STATS THAT MATTA
(Tries: M. Sivo x 2, C. Gutherson, R. Mahoney, B. Ferguson. Goals: M. Moses 6 from 7.)
DRAGONS 18 (Tries: B. Hunt, M. Dufty, M. Ravalawa. Goals: Z. Lomax 3 from 4.)
Sunday, May 5 2019
Round 8 was certainly a cracking game filled with end to end play.
Initially I was going to complain about another slow start, but a second viewing of the game revealed that both sides were going blow for blow in the opening 20 minutes. It was a quality game from both the Eels and the Dragons, but in the end the visitors just fell away (due in part to injuries to Norman and Frizell) whilst the Eels just kept growing in both stature and momentum.
While St George Illawarra had the ascendancy on the scoreboard at half-time, a late try to Reed Mahoney changed the flow of the game. Brad Arthur’s spray at half time seized on the new flow of the game and lifted the team further. The challenge he put out to his players, especially the senior group, saw the team find a gear that the Dragons couldn’t match.
Oh and by the way, I didn’t really get the booing of Corey Norman. We were the ones who wanted him out, not the other way around. Poor Normy. Unfortunately, injury would then be added to insult after the nasty head clash with Maika Sivo. Hopefully he can make a speedy recovery.
Speaking of Maika Sivo, both he and Blake Fergusoon are fast becoming the deadliest winger pairing in the comp. Everyone knows what Blake Ferguson was capable of coming off his historic 2018 season but with the emergence of Maika Sivo is proving to be a master stroke budget signing from Brad Arthur.
Its going to be great to watch come Saturday night when we see Ferguson v Addo Carr and the battle of the Fijian Flyers Sivo v Vunivalu. We will talk more about this game at the end!
So lets look at the Stats that Matta v St George Illawarra Dragons.
|1||19||Z.Lomax||PENALTY GOAL||0 – 2|
|1||26||B.Hunt||TRY||0 – 6|
|1||28||Z.Lomax||CONVERSION||0 – 8|
|1||32||M.Dufty||TRY||0 – 12|
|1||33||Z.Lomax||CONVERSION||0 – 14|
|1||35||R.Mahoney||TRY||4 – 14|
|1||36||M.Moses||CONVERSION||6 – 14|
|2||42||C.Gutherson||TRY||10 – 14|
|2||43||M.Moses||CONVERSION||12 – 14|
|2||46||M.Sivo||TRY||16 – 14|
|2||47||M.Moses||CONVERSION||18 – 14|
|2||52||M.Ravalawa||TRY||18 – 18|
|2||53||Z.Lomax||CONVERSION MISS||18 – 18|
|2||58||M.Moses||PENALTY GOAL||20 – 18|
|2||63||B.Ferguson||TRY||24 – 18|
|2||64||M.Moses||CONVERSION||26 – 18|
|2||71||M.Sivo||TRY||30 – 18|
|2||72||M.Moses||CONVERSION MISS||30 – 18|
|2||72||M.Moses||PENALTY GOAL||32 – 18|
|30/38 (79)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||25/33 (76)|
|46:25||Time – Opposition Half||33:48|
|20:30||Time – Opposition 20||11:23|
|2||Goal Line Dropout||3|
|11/16 (69)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||16/20 (80)|
|14:03||Time – Opposition Half||25:59|
|6:50||Time – Opposition 20||8:03|
|1||Goal Line Dropout||1|
|19/22 (86)||Complete/Total Sets (%)||9/13 (69)|
|32:22||Time – Opposition Half||7:49|
|13:40||Time – Opposition 20||3:20|
|1||Goal Line Dropout||2|
Pardon me but I definitely have to bring out the old ‘this was a game of two halves’!
There was a massive swing to the Eels across the main stats from the first half to the second half. We simply controlled the second half and the Dragons just had no answer. It was hugely encouraging to finally see an Eels side closing out a game so strongly, when for so long it’s always been the other way round with our team fading out at the death.
|Games||Avg Mins||Last Week||This Week|
The minutes played were very similar for most forwards. The high minutes continued for Mahoney, Lane and Niukore and at 19 years of age, Kaufusi’s time is obviously being tightly managed. It seemed as if Evans was going to be left on the bench, with only a late interchange for Mahoney giving him brief game time.
|Effective Tackle Rate||86%||86%|
Great use of the ball. Tries scored from long range and close. Took advantage of good field position.
As noted earlier, the Eels first half was much better than many thought. In a tough opening stanza, credit must be given to the Dragons for the quality of their footy. The try scored by Reed Mahoney just short of the break definitely lifted spirits and gave everyone cause for hope. Reed is certainly playing smart football at the moment.
Massive kudos to the team for accepting BA’s challenge at half time. It shows both resolute belief in these guys from their coach and that the playing group are finally understanding their own ability and potential.
On a different note, the win/loss pattern continues and we really do need to break that sequence and put a few wins back to back. Chaining a few wins together is the next step for this team to prove that they deserve to be considered among the upper echelon of teams this season.
I would usually say it doesn’t get harder than facing the Storm, but in all reality Melbourne are looking tired and vulnerable. This has been highlighted by their last month of footy, culminating in their defeat at the hands of a half strength Sharks side. That isn’t even mentioning their jail-break victories against the Warriors and Bulldogs – two teams that have not been playing well at all.
Will Craig Bellamy’s serve in the presser lift the Storm? Who knows as it’s never really been seen before. A potential factor in the Eels favour is that Storm are losing home field advantage due to the ‘Magic Round’ but even so both Melbourne and Parramatta tend to play quality footy at Suncorp Stadium.
One interesting stat I saw when I was doing some writes ups earlier this week for work was that the Storm are first in dummy half runs against them. So basically teams are deciding not to run from dummy half in matches against the Storm. It left me somewhat stumped as to why? Did teams not see what the Bulldogs did out of dummy half when they pushed the Storm to the final minute. Why not use this tactic to tire their middles out – especially Cameron Smith, and bigger forwards such as Jesse Bromwich and co.
The Storm utilise their big men on the edges, but if the middles are tiring then they must come in and shoulder some additional work, tiring them out as well. I can definitely see an advantage in using more dummy half play against the Storm because I have no doubt that they would know that not many teams run from dummy half against them.
Reed is quick from the mark and having Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings and Ferguson off his hip could potentially allow him to really reek some havoc. Even having Junior, Marata or Manu as well who can all pop a ball and open second phase play. Oh not for the Lane Train as well. We just need to play some smart footy and take our opportunities when they present themselves. I would love to see Reed outsmart Cameron Smith. Make him even more grumpier than he is!
I can really see a good result against the Storm. Just need to start well and play smart.
Yours in blue and gold,
Stats courtesy of Champion Data.
All these stats and more can be viewed on our match centre at http://mc.championdata.com/nrl/ including live game stats.