The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 8, 2019: Eels Defeat Dragons


Round 8


(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

Bankwest Stadium

Crowd: 25,872

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.

Score Flow

Parramatta Eels
H Minute Name Event Score
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

Game Stats

Team Stats

Full Time

53 Possession (%) 47
30/38 (79) Complete/Total Sets (%) 25/33 (76)
46:25 Time – Opposition Half 33:48
20:30 Time – Opposition 20 11:23
2244 Metres Gained 1918
7 Scrum Win 2
2 Goal Line Dropout 3
6 Penalty Conceded 9
0 Forty Twenty 0
Team Stats

First Half

48 Possession (%) 52
11/16 (69) Complete/Total Sets (%) 16/20 (80)
14:03 Time – Opposition Half 25:59
6:50 Time – Opposition 20 8:03
939 Metres Gained 1084
5 Scrum Win 2
1 Goal Line Dropout 1
5 Penalty Conceded 3
0 Forty Twenty 0
Team Stats

Second Half

58 Possession (%) 42
19/22 (86) Complete/Total Sets (%) 9/13 (69)
32:22 Time – Opposition Half 7:49
13:40 Time – Opposition 20 3:20
1305 Metres Gained 834
2 Scrum Win 0
1 Goal Line Dropout 2
1 Penalty Conceded 6
0 Forty Twenty 0

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.

Player Stats



Forward Rotation

Games Avg Mins Last Week This Week
Peni Terepo 6 44 38 39
Reed Mahoney 8 73 80 74
Junior Paulo 7 55 43 49
Shaun Lane 8 78 80 80
Marata Niukore 8 76 80 76
Tepai Moeroa 7 44 45 50
Manu Ma’u 2 45 42 47
Daniel Alvaro 7 37 34
Oregon Kaufusi 5 25 28 26
Kane Evans 6 23 6

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.



Runs 164 148
Run Metres 1630 1328
Tackles 291 324
Missed Tackles 26 26
Tackle Ineffective 22 27
Effective Tackle Rate 86% 86%
Errors 8 9

Heat Maps

Set Starts

Great use of the ball. Tries scored from long range and close. Took advantage of good field position.

Hit Ups

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 including live game stats.

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We have somewhat amusingly run into one of the most bizarre bugs I have ever encountered on the WordPress platform. All the logos and stats in the editor side of this article are correct (and have been since the article went up) but for some reason the site is pulling down the tables and logos from last week. Got me deadset gazumped!

I will try and get everything fixed up so bare with me but for the time being you get to relive the pain of last week’s numbers.


I tentatively think we are good to go and everything should read correctly.

!0 Year Member

Thanks Colmac. Your article is a weekly highlight.


The first half stats show the Eels being closer to the Saints in possession and metres than I expected. Agree it’s good to see the Eels close out a game against a good team, suggests the fitness and composure to compete in the top 8.

Longfin Eel

Agreed that Parra should fancy themselves against Melbourne. They have been very lucky to win some of those games and have not played particularly well all year. Parra lift against Melbourne, especially away from Melbourne. One thing we need to do well is to make sure we shift the kicking duties around. In games where Moses has shouldered most of the responsibilities, the opposition has not had to second guess who is kicking. We did this last week with some nice kicks from Salmon and Mahoney. A bit more will do wonders and should put more pressure on Melbourne’s defence.


Great wrap up. A classic “game of two halves”.

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