score off every play. Oh well, 2 more weeks of this. I’m looking forward to this season being over. Bring on 2019!

Milo
Guest
Milo

Disappointed we lost; the Chambers tackle made me furious. The people questioning salmon need to get a grip. Fair dinkum, the guy is 19 and playing nrl. How many games have some of these people played? SFA
Give the lad 2 seasons in NRL; like Mahoney, Marata, Stone, Kaufusi etc.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Agree Milo. How many out there have been calling for certain young players to be blooded this year? then ask how many of those people who made those calls are in the critics side of the equation? The best part of their selection and especially when we only have the spoon to avoid, is that it gives them invaluable NRL game time but also gets them somewhat conditioned to the higher standard of play in the NRL. I sincerely hope they can play in both of our last two games for this season, and perhaps another player could be given… Read more »

DDay
Guest
DDay

Frustrating game but one which provides promise. Frustrating because the referees had far too big an influence on the result – the Eels were blown off the park by the 1st half penalty blitz and never regained their composure. Reducing the penalty conceded count must be a focus area for BA. Frustrating because we lost 3 tries to 1 one which doesn’t really tell the story. Melbourne played well, built pressure but crucially gained momentum from penalties and had the bounce of the ball (for 2 of their tries). Frustrating because the Eels had 3 tries disallowed and a couple… Read more »

Jonboy
Guest
Jonboy

Well done Mitch.

A lots been said of the lack lustre attack and it was! But I also think BA “tinkered “ with the back line positions too much on Friday night. Would have made cohesion just that bit more difficult to find, especially against a Storm defence that gets so in your face so quickly.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Jonboy, how much do you think that BA tinkered with the back line positions on the field, &/or what do you believe his instructions would have been to the backs? My suspicion would be that he would have basically given them a licence to play roving roles in much the same way as against the dragons. Thing is though that with 2 new rookies in the side, both of whom were forwards and 1 other in the backline having his second game in the top team, that his instructions would have included having the more senior players swap at times… Read more »

MAX
Guest
MAX

Well covered Mitch! I think as supporters we have all been asking to blood some young guys, we did it and to be honest to be beaten by a reasonably strong Melbourne side by 16 points, not to bad an effort. There was a degree of impatience in attack, but that comes with blooding youth. I thought we did OK, I just hope BA gives Stone another crack in the back row or lock position. I am sure they tried him at 9 in ISP last year and the result was very similar.