The Cumberland Throw

Ringrose Match Reports – Eels Jersey Flegg and Wenty ISP

Jersey Flegg – Bulldogs 30 Defeated Eels 18

With literally a battalion of players missing from their team due to injuries and promotion, the young Eels were always going to have to produce something special to win this game. That said, the squad had been performing admirably without their “stars” and went into the match with an air of confidence.

The list of missing players was a veritable who’s who.
Dylan Brown, Haze Dunster, Ethan Parry, Stefano Utoikanmanu, Filia Utoikamanu, Oregon Kaufusi, Salesi Fainga’a, Steve Dresler, Dylan Clifford, Noel Aukafolau, William Kei and Joe Taipari were among those missing for this game. Throw in current first graders Jaeman Salmon and Reed Mahoney who won’t be eligible to return, and it’s an imposing group of unavailable talent – literally an entire team.

The first half was indicative of a team missing too many players.

The play was a combination of multiple sets of patience working to a game plan, followed up by sets pushing impossible passes. The Bulldogs’ defence did an outstanding job repelling the Eels attack in their quarter, and made the most of their possession and the Eels poor discipline to reach a 20 to nil half time lead.

The Eels began the second half strongly, and makeshift five-eighth Tui Afualo wrestled his way out of the grasp of Bulldogs defenders to crash over for Parra’s opening try. The 20 to 6 score line only lasted for another 6 minutes as Michael Tupou took a crash ball next to the posts, blasting defenders out of his way. At 20 to 12, time was not a factor as there was still 23 minutes left on the clock.

Momentum was now with the young Eels, and Todd Sapienza took full advantage running a blind side play inside the Bulldogs quarter for Afu to score out wide. Despite taking a massive shot in the play, Sapienza dusted himself off to kick the sideline conversion. Game on at 20 to 18 with around 15 minutes to go.

The game looked to be the Eels for the taking as a Dogs indiscretion led to a sin bin and territory for the Eels. A charge next to the posts led to Sam Hughes celebrating a try, but the referee ruled held up. (The word out of the Eels room was disappointment with the call).

From that point the flow of the game was all Canterbury’s. A penalty against the Eels for holding on in the tackle piggy-backed the Dogs downfield, where another penalty gifted them a penalty goal. The Eels chasers were then in front of the kicker from the kick-off and the Dogs iced the game with a converted try and a 28 to 18 score. Salt was then rubbed into the wounds when the Dogs brought the ball back down into the Eels half and were awarded the penalty from a scuffle.

 

Full time – Bulldogs 30, Eels 18

Player Report

The standout player in this match was Sean Keppie. The big unit played huge minutes (I can’t recall him being replaced) and was relentless in his carries. Not far behind was Tyrone Faulkner. I hadn’t seen much of this young bloke before but he’s another big human who plays aggressively and possesses a good offload. Todd Sapienza would be deserving of a point in any match honours, and for a player that was brought in as a depth signing, he’s proved to be a find in 2018 and a key player in their title aspirations.

Hollis in action in 2017.

The team itself had players perform admirably out of position, such as Tui Afualo in the halves and Nick Okladnikov in the centres. Players from this year’s SG Ball team, such as Sam Hughes, David Hollis and JP Nohra are gaining invaluable experience through the absence of so many team regulars, auguring well for the future.

Edit – I was remiss to not mention another debutant from SG Ball – back rower, Charbel Tasipale.

His first carry led to a break from a superb offload, and he followed that up with a similar play in the second half. He looks significantly bigger than he did just a few months ago.

This was the last regular season match for the Flegg boys. Next week will see the 6th placed Eels take on the 7th placed Dogs in an elimination final at Penrith Park on Saturday.

ISP Bulldogs 22 Defeated Wenty 14

Following the Warriors victory over the Bears on Saturday, the result in this match meant little to a Magpies team unable to qualify for the finals. Nonetheless, young Eels such as Brown, Kaufusi, Utoikamanu, Dunster, Parry and Dresler were retained in ISP as they continue their path to senior football.

