The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Questions, Answers, Responsibility

As a supporter I consider myself to be dedicated, extremely resilient and loyal. I always bounce back and support my team the next game – as do most if not all Parra supporters. After all, we’ve had more than enough practice at this.

Turning on players is never on my agenda. I may not agree with selections but if they wear the Parra jersey they have my support. I also understand that no player goes out to lose and I know the players were hurting after Saturday night.

I am not sure whether a result like that hurt some of the players as much as it did the Blue and Gold Army, but only the players can demonstrate how they feel about their performance. And they have to do it on the field – not through words.

My feelings as a supporter are unlikely to be unique.

When my team wins I love it.

When they lose, I’m none too pleased.

When they get belted, I hate it.

If they get embarrassed, I completely despise it.

But when they embarrass me or my club, it’s completely unacceptable. There are no excuses. Don’t dare offer any.

I could write forever on the Storm game, but it serves no purpose. Besides, there’s no mystery to what we saw. It was embarrassing for supporters.

However, I want to single out one moment that sums up my reaction from the stands both during and after the game. That moment was Taka’s offload.

It was an offload thrown to a player in a worse position. An offload thrown with little hope for reward. An offload thrown after we had just held the Storm out with some really resilient try line defence.

In other words, it was an offload completely devoid of discipline. With 25 minutes to go the Storm had 69% possession. We invited them down to the line, they accepted and stayed there.

I’m not singling out Taka the player, as to level blame at one person after a team effort like that is completely unfair. After all, too many players did not measure up in this important clash. So consider the pass as a moment. One that exemplifies how moments of poor discipline, of not being responsible in your role, can impact your team mates.

Mistakes happen, bad bounces happen, defensive misreads happen and will always be part of any game. But there are things that are entirely within your control. Knowing when to throw and hold the ball. I picked that moment of Taka not knowing that but there were other things that other individuals had control of – like running hard, taking responsibility for making your tackles and wrapping up the ball. How many of those moments did we see on Saturday?

So Taka provided a perfect example but he wasn’t on his own.

With some of our players the bad outweighs the good. I don’t like saying who BA should or shouldn’t be selecting moving forward, as that is not my job and will be ill informed.

But as a fan who watches my team every week, I do know that when things happen over and over again they are not mistakes – they are fundamental flaws.

Good teams have playmakers who have the smarts to identify, attack and expose fundamental flaws. Our lazy markers got exposed by Cameron Smith. Unlike the Knights game Cameron Smith stayed in that middle third around the ruck and destroyed us.

The Storm captain exposed some fundamental skill errors, and to be honest, some flaws in the Eels mental strength. My concern is that I firmly believe that first grade is not the place to correct fundamental flaws.

Like always, I’m looking forward to the next game.

The team can redeem themselves and get the season back on track. It is entirely in their hands. When they show up with the right attitude and desire they can beat anyone. We didn’t see that last year, so that’s a huge plus, but we are yet to see any level of consistency this year.

I am writing this post before the team list is announced. I expect some changes but will not jump up and down if there are none. Ultimately any leader, and BA is the leader of the football department, will rightly always be judged by the decisions they make or don’t make.

It’s time to move on from last week. That’s easy. My support won’t change.

The team must also move on, but unlike me, they must find the answer to the questions surrounding last week’s disaster. And do something about it!

If they don’t, the team and its leaders face being judged by the questions they don’t ask rather than the ones they do.

Shelley

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Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

I thankfully didn’t see it Shelley and happy to be past it, Taka is still in the team for the Cows game owing to MJ being out injured and no one else really to have in the squad replacing Taka as well, Hoff comes into Taka’s normal spot A loss is a loss is a loss and can readily be gotten over fairly quickly but a thrashing of the kind against the storm needs a lot of team and individual soul searching, as to who and what they are for and contributing to the club, each other, coach and supporters.… Read more »

Longfin Eel
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Longfin Eel

Agreed Colin. Another poor performance could see us on the slippery slope to the bottom of the ladder, but a good performance (even if we lose) will start to put last week to bed.

Jimmy P
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Jimmy P

I was there and it was lamentable. But, as a long time supporter I have seen worse. We don’t give up. I can’t recall a team losing by such a margin and winning a grand final. How much of a negative effect does Henry P have on the team. Or is it just the supporter’s perception. If it the supporters then nothing can be done but if it is a team perception then the Club should do a Trent Robinson and vigorously complain. As for the team – yes they must tidy up the ruck but more than that. They… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

It was so hard to watch and nothing excuses it. The old saying in footy is so with that game. The forwards win a match the backs decide by how much. Our forwards got smashed. But we have had a great week as a club. The best announcement for me is the new training facility. It shows me my club is finally growing up and being run by people with business skill. If you have good footy people in positions like coach etc, then you don’t need them on the board. Let the board run the business and the footy… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Could not agree more. The ruck for me is a huge area we have in the game, primarily the way it has been refereed and also because teams like melbourne have been allowed to exploit it for 1-2 decades. I for one was a little confused when Mahoney was left on the bench; to me he leads the defence line and hence marker play too.
Anyway – lets move on and hope they can put in some consistent matches before the bye.

Shelley
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Shelley

It has been a problem even in some games we won, Sharks and Dragons come to mind. Nothing like a belting to make you face the truth. I hope it makes the team tighten up. I have faith they will and I think Nathan Brown will make a huge difference. Him and Reed will create line speed in defence. Last week we stood and waited.

BDon
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BDon

Shelley, I think you may have noted this already, but I increasingly get the feeling that N & D Brown have been big absences for us. Nathan Brown has that ability to up the ante when things get tough. I still reckon we got ambushed twice with the refs not whistling, but with the Storm we looked leaderless and soft. The Cowboys have enough Origin nous plus Taumololo to try a copycat job on us. I hope we’ve got some answers.

Shelley
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Shelley

Dylan is super creative and very quick. Teams can’t peel off him and that creates gaps. Nathan Brown is huge for us. He has that disdain for getting beat even in one tackle let alone the game. He will be very much welcomed back. I hope Junior goes back to running straight and hard a little more. In some games this year he has ball played too much,

Jim
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Jim

That off load from Taka was certainly not the only thing the team did wrong against the storm, but it was what started the rot. Like the late tackle on corey norman by Tepai when we played the dragons. We did eventually win that game however after Tepai gave away that penalty on the last tackle we didn’t see the ball for a while. These moments might not be the reason for a loss but they do cause the team to be defending set after set. It is not that we make an error or give away a penalty, It’s… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Jim, those dumb penalties that Tepaii has given away this year hurt, its something that is basically new to his game and more often then not its his timing, I have noticed with one specific ref, even when Tep rolls away from the tackle he has been pinged for crowding, yet the opposition get away with it.

Tooks
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Tooks

I don’t expect to beat the Cowboys but can only hope we put in a strong performance. Last weekend was one of our worst ever losses. If they are not itching to get out there and put in a good performance then they are wasting their time this season.

sixties
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I agree Tooks. I’m looking at attitude as much as the result.