The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 11 vs Panthers

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 10

Penrith Panthers 16

The Good:
  • That horrific game is now over.
  • Most of our team is off contract at year’s end.
  • The Eels are a great team to follow if you hate surprises.

The Bad:
Where do I begin? It started on Tuesday with one of the more puzzling team lists in living memory, and ended last night with most of the Eels team slumped over in dismayed frustration as the final siren sounded.

That was maybe the most inept performance from the Parramatta Eels I’ve seen in some time, somehow eclipsing our 64-10 thrashing at the hands of a rampant Melbourne Storm two weeks ago.

Taking the gold medal in the inept olympics was our forward pack; a pack completely outmuscled, out enthused and out played by the maligned Penrith opposites. Our ruck defence was so woeful the Panthers considered the financial benefits of creating a tolled highway through our middle third. Ball in hand, it seemed all night that there were players taking hit ups, none of who you really felt wanted to take charge.

There were Eels players who weren’t bad last night, but no one was any good, either. We had more ball, more sets, more penalties, won more scrums than the Panthers but ultimately ended up with less points on the board.

Ps – Cameron King liked the above tweet; how salty.

Both the players and the coaching staff have plenty to answer for. In short, it is BA’s job to prepare his players to perform at their peak. By demonstration of last night, last week against the Cows and Magic Round against the Storm that is clearly not the case at the moment. In short, from a paying fan’s point of view, it’s unacceptable.

Desire and will are no longer good enough for the Parramatta Eels, execution needs to be there too.

I know he didn’t drop the ball, nor did he miss any tackles last night, but the players are not performing at their peak. It is almost inconceivable that this is effectively the same team that came back to beat the Dragons, that destroyed the Tigers on Easter Monday. BA and his staff better find a way to wake this team out of this horrific slumber, and do it quick smart.

As an aside, if any reader thinks re-signing these players is the answer, or that somehow their individual contract situations are the problem; I wholeheartedly disagree with you. If players are being paid this year, they need to perform this year.

The X-Factor:
This is not about this season, this is about the ongoing message that such performances are never acceptable. We have seen what this team can do, and last night they didn’t do it. Period.

I remember feeling bemused at Ivan Clearly’s inability to pinpoint the root of the problems Penrith were experiencing in an interview this week. In the space of three short weeks, the Eels have seemingly found a way to sink even lower; raising further questions about the mental fragility of a side that should be entrenched in the Top 8, not on the outside looking in.

The Panthers’ form aside; that was a horrific display from the Parramatta Eels, a professional football side who seem out of form and out of ideas. Penrith did not play well, but they were still the better team; that is beyond alarming.

The pressure is piling up, with a few convincing wins the only way to release it. It’s put up or shut up time.

The MVP:


Sure, some were not as bad as others, but without a win against the bottom placed team on a 6 game losing streak, I refuse to consider any one of our players’ performances as ‘valuable’. Make no mistake, last night’s performance let us all down; staff and players, but most of all the fans (particularly those in attendance). When you consider the context of the season, but more importantly the week that has been for this club, the players’ collective effort and attitude should never need be questioned. Friend of the Throw, Mary K, said it better than I can.

We’ve been through a lot, this team and I, but last night was the first time in a while I felt embarrassed to be an Eels fan.


1- Clint Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Gutho tried hard, and ran 129 metres. His re-signing was definitely not a mistake and we got him for a good price. End.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Tonight, the big Fijian made his return from a one game hiatus; and I shudder to think what we would have been like if he weren’t there. He wasn’t terrific, but like Hoff below, he wasn’t bad, either.

3- Josh Hoffman

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Through the dusty haze of a demolished season, the elegant Josh Hoffman renaissance continues to emerge. His 11 runs for 112 metres were a shining light in an otherwise emotionally darkened landscape.

4- Blake Ferguson

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

When was the last time Blake Ferguson was that bad? Sure he has some mistakes in him, but he was pretty close to terrible from the opening whistle, highlighted by the home crowd’s raucous ironic cheer when he finally held onto a pass. I could tell you about his 4 mistakes, or flip it and tell you he had a team-high 17 carries. But despite his effort, at the end of the day, stats don’t matter in this game, Blake was apocalyptically bad last night.

5- George Jennings

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

By George, Bye George.

