The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – The Grim Dark Depths Edition

NRL Team List


The Eels failed to set the tone in the opening exchanges against the North Queensland Cowboys in what was frankly an embarrassing followup response to their hiding in the Magic Round. While they were able to rally to an extent and force a close contest (only to be undone by a litany of stupid mistakes and concentration lapses) the fact that the Eels were catastrophically off the pace in core effort areas like first-contact and line-speed speaks poorly to both players and coaches.

Unfortunately, Team List Tuesday paints a brutal picture this week with even more talent unavailable as the Eels desperately look to snap their losing streak against the wounded Panthers. Michael Jennings remains out of action with a calf injury and he is joined there by Tepai Moeroa who has been sidelined yet again by concussion and will miss one round of action.

George Jennings holds his place in the line-up after a game-losing final quarter of play against the Cowboys by virtue of a big backline shake up. He switches to the right wing with the return of Maika Sivo, a position that is available due to Blake Ferguson moving to right centre and Brad Takairangi dropping back to the bench to presumably feature in the forward pack.

With that mouthful of a reshuffle out of the way, Tim Mannah and Daniel Alvaro has switched places between the starting line-up and bench. While I think Alvaro warrants a demotion given his struggles so far in 2019, Mannah’s move to the starting roster disappoints me. This isn’t an attack on Mannah by any means, rather he has carved out an excellent niche on the bench and regularly leads a counter-punch in the second quarter of play for the Eels.

The last change sees David Gower coming into the team in place of Oregon Kaufusi, a move that bothers me even more than the Mannah/Alvaro swap. I was puzzled when Kaufusi was only logged for a paltry 13min played in a diminished role on Saturday night but his removal from the game-day roster over the likes of Alvaro leaves me baffled.

Even considering Penrith’s woes so far this season, the Eels will need to be at their very best on Thursday night given the weak line-up they are fielding…and on recent form that is a huge ask. A third straight loss would position the Eels precariously in regards to the Top 8 while it probably also evoke nightmares of last year for fans and players alike.

Parramatta Eels side
1. Clint Gutherson (c)
2. Maika Sivo
3. Josh Hoffman
4. Blake Ferguson
5. George Jennings
6. Will Smith
7. Mitch Moses
8. Junior Paulo
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Tim Mannah
11. Shaun Lane
12. Marata Niukore
13. Manu Ma’u
14. Peni Terepo
15. Daniel Alvaro
16. Brad Takairangi
17. David Gower
18. Jaeman Salmon
19. Bevan French
20. Kane Evans
21. Oregon Kaufusi


Injury Report


Tepai Moeroa – Concussion Protocol – Round 12

Michael Jennings – Calf – Round 12

Ray Stone – Hamstring – Round 12

Nathan Brown – Pectoral – Round 14

Dylan Brown – Lower Back – Indefinite


Canterbury Cup Team List 


Wenty succumbed 34-20 to the Bears on Sunday but are set to be boosted by the inclusions of NRL cast-offs Jamean Salmon and Oregon Kaufusi this week. The loss saw Wenty slip to a 4-5 record but they keep a tenuous hold on a place in the Top 8 overs the Newtown Jets and Newcastle Knights.

Things don’t get any easier this week as they host the 2nd placed Penrith Panthers at Ringrose Park. An unlikely win keeps the Magpies in touch with the Top 4 as much as it keeps the hounds behind them at bay.


Wentworthville Magpies side

1. Bevan French
2. Haze Dunster
3. Josh Minhinnick
4. Ethan Parry
5. Greg Leleisiuao
6. Jaeman Salmon
7. Henry Raiwalui
8. Kane Evans
9. Matt McIlwrick
10. Oregon Kaufusi
11. Andrew Davey
12. Salesi Fainga’a
13. Mitch Butfield


14. Brad Keighran
15. Jacob Esau
16. Stefano Utoikamanu
17. Haimona Hiroti

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I assume the changes have been made to address our ruck defence. Alvaro has been struggling starting and Mannah is a solid defender who can slow down the play the ball. Gower has also been added for the same reason when the forwards rotate.

Taka our utility to cover backs and forwards??

Seth hardie

Once again BA reverts to the Dads Army back up plan.The young blokes paying the price for all the others ineptitude.This is really regressive team selecting! Injuries or not this is depressing.

