The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 4, 2019: Eels Defeat Sharks


Round 4


(Tries: M. Jennings x 2, M. Niukore, B. Takairangi. Goals: M. Moses 4 from 4)



(Tries: S. Feki x 2. Goals: K. Flanagan 2 from 2)

Saturday, April 6 2019

ANZ Stadium

Crowd: 11,185

Eels v Sharks clashes have never really featured in any “games of the season” list and this past Saturday night was no exception.

From the Eels perspective it was a well deserved victory, but a couple of softish tries had 2018 trying to rear its ugly head once again. Just like that scene in “Alien” where the alien burst out the guys stomach, you could see the bump of 2018 trying to break through.

But this is 2019, and the 2019 team have learnt from past performances and unlike last season, maintained their composure.

The old adage of “but the Sharks had plenty of injuries” came out, and nobody’s ignorant of that. Nonetheless, the Eels also had plenty of talent sitting on the bench and it should be acknowledged that the team hasn’t missed a beat.

Blake Ferguson definitely holds the mantle of Buy of the Year thus far and with his performances in the last month, he has quickly become an Eels fan favourite. He has smarts on the field when you see him have one foot out and touch the ball to make the kick out, but his defensive reads came into question on Saturday. No doubt this will be addressed by the coaching staff so that his defensive play matches the attacking weapons in his arsenal.

That said, we don’t want a team that rises or falls with the performances of one player.

So lets look at the Stats that Matta.

Score Flow

Parramatta Eels
H Minute Name Event Score
1 7 M.Niukore TRY 4 – 0
1 8 M.Moses CONVERSION 6 – 0
1 26 S.Feki TRY 6 – 4
1 28 K.Flanagan CONVERSION 6 – 6
1 38 B.Takairangi TRY 10 – 6
1 39 M.Moses CONVERSION 12 – 6
2 43 S.Feki TRY 12 – 10
2 44 K.Flanagan CONVERSION 12 – 12
2 52 M.Jennings TRY 16 – 12
2 52 M.Moses CONVERSION 18 – 12
2 71 M.Jennings TRY 22 – 12
2 72 M.Moses CONVERSION 24 – 12

Game Stats

Team Stats

Full Time

49 Possession (%) 51
33/40 (83) Complete/Total Sets (%) 30/34 (88)
39:08 Time – Opposition Half 42:08
15:26 Time – Opposition 20 14:46
2621 Metres Gained 2299
7 Scrum Win 7
3 Goal Line Dropout 1
3 Penalty Conceded 5
0 Forty Twenty 0
Team Stats

First Half

55 Possession (%) 45
20/24 (83) Complete/Total Sets (%) 13/15 (87)
26:14 Time – Opposition Half 14:22
9:34 Time – Opposition 20 7:37
1470 Metres Gained 1093
6 Scrum Win 1
0 Goal Line Dropout 1
0 Penalty Conceded 4
0 Forty Twenty 0
Team Stats

Second Half

43 Possession (%) 57
13/16 (81) Complete/Total Sets (%) 17/19 (89)
12:54 Time – Opposition Half 27:46
5:52 Time – Opposition 20 7:09
1151 Metres Gained 1206
1 Scrum Win 6
3 Goal Line Dropout 0
3 Penalty Conceded 1
0 Forty Twenty 0

The Eels first half was close to perfect. No penalties conceded in the first half which is showing a great turn around from last year. Currently the Eels sit first in least penalties conceded. A stat no doubt Brad Arthur would be proud with.

The Possession swung significantly in the second half. Impressively, the Eels steely defence and great game management from Mitchell Moses nullified any pressure the Sharks could build.

Player Stats



I was asked to do a bit of a comparison In “Minutes Played” for the forwards and interchange players. There may be weekly variation on how the player is used against a particular team, or due to previous performances.

Probably the easiest way I can show this is in three stages.

  1. Average Minutes per game
  2. Last weeks minutes
  3. This weeks minutes

We can speculate the reasons for variations. Perhaps a statistic like this might highlight a trend, expose a specific game plan, illustrate how a game unfolded, or even how a young forward is being transitioned into first grade or how an older player is being managed.


The significant differences this week were with Daniel Alvaro and Tim Mannah playing fewer minutes than the previous week and indeed fewer than their season average. Kane Evans also played significantly less minutes than last week, but those minutes were similar to his season average. Another change saw Reed Mahoney complete a full 80 minutes.