6- Will Smith

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Smith put in a good kick for our first (and only) try in the 4th minute. His kicks to the corner was a welcome sight, but at the same time, a couple of untimely errors and 4 missed tackles certainly didn’t help our cause. I don’t mind him continuing at 6, but at the same time I expect Jaeman Salmon to probably find his way back into the 17 next week.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Sure he dropped a 5th tackle pass, but his defence on Kikau was actually pretty excellent (remarkably only 1 missed tackle). He tried everything he could, but it’s tough to be an effective halfback behind a beaten pack.

There’s often merit in suggesting our struggling attack rests on the shoulders of the team’s halfback, but probably not on a night where the team dropped more ball than a pubescent teen.

Not unlike a plethora of our players last night, Mitch didn’t have a good game by any standards, but he was far from our achilles heel.

8- Tim Mannah

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Again, not a stellar game, but not our greatest concern.

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

The missed tackles are adding up (another 5 last night) along with his immense tackle rate (52), and I’m sorry but Reed is not (yet) an 80 minute player. His service is beginning to suffer and it’s only Round 11; there’s plenty of season left.

To be clear, Reed’s as tough as nails, but still too young for 80 minutes IMO. The kid’s got heart, though, and he’ll be our long term hooker.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

With someone with such a potent running game (an aesthetically pleasing 11 for 111 metres), it’s crazy to think Junior continues to bring a net negative to the Eels in our losses.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

My boy tried hard, made some incisive runs (12 for 103) and made 40 tackles. Laney looked absolutely out on his feet for large parts of the second half, but he was nonetheless one of our more effective attacking weapons and didn’t miss a tackle. People will (rightfully) remember the 2 errors, but IMO his game made its name in other parts of the ground last night.

12- Marata Niukore

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

He hasn’t been great in recent weeks, but that was the worst game I’ve ever seen Marata play in an Eels jersey. Last night Niukore ran 7 times for a paltry 48 metres, including that terrifically fierce run into the teeth of the Panthers’ defence on Tackle 5. For comparison purposes, Marata ran 12 times for 133 metres in Round 1 against the same opposition.

I’m sorry, but that disparity is not on; Marata is either injured, exhausted, injured or has regressed.

I’m usually am and still remain a huge fan of Marata, but last night he was straight up dreadful.

13- Manu Ma’u

Lock, Parramatta Eels

The 12 runs show a real a commitment and effort, the 88 metres suggest he was largely ineffective, however.

14- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Peni Terepo’s current form is a straight up dumpster fire.

15- Daniel Alvaro

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

For the third week in a row, Daniel Alvaro deadset played like cabbage.

16- Brad Takairangi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Brad Takairangi wasn’t horrible, but played limited minutes. I don’t hate his versatility on the bench, but we more desperately need to figure out a way to spell Reed. Maybe Taka to 6, Smith to 9 for 15 minutes? I’m just spitballing, here. Give me your better ideas in the comments.

17- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

David Gower tried really hard, and had some good moments. However, he’s also pretty old.

It’s time to forget last night, soon it will be time to move on – next week, against an Origin depleted Rabbits side.

See you then, sports fans.

Go you Eels,


Photos courtesy of the Parramatta Eels. Stats courtesy of the legends over at Champion Data.

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90 thoughts on “Post Game Grades – Round 11 vs Panthers

  1. Michael Formosa

    Totally agree with these rating. Lucky you waited before putting this post up as the delay has taken away some of the sting from my comments.

    I have been a massive BA supporter in the past but I give him a big F as well. Team selection was shocking. No use complaining about guys like G Jennings, Alvaro and Terepo when we all that saw that last week (all year for Alvaro and Terepo) and they still get picked.

    This year started so well when we had a great mix of new recruits and young guys in the team. Then mixed with injuries and dropping some young guys for a couple of reserve graders I think BA has got things horrible wrong. The last 3 weeks doesn’t reflect well on BA coaching at all.

  2. Anonymous

    Agree with all grades and comments. If BA picks George Jennings, Peni Terepo, or Will Smith again he needs to be shot. Same goes with picking Blake Ferguson out of position. Everyone knew George Jennings would be shit and that it was ridiculous to move Ferguson form his wing position….well everyone except Brad. Alvaro, Taka and Niukore could do with a stint at Wenty too. Disgraceful

  3. MAX

    What an absolute disappointment the effort of our senior players put in last night was, with so much to play for!!!