Salty Pete

Seth, absolutely. I’m starting to question BA. Hope he proves me wrong.


We resigned BA too quickly. Sadly the slide will continue. Not upto it sadly. To think Griffin was available and passed up is unbelievable…..

Colin Hussey

Don’t know whether I more miffed by this team than mystified, I know that with those out injured there is a hole in the team, the freezing and luke warm way Wenty is going shows not a lot of choices from that direction either, as far as replacements are concerned. I do agree with starting Mannah is not the best as he has done much better off the bench, the way Jnr has been playing also does not bode much in as far as confidence. But how bad was Kafusi to only get those short minutes against the cows last… Read more »


Where did you read about Bevan French? That sounds like a poor thing to say by Bev if so. Players should want to play 1st grade each week regardless of where the coach decides to play them.

Colin Hussey

It was mentioned in a post on another eels site. Seemed strange to me & if there is any truth in it I cannot see it helping his cause, but the way the team has been going, we could do worse by having him at 6. I also noticed on the eels team page that Kaysa’s photo has been blacked out, and to me a player who would be a handy addition to our bench as he added enthusiasm to the team, I guess his Kamikaze play style may have knocked him around too much. If some of the others… Read more »

Michael Formosa

I completely agree regarding why Kaufusi gets dropped and Alvaro doesn’t is mind blowing and don’t even start me about George Jennings.

On the flip side Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been omitted. What’s doing there? Is he injured? 🤔

The rev aka Snedden

From what I heard on 2sm with satler n badge they riffs have given DWZ time to think over his contract. If it’s true or not not sure

Michael Formosa

When you are desperate for a win you don’t just give one of your players time off to think about it.

But if a deal has been done it totally makes sense not to pick him and not to make it official until after this weekend.


Wow….there’s some changes here that have me completely puzzled. I didn’t think “Fish” was that bad against Melbourne that he isn’t a better option at centre so Fergo can stay on his wing? Happy for Will Smith to stay at 6. Gowie won’t let us down but surely Oggy is only going to get better with time running with the big boys. I like many, have been really surprised by Polar this year, maybe he is struggling with the extra weight he is carrying? Is Kane Evans injured? I’m not really a fan of his but I think he has… Read more »


I agree with everything you say here. Wasn’t Salmon training at centre all off season? Kane Evans not injured, starting for Wenty. Yes Polar looks so sluggish this year compared to last. I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the extra weight has hindered not helped him.

Darryl West

I suffered a couple of concussions over a period of a few weeks. It took months to get over them. You might think your okay but your timing and physicality suffers. You tire much more easily and cannot contribute to the best of your ability. I think that Alvaro is still suffering from the Tigers KO and has suffered other head knocks since. He needs a rest. Dropping him to Wenty won’t help. He needs to be rested.


I don’t want to sound disrespectful to Polar, but this would explain his current run of form. You’d suspect however that the Eels coaching staff would be all over this if true.


He is just a bit off. Concussions are bastards and competing at a high level means anything less than 100% means that you compete at that level. I would hope the staff would be all over it but the Tigers hit seems to correspond with loss of form.

Colin Hussey

If not the coaching staff then the medico’s should be. With Tepai out with concussion this week, I have a suspicion that Alvaro could also be suffering still from the first round knock out. We have a big game the following week against Souths, so we want all the players possible available, in fact I think that is what the coach is looking ahead at. With the Wenty team now available and looking at the squad chosen, its a VG side and has all the players selected on the Extended bench also picked for Wenty. A question that I would… Read more »

Michael Formosa

This is looking very 2018 to me. For the first 8 rounds we had a very settled looking team. You knew who was going to be playing and it was our best possible team. Then BA starts to over think things. Reed to the bench and Terepo to hooker but only in defence, Gutho to hooker in attack ….. and guess what we got smashed! And now Salmon dropped all together Will Smith to 5/8, a backline that has Hoffman and George Jennings in it, Taka to the bench/forwards where he was completely awful last year…… this is looking very… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Michael, consider the aspect of how many injuries we have now.
Tepai Moeroa – Concussion Protocol – Round 12
Michael Jennings – Calf – Round 12
Ray Stone – Hamstring – Round 12
Nathan Brown – Pectoral – Round 14
Dylan Brown – Lower Back – Indefinite

