The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 5 at Canberra

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 0

Canberra Raiders 19

The Good:
More than most teams, the supporters of the Eels and Raiders have a bit in common – we each understand the pain of perpetual Rugby League disappointment, we like to fondly glorify days gone by. We also know a little about Ricky Stuart.

So, if I had to find the good on a horrid night, I guess if we inevitably had to crash back to earth, at least it wasn’t against the Panthers, Dogs or Manly.

Looking deeper into the well of optimism, the Eels did remarkably well to withstanding a slaughter of both defence and repeat sets from the Raiders, somehow going into the sheds only down by 8. However, the pain continued in the second half and it seemed eventually that the sheer burden of possession proved too much for the Eels to recover from.

With all of that said, I’ll be honest with you; there’s not a great deal of good to take away from tonight.

The Bad:
I mean it’s all well and good to talk about the glut of Raiders possession, but 9 errors in each half (that’s 18 overall – put that calculator away) is unacceptable from the Parramatta Eels.

Also our gruesome record in Canberra continues to hang over our head like the Sword of Damocles. See you in 2020, you jerk.

I’ll have a couple of extra hours free this week, as I can assure you I will not be watching that game on replay.

The X-Factor:
Exactly one year ago (14th April, 2018) the winless Eels met the winless Raiders in Canberra for their Round 6 clash. The Raiders came away with an 18-2 victory, however neither team went on to do anything of note in 2018.

Contrastingly, each club came into today’s clash with a 3-1 record, and despite the loss, going into next week’s clash with the Tigers at Bankwest Stadium with a 3-2 record isn’t the disaster it might feel like right now.

I am forever reluctant to mention the impact of the referees, but I did feel we lost a lot of 50/50 calls in the first 30 minutes of the game. Evidently BA’s presser has a similar sort of vibe.

The MVP:

 

I also don’t love giving out awards of any sort when we lose by almost 20, but Marata Niukore did very little wrong tonight; I thought he was terrific on both sides of the ball.

I am looking forward to not only seeing how Simba backs up this performance on Easter Monday, but also seeing his performance in the Lion King live action remake in July.

 

1- Clint Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Our talismanic fullback never, ever stopped trying, but it just felt like it wasn’t our night in the Nation’s Capital. Gutho got through 14 runs, 165 metres, a linebreak assist and 2 tacklebreaks tonight; not to mention 11 very necessary tackles on our goal line. Lemon was also the author of several large dropouts, probing darts from dummy half and a crisp pass to absolutely no-one that calmly sailed over the sideline early in the second half.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

It may well have been a result of Fergo’s injury, but Mr Maika (It’s pronounced My-ka so that doesn’t work) Sivo got through a mountain of attacking work tonight, with a team-high 15 runs for 132 metres. Incredibly he was only forced to make one tackle, which feels weird to me. Nonetheless, the big Fijian has been a VERY good find for the Eels.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Jenko commendably kept popping up in the middle to take some of the pressure off an exhausted forward pack, getting through 9 runs for 83 metres, 4 tacklebreaks and 21 tackles. I should add I didn’t love the 4 missed tackles and 2 conceded penalties, however.

4- Brad Takairangi

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

In honour of Taka’s 150th game, his centre mate Jenko already evaluated the big Kiwi’s game earlier this week.

Unfortunately it’s that latter point that makes life difficult for Taka on the wing, finding himself finishing his 150th game in a strange and unfamiliar place. Still, Taka’s team high 4 tacklebreaks and linebreak complemented a pretty strong running game (8 runs for 76 metres). Like almost everyone on the Eels, I suspect Taka have a better game next week.

5- Blake Ferguson

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

It seemed there was a welcoming committee of Raiders to greet Fergo each and every time he ran the ball tonight and despite his admirable and maddening desire to push through the pain, in the end a blooded nose and fractured ribs were Fergo’s unwelcome reward. Apparently they call fractured ribs the Police injury, as it hurts every breath you take and every move you make. Yikes.

Still, hopefully it’s not as bad as first reported, as his replacement will certainly have some very big shoes to fill. In other news, Jack Wighton is a scab on the elbow of the Rugby League community.

Finally, it will be worth seeing just how the Eels respond with the big gigantic winger out of the side, as I don’t believe tonight’s match is a fair representation of how Rugby League matches usually go. Whatever the case, hopefully Fergo is back sooner rather than later.