    To be honest I am at a loss for words, other than to reiterate my points of last week, why have we signed Brad Arthur for another two years.

    For me as a dedicated supporter and long term member, all I ask for is for us to be competitive each week and at least satisfied with the effort.

    I just cant see any improvement coming our way!

    1. The rev aka Snedden

      Max maybe because the club didn’t bother looking outside the box n thought this is the best we can do so let’s give him 2 more yrs.

  4. Offside

    Unfortunately its only going to get worse we have 2 more years with this coaching staff and if the past 6 are anything to go by we are going to continue to go nowhere

  5. Trapped in the 1970's

    It would have been a long days march to find anyone who would have come up with Terepo in for Mahoney against Melbourne and yet some of this weeks team selections were just as bewildering.

    What the hell is happening? Early year success was based on big meters from the back three, sure that was targeted against Melbourne but now that positive has been dismantled with the effect we saw last night. Penrith are not Melbourne.

    I too am a BA supporter but his presser last night made my stomach turn. There was nothing positive to get out it at all. He looked as flat as the players. These guys have trained / been coached since early November to be dishing this garbage up and be seemingly bereft of ideas to stop the rot.

    If the players aren’t performing drop them, but what is happening with the coaching staff to sort this mess out. The last three weeks have been nothing short of a shambles. At this rate some heads need to roll.

    1. mitch Post author

      If it makes you feel better, BA often saves his sprays for the team. With that said, I hope he’s got something special saved up, because they’re not responding at the moment

  6. Shelley

    I am a bit cranky and tired this afternoon, thanks for the laugh. I have to disagree with some grades. Players have to participate in the match to be considered as players. Some deserved a N/A.
    A game is not a spectator sport for competitors and some of our players could have come and sat in the stands with us because they did not compete.
    Give me a young, enthusiastic raw player who will make mistakes and learn over an experienced, old and mistake riddled player who can not do the basics.
    I love BA but he got the team wrong and his loyalty to underperforming players is quickly becoming a problem. I normally don’t demand changes but seriously I drove 3 hours each way for that. At least put players on the field who put in and make them accountable if they don’t. Naming Salmon and Kafusi to play for Wenty means they are not injured. It is insulting to loyal fans to expect us to accept them two young players as the ones who pay the price for the previous 2 games. His loyalty is being taken for granted by the players. He said post match some players avoided the hard work. Then send them to reserve grade, I don’t care if the sook and turn it up. They can leave, get the Tele to write sob stories for them, let’s face it who else will want them.

    George, Alvaro and Peni have to go. Give Oregon a start, move Tim to the bench with Tepai. Move Salmon to half and Smith to the bench to give Reed a break. Fergo to the wing, he finishes tries not sets them up and Michael Jennings back to centre. If stone is back start him at lock, put Manu to the edge and move Marata to the bench. The problem is BA won’t do it or in fact make any changes, well not to his long standing loyal players and therefore he is sending a really bad message. Nothing Alvaro, George and Peni did last night surprised me, they played to form.

    I will be back supporting my club next week, I but I will not keep supporting the selection of players who don’t deserve it and are not our future.

      1. Nick

        Another master stroke from ba there is a bunch of guys with ray stones frame killing it at the moment victor Ridley and Cameron Murray. He gives the guy one game against the tigers and he went well but suddenly ba thinks he isn’t going to cut it. Yet he week after week picks taka, George Jennings etc I’d much rather stone be given a chance then have to watch taka pass it without looking to no one every week .

        Terrible decision by the club to resign ba before June. I’m sure they won’t want to pay him out now either so we are stuck with the dope for 2.5 years

      2. Colin Hussey

        There is a player again that this club cannot give a go, he has had no chances in playing NRL yet his jnr form was better than some of the bigger ones, now he’s being shopped to SL, who will take his place at the eels that can be guaranteed to be any better.?

      3. The rev aka Snedden

        I read that also max you can tell Brad has his favourites. If stoney goes then that will do me his young n ready to have a go. Unlike some of our top grade players.

  7. Longfin Eel

    Have to agree with those ratings. I thought Gutho needed to inject himself into the attack a bit more though. The only time he made a great run was diving over the tryline after the whistle had blown. If Clint wants to be the premier Eels player, he needs to lead from the front. He also needs to rally the troops and call the shots when the game plan needs to change direction. We looked leaderless out there last night and nobody was willing to step up and claim the match.