This is a young Wenty team, with Bevan French being the only player with significant NRL experience to guide them.

The game did not start well with what looked like a nasty dislocation to Dylan Brown. Although the treatment looked as if it was a dislocation, it has since emerged that young Brown had suffered a significant break to a finger. To be honest, I’m stunned that he then performed as he did. He literally played the entire match with this break.

Greg Leleisiuao was the first to score after 10 minutes, crossing out wide off a Brown pass. After the try, Brown again received more attention to his finger. The try was unconverted, but GL provided Wenty with an identical conversion attempt, this time scoring off a French pass. Brown took this attempt and nailed it from the sideline, giving a 10 nil score line with 13 minutes left in the half.

The Wenty defence in the face of a 7-2 penalty count was superb. However, the weight of possession eventually took its toll as the Dogs crossed for a converted try with three minutes left in the half. The teams hit the sheds with the score reading 10 – 6 to Wenty.

The match got into a tough grind in the early part of the second half, but Dunster superbly finished off a Wenty play to score out wide. The conversion was unsuccessful and the 14 to 6 score was flattering to the Dogs. Just like the Jersey Flegg game, the turning point came with the advantage seemingly with the home team. Following a foul and a scuffle with Steve Dresler, the Bulldogs lost a player to the bin, yet then gained all of the momentum on the back of Wenty errors.

A Dogs try next to the posts following a bad missed tackle narrowed the score to 14 – 12 with 13 minutes remaining. A costly lost possession around the Wenty quarter gifted Canterbury with even more territory and possession which they duly utilised with another converted try and the lead for the first time in the game with only seven minutes left on the clock.

Ray Stone pulled off a remarkable try saving “intercept” when knocking down a pass whilst chasing in defence, but his effort was to no avail as the Magpies soon conceded a try out wide after the Dogs pulled off a sequence of superb offloads to open up space in the corner.

Player Report

The young Jersey Flegg players were among the best on field for Wenty. Utoikamanu and Kaufusi were imposing in the middle, and Parry was solid in the centres. Dunster is playing his best football in this grade, and his benefitting from sticking to a specialised wing role. I was disappointed that Dresler was only given a short (though fiery) late stint on the field.

Ray Stone again provided a typically involved, aggressive “Stoney” performance. Bevan French was highly involved but not as influential as last week. GL was a handful with every carry, but I’d like to see even more involvement from him. Am I expecting too much? I still feel like Dane Aukafolau might play his best football as a back rower – time will tell. The best of the Wenty contracted players was Rhys Davies.

On the path to NRL – Dylan Brown

The standout was unquestionably Dylan Brown. The dynamic half played the entire match with a badly broken finger. What was most impressive considering this injury was his defensive display. He delivered two of the best one-on-one hits of the game, one of these being a try saver on the line. This bloke is TOUGH! Unfortunately his injury could be bad in terms of his availability for the finals.

This match spelt the end of the Magpies season. As much as I enjoy attending Ringrose to cheer for Wenty, I will continue to push for Parra to have its own ISP team. More on this to come.

Eels forever!

Sixties

35
Click Here to Reply ...

avatar
6 Comment threads
29 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
AnonymousHamsammichsixtiesAnonymousAnonymous Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Thanks for the reports Sixties nice reading indeed.

Is Keppie the player that has signed with Manly, a big loss for us I think.

Also you mention Bevan French’s involvement, I would assume that he played better than he has shown in the NRL team this year,???? It seems to me a waste that a player of his ability is sitting in ISP, hopefully though it helps him build confidence

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Really dont think bevan has what it takes col, the standout about this report is that obviously what ba has been building through our juniors is finally coming through ,hope he gets to finish job , god knows the club has hit him with enough obstacles but he carrys on undeterred.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Anon, I think Bev does have the abilities and has shown it before this year, as such I hope he does stay for next year and with better players around him he can get his confidence back and play his natural game, especially how he was in his previous years.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Not tough enough and a lazy player im afraid col but that just me .also his mistakes outweigh his ability .