6- Jaeman Salmon

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

In a game where we are starved of possession, I would have hoped the talented Jaeman would have found more excuses to run the ball than just the 3 times he managed to do so. There were also some less than perfect decisions with the boot, a couple of errant pass choices and a clearly forward ball for Sivo in the dying moments of the game. Nonetheless, to some extent these comments are largely mitigated by the fact that he’s young and still relatively inexperienced, and that the Eels are understaffed in the halves. If I were BA, assuming Fergo’s injury doesn’t force a reshuffle, I’d happily pick him at 6 game again next week as Salmon’s certainly got the talent to make it there. Heck, he’s got the talent to make it anywhere. It’s up to him, New York, New York.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

I don’t really think Mitch did a lot wrong tonight, and I thought his kicking game was overall pretty solid. It was also good to see him orchestrate a number of half chances and linebreak assists, but with the lack of ball and only tired men around him, it wasn’t surprising to see our attack end up as disjointed as his dislocated finger. Syndes-Moses also made a huge defensive play to deny Jarod Crocker what looked like a certain try in the 12th minute, a trait not often associated with the young man in years gone by. Kudos, Mitch.

8- Daniel Alvaro

Prop, Parramatta Eels

The Arctic Region native made a very poor decision to push a past in attacking range mid way through the second half, one of his two errors for the night. I don’t know if it’s just me, but despite our early season success, it feels like Danny has been significantly less effective in Season 2019.

Still, he was only a metre shy of the most running metres from a Blue & Gold forward (12 for 111 metres), and got through a ridiculous 48 tackles. Yeah, maybe it is just me.

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Raise your bat once again Reed, as the young man cracked the half century for the second week in a row. On top of 51 tackles (4 misses), the Nambour Terrier also put on a couple of kicks to complement his consistently crisp service from dummy half.

Ps – Shout out to Reed’s dad, a lifetime Eels fan. We’re big fans of your young bloke.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

June Paul the Third had a mixed game against his old club. You could tell he was keen to get away early offloads, unfortunately Jarod Croker could see that too; snatching Junior’s second attempt to scoot away downfield. Big Junez did get one back mid way through the second half, grabbing an errant Raiders’ pass of his own, but his 12 runs for a forward pack leading 112 metres is the foundation we need before the offloads become the focus. I can’t finish without noting that the big fella also made some cracking, bone crunching tackles, too.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

When all the men around him looked out on their feet, I thought Shaun Lane’s running game looked most likely to crack the Raiders defensive line open, feasting on the goo inside. In my opinion, his 10 runs for 85 metres doesn’t give enough credit to the opportunities his lanky range (2 offloads tonight) creates.

12- Marata Niukore

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

After getting beat down from some brutal Canberra defence moments earlier, Marata Niukore absolutely violated Elliott Whitehead early in the second half. Complimenting his 7 runs, 82 metres, 1 linebreak, 2 tacklebreaks and 27 tackles, Hukuna Marata also went oh-so-close to scoring our first near try early in the second stanza. A great game on a rough night.

13- Tepai Moeroa

Lock, Parramatta Eels

It just feels like Tep is less than 100%, but he still seems pretty effective when out there with 7 runs, 82 metres, 2 tacklebreaks and 36 tackles. Hopefully the extended 8 day rest will give him the time he needs to get him closer to full fitness.

14- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The Butcher’s 8 runs for 77 metres and 36 tackles were commendable.

The 5 missed tackles? Less so.

15- Tim Mannah

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Tonight Tim joined Peter Sterling as the equal 5th most capped Eel ever. Other than that, I can’t imagine Tim will consider this a game to remember; with only 4 runs (38 metres) and plenty of tackling (21 tackles) to his name.

16- Kane Evans

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

That untimely error …

17- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Gower did his level best to help bail us out, but the Eels’ ship was already well and truly going down by the time he waded out there onto the field, bucket in hand.

Next week … well you all know what’s happening next week.

 

Easter Monday.

The Wests Tigers.

A brand new Bankwest Stadium.

 

See you then, and see you all there, sports fans.

Go you Eels,

Mitch.

http://www.starrpartners.com.au/office/starr-partners-auburn

Photos courtesy of the Parramatta Eels. Stats courtesy of the legends over at Champion Data.