Michael Formosa

I understand that but when we have Jennings injured he can just put Salmon in (from what I was reading on here that’s where he trained all off season) but instead he moves Frego to the Centre, Taka to the bench to play in the forwards (which he was awful at last year) when we have others like Kaufusi and Evans that can play in the forwards then brings in 2 reverse graders in to play in the back line. See instead of one change that makes sense he reshuffles team, makes several positional changes and brings in too many… Read more »


I don’t mind Fergo being shifted to the centre. I would hope that once Jennings is back and Parry can be played he could move back. At the moment Fergo is always getting the ball kicked to him and he is not getting the run metres. He also is not getting good ball outside Taka. At least this way he can still take 2-3rd hit up, he can get the ball and he will much better defensively. I agree with Mannah starting, until Brown comes back. The last three weeks, including the Saints game Tim has been coming on with… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Shelley, I agree especially with Kafusi, my thinking is that BA is looking forward to the game against Souths the following week, and needs all those players in the main team, including 3 on the injured list. Kafusi is picked at Wenty and keeps him in match fitness. Tepai with another concussion outing is a concern as well. My concern is the ambush that the Riff put on us last year in the first round where they left they main players on the bench while we had our top players for the first 20 or so minutes, when their heavy… Read more »

!0 Year Member

40/20, thanks for a terrific summation of the team list this week. I am with you 100%. I have come to realise, footy is like a religion, you must believe, otherwise you have nowhere to go. I am believing this week and will make the trek to the stadium to watch. A home game after all is where we win, right! Go the mighty eels.


I’m with you 10 year.
Parra 13+ is a special this week.

Seth hardie

you know your football Rowdy.


Start slow, fail to build any pressure and blokes like Cleary and Kikau will cause trouble. George J produced a bloopers reel but one thing he did well was his carries( he should have tried one more), fingers crossed he finds redemption. Can the forwards find some 80 minute concentration and energy? I think Manu now has enough game time to be nearing his best, The Mannah call is about trying to prevent getting on the back foot, a disease we’ve caught. Alvaro and Junior on field at same time brings problems. No bumbling in first 15/20 minutes and we’ll… Read more »

!0 Year Member

Agreed with Jennings, I thought he did well. Love the ‘he should have tried once more’ so true. Otherwise, the lad did well. I thought he was powerful. He has been rewarded with another chance.

The rev aka Snedden

Team list Tuesday I was excited to see the team but as soon as I heard Ferguson in the centre’s was a surprise but not shocked. On the other hand Hoffman being his centre partner is good. I think Hoffman has done well coming into the centre’s. I’m happy to see takarangi moved out of the centre spot. I was hoping he would be playing for wenty. Alvaro I just don’t know what it is with his form this time last yr he was killing it. Maybe Darryl west is correct in that maybe Alvaro is struggling due to his… Read more »


Overall I thought George Jennings had a good year in ’18 with the ball in hand but good lord, that rushing in off his wing, sometimes 20m from the sideline used to make me want to cry. How many tries were scored by the opposition around George last year? Four by his brother during the Souths game. I had almost forgotten about this until last week when right on cue George flies in unsuccessfully to cut down a raid on that edge only for his opposite winger Kyle Feldt to stroll over untouched. We can’t go back to this.


Thanks Forty20, I see this games potential a little different to your good self mate. I believe something quite drastic needed to be done to shock these blokes back to the mindset that had us dominating opposition forward packs in the first 8 games. Our forwards with the exception of Reed, Manu, Lane and Mannah have dropped their intensity which has prevented our backs from taking advantage on the back of that. There would be at least 2 bench forwards who know their next mission might well be in Wenty colours if they don’t aim up this week. The coaching… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Rowdy, if we do not win against the Riff its going to be very much hard to lift again, in saying that it’s not impossible though. This is the real crunch game for the eels season and where we will be at, I started to believe in big things early on for the season, but my believe has now reverted to original thoughts of just missing the 8. Early on I thought that around 8-10 of the off contract players would be let go, but I am now thinking more to be shown the door, the hope is that some… Read more »


Yep to most of that Colin. 😉

Longfin Eel

This team selection goes to show that the club needs to rebuild the player ranks from the ground up. Every off contract player needs to be assessed vs options available so that we get the best team for 2020. No disrespect to current players but it would seem the team as a whole is too one-dimensional, which explains why Parra can’t win at times when things are down. We need key players who are proven leaders to lift the spirits of the team for every game. Fergo started this but even he is struggling to do this on his own,… Read more »

Seth hardie

Is there enough nous in the people that select and recruit players for our club. They have certainly missed the boat on some forwards we needed. Forwards with a never say die attitude is what we lack. Doe’s ray price have any sons?