    Terepo and Alvaro need to have a spell in Wenty. I think we also need Salmon back on the bench to enable cover for Mahoney.

  8. Adam

    We are a dumb footballing team. We make dumb decisions under pressure. This has been the case for years but has been as evident as ever over the past 3 weeks.

    Exhibit A: Persisting with one-out hit-ups in greasy conditions. Players were having to slow down to catch the passes and were getting smashed by an aggressive Panthers defence up in their fact. It was a game for backs running out of dummy half which would have totally negated Penrith’s game plan and saved our forwards fuel. Fans pointed to this on social media, and commentators mentioned it in running … how or why our players and coaching staff didn’t opt for this option mid-game is dumb-founding. Penrith’s decision to play this way from the 20 minute mark was the single most telling factor in the result.

    Exhibit B: Running beautiful back-line block plays in same said greasy conditions when you’re struggling to pass with precision … net result … cheap possession turnovers when we really needed to build pressure. The players should have learnt from their first half struggles with their hands to put all their energies into blitzing the Panthers out of dummy half with runners in support.

      1. Terry

        Yup…or would you prefer to go through this crap for another 2.5yrs? Stop accepting mediocrity.
        The meaning of crazy is doing the same thing week in week out and expect things to be different.

        1. mitch Post author

          I’m not accepting mediocrity, I’m being financially realistic. We just signed him for 2 more seasons. There’s no way he’s getting the sack.

  9. BDon

    First half..between the 10th and 39th minute, we made an error EVERY time we entered Panthers half, we got a restart on very last set but the bell went.
    Second half..the same happened constantly, Junior dropped it as he crossed the halfway, like some demon spirit was lurking in the Panthers territory. The demon then moved into our own territory.
    The Panthers line speed freaked us out, I think we got 2 10mtr penalties when we had no problem crossing the advantage line but none when they waltzed into our side of the ruck. The second refs tend to watch the play the ball, not Nathan Cleary ‘leading the line’. We consistently got tackled twice on the same spot. We really struggle with the in-your-face stuff.
    Marata’s failure to have a decent crack at locking the ball up when Grant scored was indicative of our night. Sure, split second stuff but he hesitated and just got it wrong.
    Good write up Mitch, I think many went to bed last night in a daze!

  10. Salty Pete

    I am going to defer to those more knowledgable than me, but I would like to point out a couple of things. Jayden and Blake Brailey are excellent players. Even so, Cronulla doesnt expect 80 mins from either one. Like everyone else, I love Reed, but it is too much for him. It also seems to me that with the ejection of Kaufusi and Salmon, the team lost part of its energy. I agree completely with Shelly. As with her, I assumed BA was spelling them, but they are named for Wenty? So now, they are likely to be called up to play against the hardest forwards in the comp is Souths. Hardly ideal preparation?? And on the other hand, BA is flogging the life out of Reed? I dont get it. I respect BA, and his demeanor but something is just not right, and it is evident on the footy field.

  11. Anonymous

    To hear the coaches opinion that “the players avoided the collision” highlights the problem. Channel 9s commentary team were scathing in their comments re our continual head down bum up approach. Penrith compressed their line and charged towards Eels players before the ball was even received. Everything was so predictable. Yet, BA announces to the world that we didnt do enough of hitting it up. Ive not been a fan of our coaching style for a number of years but apart from an “I told you so” I have little else to offer.
    Our players are good enough. Our problem lies elsewhere and its about time it was addressed.
    Please dont tell me The Board, M O’N or BG are happy with how we are performing. There are always options.
    And to think Season Tickets are more expensive than ever.

    1. Adam

      It wasn’t the night for engaging in a gladiatorial collision contest. Penrith were murdering us with their line speed and all we had to do was run from dummy half (like they did to us) to totally negate that tactic. Given we’ll play plenty more night matches where dew will play a problem with ball handling, let’s hope Brad and the coaching staff smarten up.

      1. Longfin Eel

        They haven’t so far, and this is the way Parra played all season last year as well. It’s not rocket science and every other team gets it. Why do we persist in ridiculous one out tactics that clearly don’t work? Looks like Bankwest could be pretty empty for the remainder of the year. Third game in and it was only half full. Why would you pay money to watch that?