43
Click Here to Reply ...

avatar
17 Comment threads
26 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
23 Comment authors
sixtiesSalty PeteAnonymous!0 Year MemberSeth hardie Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Michael Formosa
Guest
Michael Formosa

Perenara first game back and we have to get him ffs!!

Fathead
Guest
Fathead

Maranta deserves more – he was completely out on his feet as he carried the whole forward pack. Terrific player and should be one of the first resigned.

Big Derek
Guest
Big Derek

Thanks Mitch, pretty much spot on. However, a question that needs answer from the NRL , a referee who has been in the bunker for the season gets put in charge of basically the game of the round between 2 aggressive teams. Known to favour the home side continually , the trend continued. The forward pass call was a massive turning point, just so frustrating to see those decisions made frequently by that official Raiders played a simple game, amazingly quick line speed , and more than usual hands in the face in tackles. How does an appointment such as… Read more »

Clive
Guest
Clive

That was really really really hard game to watch. I just don’t get how first graders can continually make dumb errors like forcing offloads when we are being forced to make a ton of tackles. Common sense tells you we needed to hold the ball and complete our sets to get back into the game but nope they just kept forcing passes and dropping the ball.
Our kick chase was awful as well.

And don’t get me started on the refs, Takas pass was no where near forward.

Parra Pete
Guest
Parra Pete

Totally agree with your MVP. Marata was a stand-out.
Henry Perenara has found an equal..The pocket referee tonight was just as bad, if not worse..
No way in the world was the first try disallowed a forward pass…and the last by Sivo was line ball at best…
Sour grapes from me….

Kaul Pent
Guest
Kaul Pent

Mahoney deadset deserves and A++
He stop at least 4 tries (Croker and Sutton for example) which probably would of blown out the game early in the first. Massive by the young kid? What happened to him in the last ten? Anyone know?

June
Guest
June

I think he coped a high short that no official saw. He went off the field after that I

BDon
Guest
BDon

June, it was an unusual one, the shot was definitely high but Reed was carrying the ball right up near his jaw and first contact was with the ball. It was hard to see if the arm then collected his head but the result maybe says yes. For a few years the refs have penalised regardless of where first contact is.High means just that, no ifs or buts.

Kaul Pent
Guest
Kaul Pent

Just read on NRL he was taken off with a hia. Must of got him good.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Pretty good take on the game.
I felt the refs were poor at times but our ball handling was far worse.
An area where it seems like we will struggle for a while is our attack. The effectiveness of our attacking plays is lessened with Salmon in the 6.
Overall, pretty happy with the defensive efforts with 2 tries from kicks.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Mitch, I could only get a live blog report for the game through fox sports. The progress scores, well for Canberra anyway came through but none from our side. There is a live update of scores and two sections of stats, but seems those are not available once the game has finished and only a brief one is published. As I went through them, there was nothing in them to bring much joy, as they were quite terrible. I said in one of the prematch blogs, that I hope their minds were focused on the Canberra game rather than on… Read more »

BDon
Guest
BDon

Taka’s pass dead set left his hands OK, that was a huge decision in the context of the game. Wighton’s facial on Ferguson was poor. It took about 5 goes before a Hodgson forward pass was called. But the biggest leg up was the Raiders’ 10 metres, pinged only once later in 2nd half, they fudged it to the hilt and were never given an earlier warning shot. The only problem is that 19 blot is hard to argue with, we didn’t exactly help ourselves much and yes Mitch, the replay will show plenty of grit but the rain check… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

That was so painful to watch. I thought we did pretty well defensively, considering how much time they spent with ball in hand. But offensively, we need Beown back in the 6. We didn’t go left at all to Sivo, whose a monster I want to get the ball as much as possible. Our best was Reed tonight I think. And tonight we saw that there is still much work to be done

Sam
Guest
Sam

There were a few things aside from Perenara that seemed off tonight. Raiders line speed and niggle. No way they were that quick all game? Eels disrespect for ball security and set completion. Why push those passes? And the general malaise probably due to the extra tackling early. It seemed like boys V men at times in the forwards – excepting Marata & Lane. But most troubling for me was Gutherson game and grade – statistically it was top notch as usual – however a lot of His dummy half passes were high and off target, the pass over the… Read more »

DDay
Guest
DDay

Agree Sam about Gutho overplaying his hand comment. Not sure whether it was cause or effect (of Fergo missing) but it did make us look very predictable. Hope normal service returns next next week.