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Used to be how Terepo played as well.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Not true , never was he lazy and never was he not tough , poor statement colin .

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Maybe he was tough and not lazy, however he did make enough errors along with some misreads, and therein is my comparison. This year though Peni has finally shone out in games and plays very much above his weight and size.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Have you read his story mate ,the odds hes overcome health wise ,i have nothing but admiration for this man and hes the nicest guy youd ever want to meet .

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

No. I haven’t read his story, but as I said his game this year has shone out, and showing the player that he can be, especially considering his size. This year he has been tops, sad that he is now out for the last game of the season, as we needed him against the chooks. I love it when a player who has been at the club for some time and has been the target of many others regarding his hands and the like, this year is a different one and that to me is what matters, thing is it… Read more »

Michael Formosa
Guest
Michael Formosa

Great recap! I’m looking forward to the end of season review on these rookies. We actually have more talent coming through than I thought. Reading our best in Flegg is someone who is leaving is never good. Is it true Reimis Smith was a Parra junior ? Not that it matters now it’s what happens with the next lot that matters.

Hamsammich
Guest
Hamsammich

Keppie is 20 years old so it’s expected of him to be the best in this grade. Playing in the grade above him are Stefano Utoikamanu and Oregon Kaufusi, Stefano is 2 years younger and Oregon is a year younger. So yeah it’s a shame to not have him at the club it isn’t like he was the only prop coming through.

Reimis was at the club for about 3-4 months. Was previously at souths for 2+ years.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

I remember him in the 20’s. Played there for a couple of years I think but never seemed to do a real lot. Maybe I expected too much.

When his “Player Manager” father took Hopoate to The Dogs his son went to. Probably part of the deal.

Hamsammich
Guest
Hamsammich

He joined Parra in 2015, from memory he played 2 maybe 3 trial matches then was allowed to move to the Dogs mid-season. Previous to this he was at souths, where he played against the Eels in the 2013 Harold Matthews GF.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

It is hard to not get excited about the talent coming thru the junior ranks. However I have seen it all before and until they earn a shot in the NRL and step up to the plate when the chances arrive it all means nothing.

The most pleading aspect of this current pool of talent is that they are still shining away from the protection of age grading. Showing the ability to play against older and in most cases bigger opposition.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

John, its very hard to not get excited but, I am a bit reserved in that regard, as you have said, there has been a lot of expectations built up with these juniors coming through and the supporters really have to also not put too much unrealistic expectations on their shoulders. The 4 new faces this year along with maybe another few next year, is exciting for me, as many or most have been together for some time now, they should also compliment each others play owing to their time together already. Jiminez the new trainer should also be a… Read more »

Kaul Pent
Guest
Kaul Pent

Dylan Brown MUST be in the top 30 next year, simply for the fact of development. Don’t even push him to nrl just get him learning the ropes.
Imagine
1 Guth
6 Moses
7 Brown
9 Mahoney
In a year or two. Will be massive

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

If Brown is as good as suggested in reports, the he could very well be the answer to the 7’s spot, and no need to sign Moses after next year, with Norms also gone, the spot of need will be the # 1 position. Maybe, just maybe if that spot is open French may lift and give that position a shake, but its up to him really, to not fail the audition as he has done this year.

Kaul Pent
Guest
Kaul Pent

I can see brown and Moses working, they both run but what moses lacks in organising and direction brown has got, it would free up moses game but I guess time will tell.

I don’t see bev being back in first grade next year, sorry kids a freak just lack to size to play back there.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

French isnt and never will be an nrl quality fullback !!!!!!!

MAX
Guest
MAX

Great report Sixties!

rayt
Guest
rayt

Thanks Sixties, very informative as always