There’s a spot free in the Blues line-up at centre isn’t there? Has Fergo asked to play there to push for it? Has Fittler suggested it even? Might explain the decision. I’m not convinced about the changes… but, a lot of people whined when there weren’t any last week, and they particularly wanted Taka and Polar dropped. Well, you got part of what you wished for. I suspect the changes would’ve been different if M Jennings was available. As is, I think it’s either Hoff or Salmon in the centres, not both. I’d be surprised if Gennings and Fergo aren’t… Read more »


Billy, Penrith seem to go Kikau crazy out wide and with MJennings out, BA could be banking on Fergo’s size and experience as a counter. The SOO theory might coincidentally fit with that.


I am sorry but against all my usual confidence, I can see this Penrith side turning it on against us. This Penrith who I backed last week were woeful, just as parra could very easily have been down 20 blot against the cows, who were also woeful. If last Saturday nights game was against Melb they would have scored 60 again! So where to, my only hope is the return of the injured players, which is not really imminent. Col makes mention of saving for Souths game, I would take a win against Penrith and forfeit Souths if it meant… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Pops when I referred to saving them for the Souths game, I intended that it was better if they were not rushed back against the Riff, I personally would much prefer to see the likes of MJ and even Stone ready for the game against Souths, then bring them back to early against the Riff. I agree with you that we need the 2 points against the Riff and that’s something that concerns me. I keep reading also about French being on the outer and he could end up in SL, what a waste for a player like him, one… Read more »


All noted Col, I never thought it was even an option for MJ and Stoney to come back against the Panthers. After watching last night, my greatest fears have been realised. There was a very obvious move last night that the coach was either oblivious to the thinking or quiet simply incapable of the strategic implications of what was happening. i.e. Ferguson was having a shocker……bring Taka from bench to the centres, get Fergs back to the wing and get bloody Gennings off the field. Singlehandedly this cost us a win. the initial moves cost us the game, shit happens,… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Pops, I was disgusted with that mob last night, after watching just 35minutes of the 2nd half I picked the remote up turned the box off and tossed the remote. Until I read they start winning I am away from the game, I was abjectly disgusted, and I wait in anticipation for how Wenty will fare on Sunday. If they win against the Riff, then all eligible players in that side should be picked for the next NRL side and those in the side last night dumped. To me that childish performance last night ranks as one of the worst… Read more »


Great analogy Col, yes it was a dire effort, game, result last night. Stay strong mate.

Colin Hussey

Mate, my emotions towards the eels are totally shot at this point of time. How much it hurts is something that I can reconcile with in that my late dad, mother, Godfather and Godmother were all eels supporters, my dad was very much involved in helping the eels get into the comp in 1947, my year of birth, he came back from the RAAF being discharged soon after Pacific was ended, he then became involved with the working party to get the eels into the comp, something he was proud of. Sadly he passed away around 4 1/2 years before… Read more »


I think this heart felt reply of yours should be read to the team. To show what they, the club and history of the joint means to some fans. Your right they didn’t turn up at all last night, and we as fans and the club, deserve better


Yes, Yes …..Sixties take this to the team and let them feel some more pain! They deserve it!


Is this coincidence that you are writing this on the 24th of May Col as this is the old empire day and “cracker night” like you one of my most memorable days of the year. The build up was sensational as you would accumulate your bundle for the big night and let a few off every now and then to convince mum that everything was working. I also loved the day after the night and got up at the crack of dawn collecting rocket sticks, which made the best kites…….Dad got really upset when he found out I was using… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Pops wouldst appear a coincidence indeed. I forgot the date of Empire day, but I can remember coming home working a train from Goulburn to Enfield around Yerrinbool we could smell the cordite/gun powder like smell of crackers going off in the small towns along the line. When we got down a bit further to Bargo and Tahmoor, the smell was incredible and in a couple of spots we were able to see the lights of Sydney and more towards Sutherland across the countryside, on this night though and with a full moon, you could not see those lights but… Read more »

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