  12. Thereal_hn

    We have massive problems. We have no intent in defense no line speed.. I did notice towards the end of the game mannah on his own charging out of the defensive line trying to spark something which in it self was a sad sight. Time for BA to have a Bellamy type blow up and put these guys on notice. For guys who are trying to play for contracts they appear to be happy to be unemployed next season.

    Fergo back to Wing with Salmon at Centre until jenk is back.

    French could come in at 5/8 Smith to the bench and id play taka at lock otherwise drop him along with terepo alvaro and bring in some youngsters and even evans for size.

    1. Seth hardie

      I was a keen advocate for BA to be hired as head coach.His passion for Parra and apparent success at Storm and Manly was out there for all to see, sadly it has not worked out. In all sports worldwide head coaching is results driven. These people are well paid and failure in most situations is not accepted.It will be interesting if results don’t improve dramatically how our management handle this.

  13. One Putt Pete

    Agree with the gradings but feel the Price of Egypt was entitled to more like a B. Our forwards were just spectators last night. I expect them to be able to tear into the Panthers every time. Round 1 we achieved that but last night all were last back on side, after the play the ball, and showed very little stamina or desire to win.
    As a seat holder at our magnificent stadium I want to see my team play like we did against the Tigers each week. Please no more surrender like last night.

  14. Big Derek

    Some over generous grades there, but how the heck did the coach move from picking young players to put enthusiasm and line speed in defence, was it a panic as he trusts the experienced players. So in a nutshell he believes journeymen like Gennings, Terepo,Smith, even Mannah and Alvaro,are going to change the clubs fortunes.

    What’s even more apparent is that the coach g staff under BA remain despite no improvement in any player over the past 3 years, they haven’t instilled a pattern in either defence or attack that suits the players under their control. Our wrestle in the ruck is a joke, as is line speed and nothing but block plays inside the opposition red zone. The Tigers and Dragqueens games seem a distant memory as we fall back into 2018.

    The presser showed little emotion or anger at what was dished up, disgraceful if that was an acceptable effort in front of 16k in a Thursday night when an effort was made after work etc to get there.

    The atmosphere walking out of the ground was so disrupting that it is difficult to see that many at output next home game. If you had taken a poll within 10 minutes of the finish, the place would have caught fire.

    If we can’t change the head coach, change the ineffective losers beneath him, and ask the NRL for permission to play people outside the top 30 who actually give a sh*t.

    An F across the whole club, with Sivo, Hoffman, Lane and Gutho given some leeway. As they were our most effective players, why didn’t Will Smith actually use the left side of our attack.

    If you think I’m angry, then there were a whole lot more who watched across the State who probably smashed their TVs. BA is on thin ice given the lack of effort, team selections, structure Nd the complete lack of energy in his reaction at the presser. Diabolical night, significant damage done to Bernie, ONeil , BA and the team.

      1. Big Derek

        Just got back from an U15 game, and all that anyone wanted to talk about was how crap Parra was and they had no shape or moves. That’s U15s , players and coaches should be held accountable for such an effort. Even worse they served it up after the demise of Denis Anderson, unforgivable.
        My comments were probably inflamed by yet another , we didn’t bash it up the middle enough , from BA. Is that how they train, no wonder they fall back into that sort of form once the going gets tough.

  15. JK Eel

    I’m not angry, I’m sad. 47 years of 100% loyalty, last night was the worst I have seen. Some of the most basic skills embarrassing absent, complete lack of thinking, no talk, no direction, no calmness, no leadership, no actual football. Are they doing any skills work at training (catch, pass left, pass right, step before line etc). One out runs with the ball tucked and no one following is just a complete waste of energy. Trying to catch a football with straight arms is just plain madness (most people work out the elbows have a role to play by their first birthday!). I honestly don’t care if they win, lose or draw, I just want to see them have a go – last night was anything but that, it was a slow motion leaderless shambles. Hard to see the season recovering from here… and it breaks my heart to say that.

  16. TolEelts

    Agree with your grades especially for the ‘old’ Gowie. I reckon Fergo is too over confident of his ‘talents’ as a Centre. BA should have not agreed to the switch. He should have thought of the Team and not of Fergo’s wish to play Origin. But that is not the only reason why we lost. Our players needs to have more football IQ. Plus need more urgency in their defense line, in the ruck and on diving to the ball. Again, hope the coaching staff and the players can resolve their issues. It had been 3 consecutive games that they were very poor.

