EELS – 4 (Tries: C. Gutherson Goals: M. Moses 0 from 1)
STORM – 20 (Tries: W. Chambers, N. Asofa-Solomona, C. Scott. Goals: C. Smith 3 from 3, B. Croft 1 from 2)
@ AAMI Park, Melbourne
After feeling quite confident for this game, especially after the Dragons demolition, this result brought the Blue and Gold Army back to earth with a thud! Of course, after we all shook our heads and cleared the cobwebs, the realisation kicked in that this was par for the course for us as Eels supporters.
The Dragons carve up provided good cause to expect a strong showing against the Storm, but expectations mean nothing without execution.
This was a very poor attacking display from the Eels against what became an injury riddled Storm side.
You would have thought that being a man down and having no one on the bench for the Storm would have sparked some sort of strike from the Eels. But no. Nothing. Nada.
Harsh criticism of the Eels attack aside, the Parra defence was worthy of praise. If not for a couple of bad bounces, the Storm would have only crossed once. I think Brad Arthur and his assistants would have been happy with that.
Lets have a look at the numbers from Friday night.
FULL TIME STATS
|29/38 (76)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||23/35 (66)|
|41:41||Time – Opposition Half||38:39|
|18:38||Time – Opposition 20||16:05|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||2|
Unfortunately a 66% completion rate doesn’t win you many footy games, especially against one of the competitions top dogs, even when they aren’t at their best. All of the ball control from the previous week went MIA in Melbourne, and as the saying goes, you need to complete to compete.
We just couldn’t build pressure and missed a massive opportunity to win this and get away from the spoon.
FIRST HALF STATS
|17/20 (85)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||10/15 (67)|
|27:22||Time – Opposition Half||12:53|
|11:57||Time – Opposition 20||5:25|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||1|
As per the full match stats, the team had little ball, and when they did, it was basically squandered. The platform for the match was set in this half, and it was a poor one. It’s fair to say that this lack of discipline with possession was also reflected in the 9 penalties conceded during this half. This stats table did not make for good reading!
SECOND HALF STATS
|12/18 (67)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||13/20 (65)|
|14:19||Time – Opposition Half||25:46|
|6:41||Time – Opposition 20||10:40|
|0||Goal Line Dropout||1|
The positive – discipline improved and the Eels enjoyed more possession during this half.
The negative – the team’s ability to hold onto the pill continued to elude them.
Kudos to the boys for showing great discipline, but if you can’t score, you won’t win!
*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
Eels – 1428m from 169 runs (8.4m per run) – 2 Line Breaks
Storm – 1499m from 162 runs (9.3m per run) – 2 Line Breaks
Eels – 362
Storm – 321
Missed Tackles/Ineffective Tackles:
Eels – 19 missed / 11 ineffective
Storm – 19 missed / 16 ineffective
Eels – 92.3%
Storm – 90.2%
Eels – 10
Storm – 10
Eels – 11
Storm – 10
Not a bad looking heat map. But when you look at it, it shows that we tried their left and right edges more, rather than just focusing on hitting it up the middle of the pitch like we did against the Dragons. For mine a better strategy would have been to tire out their middle forwards in J. Bromwich, Asofa-Solomona and Finucane. Make your metres there then go to the edges. The Storm edge forwards are quality defenders and always play 80 minutes. Tire out the bigger men especially when Smith came off as well.
What is disappointing is we had so many set starts in the Melbourne red zone and came up with nothing. It was just a very poor attacking display from the Eels on this night.
This was a game that slipped away from the Eels once again. I was disappointed with a few performances, in particular senior players such Moses and Hayne. Both had shown great form over last few weeks and we needed each of them to produce another similar performance against the Storm.
Marata Niukore and Reed Mahoney had quality games and both are developing well with each game. Nervous starts for both Kaufusi and Stone but Salmon is looking to be a good find. The future looks good with these youngsters coming through.
Make sure you tune in and support our boys on Friday night. It’s our big match of the year as we take on the Cowboys for the wooden spoon.
It is going to be mighty tough for the Eels as no doubt the build up in Townsville is going to be mega with Thurston’s final game at home.
It will be a sell out, and the Eels will have no friends up there. Lets hope we can spoil the party.
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.