Salty Pete
Guest
Salty Pete

Wow… you really have it in for Salmon. I though both kicks were pretty good. One went into the pocket and the other should have resulted in Rapana being bundled into the in-goal. I don’t think Salmon was the cause of our lack of possession that’s for sure. I’m starting to think Salty Pete and Bob Jay may have hit a nerve last week. We know you are a big Brown fan but don’t forget he played against two of the more softer teams – Penrith and the Dogs. There is no way any half is going to flourish with… Read more »

West Coast Eel
Guest
West Coast Eel

We played very poorly and to be honest, never looked like winning. I guess one positive if that was the 2018 Eels we would’ve lost by 50. This years version did well to keep themselves in it for as long as they did. Ferguson will be a huge loss. I’m not sure who comes in….. maybe French with a point to prove. Stick with Salmon at 5/8, he’ll come good. It just wasn’t our day yesterday. Let’s hope we can turn it around on Easter Monday. I certainly hope so, cos I’m flying across the country for it!

Jonboy
Guest
Jonboy

Wow that was hard to watch!!! The Raiders line speed really got under our skin and the whole team just seemed to be flustered and in a panic with the ball in hand. Gutho’s no look pass into touch and (I think) Marata did the same down that edge too, to far in front of Taka to grab it, but both just summed up our day. Last week both passes probably find the mark and result in tries for Fergo! I have always argued with myself as to which was the worst for us between Ash Klein and “H”, but… Read more »

Seth hardie
Guest
Seth hardie

The raiders had a simple game plan. Belt our team out of it especially our ball returners,the worry is we had no counter for this tactic. We should have repayed in kind. Mongrel attitude is needed.

!0 Year Member
Guest
!0 Year Member

Do not agree with the havles. Whilst the team defended stoutly (and I am proud of the whole team to be able to turn around this part of the game), and there were many basic errors across all the park (and the try that was not), the havles when they had the ball should have just run into the line, there was nothing happining, the forwards were gassed. Yet they persisted to just off load for no reason. Take the tackle when nothing is on! our back 3 were contained, yet the havles had no idea. We went back to… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Giving out B far to easy. Jnr was ordinary. So was Tepai. C for mine and Alvaro a c+ at best.

Salty Pete
Guest
Salty Pete

I agree and wouldn’t get too worked up about the Parra result. I was at the game and the refereeing was atrocious in many ways. What Wighton did to Ferguson belongs in the 60’s, the pommy backrower headbutted Salmon and opened up his chin needing stitches, not to mention the Moses forward pass ruling. After defending nearly 80% possession for 10 minutes to score against the run of play would have been huge. Just don’t think there was enough left in the tank. I think there is a reason why teams aren’t winning down there.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

There’s an article in this mornings DT headed Eels Robbed, NRL needs to look at forward passes. Cannot read what it says as its as per usual only for subscribers.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/monday-bunker-nathan-brown-feeling-heat-brad-fittlers-easy-decision/news-story/fc32b4a0c2b6761633bccba09d87954a

BDon
Guest
BDon

On my high horse here Salty, but Stuart and the media have been crowing about how the new Raiders are building their game around line speed and defence. If the refs allow them to advance a metre and more before the ball is played, well guess what, their game plan works a treat. On TV you don’t always get the 10 metre view, but in the first half just about every ruck when you saw it, they were offside on 50% of the plays. The reason it was easier to see was the few times we got the ball, we… Read more »

Salty Pete
Guest
Salty Pete

Bdon, you are spot on. The raiders were constantly offside. Some of the decisions not to mention the allowed thuggery had me thinking I was watching a game from the 70’s. Thought the officials were a disgrace.

sixties
Admin

The officiating was a disgrace. That first half forward pass call was one of the biggest game changers you’d see. The impact of scoring off our own line after absorbing insane pressure would have been huge. And the thuggery was old school. Yes the Raiders picked their tactics beautifully with this ref.
Don’t get me wrong, the Raiders are a top outfit. It could have been a great contest with different officials.