  17. Chris

    Generally, in my opinion Coaches get to much credit when they win and too much of a bagging when they lose. It’s the players that deserve most of the positive and negative commentary. On this occasion though…. the way the team has played the last two weeks has been disgraceful and the coach has to take a lot of the blame. Selection seems to have no strategy and it’s harder to get dropped than it was playing cricket for Australia in the 2000’s!!!

    He should have started Kaufusi not dumped him to wenty. Find out how good he is. Perfect opportunity.

    As for the team they truly are rubbish in every department. We have been on a 20 year rebuild and a good team looks as far away as ever.

    And one last thing. Ferguson needs to shut his mouth and play footy. Let’s your actions do the talking mate because you’re not going well enough to keep shooting your mouth off.

  18. West Coast Eel

    I love BA and remember all he did for the club in 2016, BUT the changes he made to the side were unacceptable. As soon as I saw the team I had fears. Why would you play the best winger in the comp out of position? Surely Oregon didn’t deserve the axe. Ray stone should’ve been in there somewhere too. George Jennings……. Nope! Alvaro needs a spell. Bloody hell I was pissed off last night. And I still am. I’m not in the mood to watch any footy this week. On to next week, I guess. An undermanned souths….. they mightn’t embarrass us too much. Rant over.
    PS. I do love the eels, but F$&@ me it’s hard watching them at the moment.

  19. Jerome

    Where is Matt Mcillwrick? They are killing Mahoney by making him play 80 minutes every week. We need to sub him off for a breather at some point.

    After last night George, Alvaro and Terepo can do with a run at Wenty. I would happily drop a couple more if we had someone to replace them with. Marata is on his last chance

  20. Jonno

    Technically in both defence and attack we are deficient. We fail to see flat footed defenders in attack and fail to put our opponents on their backs in the ruck, we also for the vast majority of tackles fail to land on our knees to enable a quick play the ball. It would seem these basic elements arnt being taught or are too hard to grasp for our team. Its these 1%s that are killing us in many circumstances. We are rudderless as we have no leaders. On last nights performance I thought David Gower and Sean Lane were our only real contributors of note. I have watched Lane closely and believe he’s our best acquisition so far. Lanes face when we make stupid mistake and let in soft tries ,is an insight into the man. He is devastated and disgusted, always busts his arse week in week out just like Gower

        1. Colin Hussey

          If all the eels forwards were doing their jobs like they were when we were winning, he and several other eels players would be playing SOO

  21. Anonymous

    We really lacked a leader on the field last night. Not sure what is going on with Gutherson, but he isn’t showing any leadership – in fact pay should be deducted and shared amongst the 16 k brave souls who turned up to witness that crap the team served up. Some tough love required, either you want to be a first grade team or throw in the towel and play for Wendy. As you might tell, I am still angry.

  22. Glenn

    Another abysmal performance. I stopped watching in the second half when we dropped the ball 5 times in what seemed like 5 minutes, only to flick to the channel looking for something to watch, unfortunately, to see a pass thrown over the sideline. Why oh why did the board sign BA? Very poor decision for a very poor team with a very poor to inept coaching staff. We deserve better than this crap for another 2 years. About time BA fell on his sword.

  23. Anonymous

    I agree with Smith on the bench to relieve Mahoney for 15-20mins . What did Salmon do to get dropped? I thought he combined well with Moses when we beat Dragons 2 weeks ago. Desperately need Nathan Brown back to add starch to the forwards. Mannah, Gower, Alvaro…try hard but little impact. Hopefully Dylan Brown will be back in a few weeks to take huge pressure off Moses.Ferguson is a winger….the centre experiment is over. BA has tinkered with this team since the Dragons win due to injuries but none of the changes have been effective which speaks volumes about our depth.

