The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Supporting The Team, Not The Media

Everybody hates losing, especially the players.

Let the negative responses to my opinions come as they may, but I’m not going to lay the boot in.

Of course, I won’t ignore the obvious faults from the Eels performances.

Against the Knights, just about everything game wise was bad. From the outset, and that very first set, we had no go forward and no intent. From there we made no attempt to slow the play the ball, we had zero line speed and our kicking game was frankly bewildering.

The real problem as I see it from the stands is that I and many other supporters probably knew that was going to happen. That is the ongoing challenge this team needs to overcome if they want to develop into a top team.  Unfortunately, our reliable and consistent players like Junior, Marata, Fergo and Gutho looked a bit sore and played that way.

But it was not all bad. There were some positives.

Some individuals really tried to turn the momentum.

Oregon Kaufusi

Without digging into his stats, Jennings was in there trying to get some go forward. His partner in crime Sivo looked dangerous and is really improving. Mannah really tried to lead from the front and he turned the momentum, along with Kaufusi. Manu came back and will be better for the run. And they pushed on and got the team going, albeit about 25 minutes too late.

From the Stands, footy is a simple game. If you don’t go forward and win the ruck you won’t win the game. We stayed in the game because we have some talented individuals, we lost the game because the team stayed in the sheds, back at BankWest sheds that is. It is up to the boys, the team leaders and the coaches to work out why.

Let’s not forget we are still coming 5th. Even after this game I would much rather be us than Newcastle, this was their 5th home game. We’ve had 4 away games and only one true home game. We need to keep it in perspective.

So what did I really mean by not laying the boot in?

I’ve been interested in watching Parra fans react. During and after the game I saw Parra fans commenting on media reports and laying into our players – this player is crap, BA cannot coach and we should let this player go.

Even in the post match interview BA was asked about whether contracts distracted the team. It is no players fault that they play for a popular club who will always be a target for media attention.

Yes, that old friend of ours, the rugby league media.

So don’t fall for it Parra fans. Don’t reward the negative untruth journalism we have witnessed over the past few weeks by laying into our boys and effectively writing the next couple of weeks worth of news article for them. Surely as a fan base we are wise to what is going to come after all, we have seen it all before and we will see it again.

Fans at BankWest can provide home ground inspiration

You all know my view on key players and the coaches contracts and yes I do think we need to start getting some of those contracts sorted quickly  as it will only snowball if we don’t. But I will not change my mind on the worth and value of a player based on one good or bad game. That is irrational and really bad planning. That is the old Parra.

So we either feed and reward the negative journalism or we stand up for our team. From the stands I will stand up for my team and its players.

I look forward to the bounce back. I look forward to a vocal crowd at BankWest influencing the refereeing as much as the Newcastle crowd did. I look forward to Junior hitting the ball up hard and Mitch kicking long to the corners. I look forward to Gutho playing with energy and enthusiasm – what has he ever done to make you doubt that he won’t bounce back. He will.

We are all entitled to a bad day at work, unfortunately we had too many players who had that bad day together. I am not going to turn on our players after one game, I just won’t.


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Colin Hussey

Shelley as per usual an excellent post indeed. While I tipped the eels to win by 8 it was heart not the head making the decision, I also mentioned 3knights players I saw as being the danger men and needed to be contained, two of them being Pearce and the other Klemmer, think I was fairly close to the mark. Klemmer did a Harragon on us up front. Putting Peni in as starting prop was not a good idea but he came back in his 2nd spell. As you say we are in 5th spot, along with 3 other teams,… Read more »


I think our problem started in the forwards and because of the youth and or inexperience in our spine we did not know how to get into the game. All we needed was some basic sets and kick long to make Newcastle turn around but we did not. I kept thinking throughout the game an experienced 9 would have kicked from dummy halve as with very little go forward it was hard for Moses to get a good kick away. If the boys are smart and want to they can learn a lot from that game. The mid field bombs,… Read more »

Big Derek

The game was controlled initially by Atkins when a strict inside the10 and play the ball were penalised without fail. When the momentum swung , the lead referee changed and there was a move to make the game faster. This impacted big time on our possession and consequently impacted on our comeback. That is a major up issue with the 2 referee stance, the game changes depending on who becomes the lead ref. Knights were constantly inside 10 and hanging on in the ruck with hardly any whistle blowing. As far as the off contract issues go, it seems that… Read more »


The problem that I saw with the referee and the ruck was Newcastle surrendered quickly because they wanted quick play the balls. Some referee’s punish the team surrendering by allowing teams to hold on longer, Aitkins rewards it and penalises teams for not getting off quickly. It is a real problem with the referee’s as they have some many different interpretations. On Gutho I feel like asking him if he really knows what he is doing. I think he is being really badly advised. Any player can leave and that includes if they get a better offer. Just do it… Read more »

!0 Year Member

Agreed Shells. Gutho’s advisers are not doing him justice and are embarrassing our club. whist i have no issues with negotiations…. to engage the media like they have is an insult.

!0 Year Member

Furthermore, a true captain of our club would not have allowed this to happen with the leaks to the media. Yes it is a business and you need to look after yourself, but the approach taken by the King….. well…. has left me disappointed in him. Take the offer and stay or move on. We have stood by you.


