The Cumberland Throw

The Preview – Round 5, 2019: Eels vs Raiders

Date: Sunday, 14th April, 2019

Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra

Kick Off: 6:10pm

Head Referee: Henry Perenara

Assistant Referee: Tim Roby

Head-to-head: Played 59 Eels 27 Raiders 30 Drawn 2

Odds: Eels $2.40 Raiders $1.56

Broadcast: Foxtel

Last Four Encounters:

Raiders 18 Eels 2 GIO Stadium (2018)

Raiders 22. Eels 16 ANZ Stadium (2017)

Raiders 30 Eels 18 GIO Stadium (2017)

Raiders 28 Eels 18 GIO Stadium (2016)

 

The Warm Up

The Eels hurled one King-Kong sized monkey off their back in Round 4 in their 24-12 victory over the Cronulla Sharks. Round 5 presents them with a similar opportunity as they look to simultaneously secure a berth in the Top 4 and end an obnoxious losing streak in the nation’s capital that stretches back to 2007. The Raiders, much like the Sharks, have been a bogey team for the Eels in the modern era. Additionally the Raiders, much like the Eels, have enjoyed a terrific 3-1 start to their 2019 campaign – positioning this fixture on Sunday night as match of the round.

Who would have thought that coming into this year?

 

Having a Punt

Unlike Sixties, I am an awful tipster so do not listen to any advice I give. Feel free to share any hot tips in the comments however.

The favourites for first try scorer are listed below:

Eels: Ferguson $9.50 Sivo $10.00

Raiders: Rapana $8.00 Cotric $8.50

 

Feed Your Footy Brain

Parramatta’s injury issues have sort of flown under the radar in the national media. Nathan Brown, Dylan Brown, Manu Ma’u and Tepai Moeroa have all missed time in the first month of the NRL. Indeed, Round 5 potentially marks the first time this season that the Eels have been able to field the exact same line-up in consecutive weeks.

Perhaps this week’s little slice of roster consistency will aid in their pursuit of victory against one of the other red-hot teams currently in the NRL.

 

Tracking: Reed Mahoney

After logging his first 80-min game of the season, Reed Mahoney now has to back up against one of the premier rakes in the NRL in Josh Hodgson. While Mick Ennis may be in raptures about his efforts so far this year, Reed has been somewhat overlooked in the buzz surrounding Clinton Gutherson, Mitchell Moses and Dylan Brown.

In spite of that he has quickly solidified his position in the starting team and built on the promising signs first shown late last year. His slick service has enabled the Eels to attack with reckless abandon down both edges while his timely darts and clearing kicks have served to ease pressure on both his fellow forwards and play-makers.

Another rock-solid game from ‘Cash’ Mahoney will undoubtedly put the Eels right in the contest, a big game could be one of the keys to victory.

 

Danger man: Jordan Rapana

John Bateman could have easily landed in this section after the Englishman’s sensational start to his NRL career but Jordan Rapana has terrorised the Eels for the last few years so he claims top billing.

Surprisingly, Rapana has only scored twice against the Eels in the Brad Arthur-era but he almost always won the head-to-head match-up against Semi Radradra comfortably. Canberra and Rapana’s frustrating ability to largely neutralise one of the Eels’ most devastating weapons has been a major factor in losses to the Green Machine in the last five years.

The seemingly paltry total of two tries belies the damage he has done on the field as well with BJ Leilua and Blake Austin both profiting handsomely from Rapana’s outstanding work on the right sideline. Maika Sivo will be tasked with trying to put a lid on Canberra’s freakish flanker but hopefully a more balanced Parramatta outfit can secure the win elsewhere on the field.

 

Team Lists:

Eels : 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5.Blake Ferguson 6. Jaeman Salmon 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tepai Moeroa

Interchange: 14. Peni Terepo 15. Tim Mannah 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi 18. David Gower 19. Ray Stone 20. Josh Hoffman 21. Bevan French

 

Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6.Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dynamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton

Interchange: 14. Sivila Havili 15.Hudson Young 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Joseph Tapine 18. Royce Hunt 19. Aidan Sezer 20.Bailey Simonsson 21. JJ Collins

 

The Big Clash: Clinton Gutherson vs Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

The Eels were the first team to get a look at Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in Canberra colours when the hosted the Raiders in the preseason. Since then the ex-Warrior has been something of a pleasant surprise for Ricky Stuart in the custodial role with his neat defence under the high-ball and ability to finish a backline movement.

The Raiders aren’t the only team happy with their fullback though with Clinton Gutherson is enjoying a run of career-best form over the first four rounds of 2019. Gutherson, who is still locked in contract talks with the club, has had a hand in everything for the Eels. Averaging over 200m on the ground with some gaudy try-assist numbers to his name, Gutherson has been nothing short of electric.

While both players will likely be enabled by both their forward packs and halves come Sunday night, I have little doubt that a handful of key exchanges in the game will rest in their hands.