Runs 166 168
Run Metres 1904 1601
Tackles 333 322
Missed Tackles 29 17
Tackle Ineffective 25 16
Effective Tackle Rate 86% 90%
Errors 8 8

Heat Maps

Set Starts

Parra had some decent set starts in the Sharks half but not as many as previous rounds. A couple of sets started on the Sharks tryline should have amounted into more points.

Hit Ups/Runs

I’d like to see that red area more inside the Sharks half thereby putting extra pressure on the Sharks defence. It’s good that we are getting out of our zones well, but especially our power men in our forwards and wingers need to get more involved in the opposition half to get us on the front foot.


So we farewelled our temporary home ground in ANZ Stadium in style, finally defeating one of our bogey sides in the Sharks. Getting that W in the results column is always sweet but it’s especially nice against the Shire people.

Now our biggest challenge looms as we go to a ground we haven’t won at for 13 years.

Our last win in the Nations Capital was July 1 2006 and with both teams in great form, this game should be a cracker.

The Raiders are a rocks and diamonds team. They produced the diamonds against the Cowboys last week in Townsville so this week should hopefully be the rocks.

It would be great to see the Eels keep picking up the two points and going into our first game at Bankwest on fire.

Yours in Blue and Gold


Stats courtesy of Champion Data.

All these stats and more can be viewed on our match centre at including live game stats.


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sixtiesrowdy roddyLongfin EelsixtiesBubbles Recent comment authors
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Good to see the Eels superior in the run metres. I didn’t realise how good the Sharks completion rate was (88%) and in missed tackes, they don’t give you much!
Colmac the minutes played is interesting. Last week we played 4 centre forwards on the bench which may also explain the the reduced game time for Alvaro, Mannah, Tep, Evans and Oregon with the edge forwards playing 80mins. Including Stone arguably adds balance – he can rotate with Mahoney/Tep and provides for more game time for the centre forwards.


DDay, Stone is delivering in spades for Wenty. No forward deserves to lose his spot, and there’s Ma’u and Brown to return, not to forget Gowie and Smith, but Stone keeps providing a reminder of his value.

John Eel
John Eel

These stats show just how much better the Eels were with the ball in hand. Sharks were out played significantly in the second half despite the Sharks having a mountain of possession.

Don’t underestimate the game management of MM who tied the Sharks down with his tactical kicking.


It was impressive game management after absorbing pressure.

Colin Hussey
Colin Hussey

Its a real credit to our 2nd rowers who played the whole 80minutes, likewise with Mahoney going the same time distance, having not seen the game I am thinking all the backs had 80minutes as well.

A big test against the sharks & the team came up roses, lets hope the same will happen on the road this coming weekend. Likely I think in many ways the biggest test yet.


It’s an interesting observation that I agree with Colin. It is the biggest test yet, but I then thought, every game has been a big test.
Panthers – first game, players missing, memories of last year, sin bin,
Dogs – backing up an unexpected first round win
Roosters – last year’s premiers
Sharks – coming back from Roosters loss, Dylan Brown injury, long running hoodoo
So now it’s now the Raiders. Away. Another hoodoo, an in-form team.
By the way Col, the minutes played by the backs can be found under MP in the individual tables. Yes it’s 80 minutes for all.

Colin Hussey
Colin Hussey

Thanks sixties, forgot the MO table, I note though the E column is still out of the table.

The games this year are going to be all pretty well tough, the new found toughness of the side will be constantly tested. it will show the toughness and character of the team overall, all the big game teams know they are dealing with a different side to the prior seasons eels, self belief and nil complacency will be essential for the whole year.


New minutes played table very interesting ,thanks .


This table will be interesting to follow as the season unfolds.

Longfin Eel
Longfin Eel

It’s quite telling that in a season where we are giving away the fewest penalties we are also seeing some great results. It’s good to see Parra finally address this issue. There were a few missed tackles and errors in the game, which should be something the team addresses as we get into the middle of the season.

What’s also interesting is the run meters from our backline. This is certainly putting pressure back onto the opposition defense and giving us good field position for the next set.


The endless Malcolms during the pre-season have led to defensive line speed and discipline. I watched the two lines intently on Saturday. The Sharks could have been penalised all night. The Eels gave the ref no opportunity to penalise them.

rowdy roddy
rowdy roddy

The reading of your stats, Colmac, are becoming an essential element of the whole “Parra fan thing” mate. Thanks for your contribution to the whole “TCT thing”. Being a committed member of both institutions I feel quite blessed.


The numbers are telling a great story and I’m loving Colmac’s heat maps. Thanks also to Colmac for responding so quickly to my request for the minutes played tracking table.