I have to say I do agree with you. I love Gutho and my son adores him and being young he will be shattered if he leaves. I really respect his right to both leave and get the best deal he can for himself, just do it the right way. He accepted the captaincy in a rebuilding year for the club, with that comes responsibility both on and off the field. If he was to get injured and could not play anymore his manager would drop him so fast. With the way his name and the club has been dragged… Read more »

Longfin Eel

Well said Shelley, and you are right, there was some fightback in the team, albeit a little late. Maybe this was due to the hype of the previous week and is a wake-up call that the team needed. The critical thing is that the players and coaching staff learn from this and are able to lift for every game. We won’t have any easy games this year, so how can they play with such intensity for every game? That is a difficult question, but maybe we should be rotating some players that are starting to fatigue. We have done this… Read more »


I agree about some looking flat. It was such a big game and build up for the opening at BankWest it was always going to have an impact. I think managing the players is crucial but you need the depth to do that. There are some positions, like prop, hooker, centre and even fullback we just don’t have a replacement that is close to those starting or they were are injured. Bringing through youth is important as they can start to strengthen the squad, as is good use of salary cap so you can cover all positions.


Hi Shelley, i cannot disagree with your comments, and see the points. What was disappointing to me was some of the defence lapses. I guess my issue is that i want the team to become a top 4 team that competes consistently each week, no matter if they lose or not.i understand we have some injuries to key players Brown x 2. Newcastle were always going to be v tough on the rebound. I am one who thinks the contracts may become an issue in terms of being held back and while i see the clubs view, i just do… Read more »


We miss both Nathan and Dylan. Nathan has that fire about him and will get aggressive when the team needs it. Dylan is a threat and has a beautiful pass. With Brown and Moses the defensive line has to spread and cover both and therefore it opens up the field for us. I like Salmon a lot but I really don’t think he is a 5/8th, as he is no threat to the defensive line. But again depth wise he is what we have. But you are right, finding that game controller is tough. Look at the difference one person,… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

Shelley you will find salmon is a running 5\8. But from the training programs sixties and co inform us that salmon was training as a Centre.


I reckon you’ve called it well Shelley. When we got blitzed in the first 25 minutes, possession was around 70% Ncstle, penalties 4-1 against us. The refs were going with the game speed. Everyone sees different things, but I saw an Eels team thinking stay disciplined, don’t infringe, this hurricane will pass. Accordingly it just looked passive(and was). Thurston, Cronk, Smith etc, would have changed tactics on the run, I don’t think Shane Webhke would have been leading his forwards to the edges, Tim Mannah was thinking like Webhke. Under the circumstances 20-8 then 20-14 suggests we weren’t far away… Read more »

Longfin Eel

I just don’t know if we have the brains on the park to change tactics mid-game. That requires an elite level player who thinks quickly, which frankly we don’t have. Now that we have had 2 teams play similar tactics against us, we should have a plan B up our sleeve as most teams will try this on us. I also think the club should approach the referees about how they managed that game. It wouldn’t hurt to let them know we feel we were hard done by.

Steve Savage

Words of wisdom. Cheers Shelley. Completely agree with you.


Blind Freddy could see the faults in our performance, but what is more intriguing is Why? We can point out Newcastle’s enthusiasm and the refereeing decisions but Why weren’t we ready for this? Surely we were motivated, we knew the winning feeling from the weekend before. This weekend will answer some of the Why questions. Can we turn up ready to play and will our coach have tactics and a game plan ready for what we should expect, knowing what we know about St George’s style of play.


I think as a fan base we need to remain passionate but also balance that with some realism. The media plays on our passion. Good clubs have players come and go that is how they maintain strength. If we want to be considered professional we need to act professional. That means we need to see through the media spin and let things play out how they will.


Parramatta supporters, probably more than most clubs have had to be tremendously patient with their team and to a lesser extent management. If you asked most supporters what they wanted most from their Club, a professionally run outfit would be up the top of the list. No leaks from management, no shenanigans from players and a genuine attempt to compete and win every time. Supporters want to pay their membership with the understanding that their professional team will turn up to work, ready to work. As for the media, lets assume our leaks have been discontinued, then the leaks are… Read more »


Good column Shelley. Usually an ongoing contracts saga played out in the public arena is fuelled by the player manager and specific Tele writers. We all know who they are in regard to the Parra situation. The Tele and Fox are obsessed. They rubbished the Eels in the past when they quickly signed players for overs. Now that’s exactly what they rubbish Parra for not doing.


Could not have said it better myself. I love Gutho but no one is bigger than the club. The most important people in our club are it’s supporters and they are the ones who need to be protected. Make a decision one way or the other on the players to keep and the coach. Give them a fair offer with some timeframes to make decisions. Those that want to stay will and those that decide to move on that is fine as well. I really want Gutho to stay and still do but I want this ridiculous circus to end… Read more »

Parra Pete

Let’s not forget. the Knights played out of their skin. They were very good VERY VERY good. Mitchell Pearce had a blinder.
Did everyone think the Eels wouldn’t lose another game this year.
This is a bloody close competition. Any team can beat any team on any given day..( except maybe when Perenara is refereeing – then the Eels can’t)

The rev aka Snedden

Good read Shelley. I see our team getting hammered hard about not playing good 2 weeks in a row. When I watch a side like the Roosters that’s how I Invision our team. We as fans want the best from our team , coach’s n the administration of the Parramatta eels. I get that …what I also get is that we aren’t going to rort the cap n pay overs to get high profile player’s. After the tiger’s game all I heard was the eels will lose to Newcastle. Why because we still thinking about the big win. For our… Read more »

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