 

And The Winner Is?

I am riding the Eels home here, even with the colossal weight of that monkey on their back. Brad Arthur’s men have proven to be equal parts resilient and enterprising in their big bounce back season. I feel like the Eels have been more impressive in their comparative three victories to start the season and with better talent across key positions in the likes of Gutherson and Moses I think the Eels can prevail and claim a spot in the Top 4.

Eels 26 Raiders 14

Man of the Match – Blake Ferguson

 

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David Smiles
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David Smiles

See what you mean about betting can’t get the team right

sixties
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This weekend has been diabolical

Nigel Wilbow
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Good write up forty, I’m more confident after reading your preview.

sixties
Admin

He goes alright does our Forty.l!

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Good summary, and yes Rapana is a danger, his combination with Lalani is quite lethal.

Its a big match and the eels need the win going into next weeks game as well, I have no doubt that Sivo will be seen as a weak link and be very much targeted by their side of the field, l also think that Mahoney will also be targeted owing to his size, same situation I believe with MM.

sixties
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Colin, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Moses a few times this year and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so relaxed.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Great read. I’m cautiously optimistic that we can break our poor from in the ACT. The English have made a difference to the Raiders this year. Is it good luck or good management? I can’t help but think the opposition have underestimated Raiders and been surprised by how good the Raiders have played. I think we have prepared well and I think we can test them and get over the top.
Tip Ferguson for first try against an old club.
pete

sixties
Admin

Pete, that could be a fair call about their opposition. When you have a record in the ACT like Parra, you would be unlikely to underestimate, so I think we’ll be focussed.

John Eel
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John Eel

Chanze Nicoll- Klokstad went to the Raiders on a train and trial contract. I am pretty sure he was not in their top 30 squad to start. Has always been a good player, very quick. His problem was Tuivasa-Sheck. Did spend some time on the wing last year. I have been very impressed with Jr Paulo this season. His minutes, carries and fast play the balls have given the team a lot of go forward. The Raiders are going to have to stop that to get over the Eels. When Jr makes those big post contact metres followed by a… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

John, last week Jnr played big minutes, this week I wonder if he may play reduced time, and perhaps off the bench and be an impact after 20minutes. No matter which he will be wanting a big game against his old club

rowdy roddy
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rowdy roddy

Don’t waste Jnr on the bench Colin when we could play him in reserve grade before the main game? That way we can frighten the Raiders before the NRL game starts if they see how good Jnr is and that he can’t make our bench let alone the starting side because our other forwards are so good. The Raiders will be sh…..g themselves before they run out.

sixties
Admin

Rowdy, trust you to think about different ways to psyche out an opposing team!

sixties
Admin

Keep an eye on Colmacs new stat each week which will track those minutes. I’m waiting on a line graph next from Colmac.

John Eel
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John Eel

Colin I wouldn’t change a thing about Jr. Would definitely not have him off the bench. He is doing fine and playing as good as any Middle in NRL

sixties
Admin

I remember watching the Canberra trial and asking who the fullback was, because he impressed. Great switch of clubs.

sixties
Admin

My thanks to Forty for stepping in due to my internet problems – no Yes for a few days now.
I hate trying to type off my phone but thought I’d add my tip.
Eels by 8.
Parra 30 Raiders 22

John Eel
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John Eel

I do think it will be a high scoring game but as I said previously Eels 1-10.

Luke
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Luke

I think it’s worth pointing out also that whilst you can only play the team in front of you, the Raiders have beaten the Titans, Knights & Cowboys (3 of the current bottom 5) & been flogged by the Storm. I would argue that us beating Sharks & running the Chooks close is a better form guide & am reasonably confident about our form leading into this game.

John Eel
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John Eel

Luke that is a very good point. Further to that is that the only form team that the Storm have played is the Raiders. It will then be a good guide to their form when they meet the Roosters.

Trevor Campbell
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Trevor Campbell

Good stuff as usual forty. Although the refs have been fair this year I am just a bit worried about today’s head ref. I notice Tapine is back and he can be a bit of a grub, just like Fisher Harris was in the Penrith game. In that game FH nearly took Ferguson’s head off with a swinging arm and when he tackled Dylan Brown

Trevor Campbell
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Trevor Campbell

Bugger, somehow I hit the send button before I finished. FH used his forearm to drive Dylan’s head into the turf and he looked straight up at the ref to see if he was going to be pinged for it, but the ref missed it. I noticed last week that when Tepai went off at the 20 minute mark the Sharks started making more metres per set. Tep really is an attacking, punishing defender and he saves the team a lot of energy that can be wasted trying to stop players as they march up field…most of his tackles result… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Noticed the same thing with Tep. He grounds folks quickly and seems to have high impact energy. Love it

Milo
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Milo

As long as the right Parra turns up we will win; 26-16. Always hard to win down in ACT but this yr could be the one. Stay with them till the 60 mins and hold firm like in the movie The Sting!! Play our cards right……