  24. Greg Okladnikov

    My thoughts:

    1. How long have we had the same attacking and defensive coaches for…….and for what result….doesn”t look like a lot
    2. Who would have thought an 18 yr old kid in his first year could be so important in actually running and controlling the game
    3. Why does Moses run across field so much, and rarely do what Andrew Johns says – run at the line and take it on? Once he goes sideways, the whole attack goes sideways
    4. Taka on the bench is a waste of a rotation
    5. The players off contract…..maybe its worth letting them see what interest there is on the open market……when they realise not much, they will either put in, or re sign at Parra for a lot less…..will reduce salary cap issues
    6. It seems like some players have gone backwards last few years ( Terepo, Alvaro, Moeroa, Moses – due to lack of consistency)…..but there are some on the improve ( Lane, Sivo, ) and the young brigade….
    7. Is it worth playing the ones that aren’t seen as long term first grade at NSW cup and then blocking players from opportunities to move from RM Cup?
    8. Or Would it be better seeing what some of the RM Cup players can do at NSW cup level ( current Massey team on top of the table) …being top of the table you can assume that there are players there that could compete at NSW Cup
    9. Can we get some ex great players – eg – Andrew Johns / Brett Kenny / Freddy / Sterlo….who can do some halves, skills, catch and pass, game management sessions…..maybe a different approach to freshen things up

    Anyway, a lot of questions….lets see what happens next week but if we get touched up again the saying ” we live in interesting times” will apply

    I think that we all know we cant win every week, but we just want our team to be competitive, and to at least be “in the game”

    As always, go parra !!!

    1. Colin Hussey

      1: Kidwell came to the club last year around mid season, not sure about the attacking coach though could be Mick Potter.
      2: If you are talking about Dylan Brown, agree and way things are going, its down hill primarily since his injury and he would be the 7 into the future once he gets his body right.
      3: Might be the way he is most familiar with, and possibly thinks it adds to his running metres stats.
      4: Taka, had abilities, the emphasis is on Had, but he occasionally does well in jump contesting of the high balls.
      5: I am sure that some of them have their managers doing that already but one must wonder about what amount of interest is in them, I would say there are some that will be picked up from other clubs and before June 30, they are likely players we should be keeping.
      6: Agree, in both areas.
      7: Problem is that there is a limit on how many development players can be part of the squad and cannot be used until after June 30, unless needed to permanently replace one out injured for the season or left the club.
      8: Natural progression. Wenty is our feeder club for this year and not all players there are part of the eels set up, it changes next year when the divorce takes place.
      9: Up to the club and how much it costs, and whether there are quality ex players who are willing to do so,

      Any extra’s in that area would have to be with the clubs and coaching staff agreement, there are some clubs who have specialised coaches and it works. We certainly need to review what the different coaches are doing in the club and with players as to their value based on performances.

      I am of the opinion that its likely BA is actually shouldering some of the others responsibilities as they are not doing their jobs properly or making the desired changes and impacts on the playing roster to which they were appointed for. Other words BA is possibly working by himself in a lot of the areas that are supposed to be done others. In saying that, I would say the majority though are trying to do their best.

      Bare also in mind that some of the squad are very much inexperienced as far as NRL standards go. And some of them are under 20 and a big step up for them. Of those players, I believe each of them, especially those 24 or under deserve to be given as much NRL time as possible before being let loose or shopped around.

    2. !0 Year Member

      Point 3, this is our problem. We have a chief play maker whom wants $1million a year, but unless the red carpet is rolled out, he has no idea. Players missing tackles, letting a forward score a try with three players on him, players dropping balls. This is all normal and part of any game, we do it more that we should. Our chief play maker (CPM) cannot read a game and has no idea when the red carpet has not been rolled out what to do. The only time he looked good was when he ran at the line and his head was almost taken off. He cannot think on the fly and lets not kid ourselves, footy is a game of chess and you need to get yourself into a position to get ahead, our CPM cannot get a sense of this. I am sick of these mid field bombs. I am not ruling a line through CPM, but without DB, he is nothing. He even lost any chance Fergo had of playing origin. Please Parra, do not sign this guy, let him loose. To not rate him lower that a F is being blind. The firs rots from the head and our CPM is the head. Its a domino effect. dont believe me? look at the good teams and their CPM. Roosters in last years grand final. Sorry Eneimn you are just not good enough. Sorry we cannot roll out the red carpet for you every game. NO MORE MID FIELD USELESS BOMBS when we have no field position and we are being smashed. kick for the side lines and let us reset. Our performance the last two games has been ok, our CPM has let us down. He has no feel for a game. Perhaps he ‘trains well’, but what about game smarts and taking on the line when nothing is on? wake up to yourself buddy, if you think you are a $1million dollar and origin player, you are deluding yourself. Give Andrew Johns a call and take what he says on the chin and bloody improve.

  25. Jonboy

    Has everyone finished ranting?

    Yes we played poorly. Yes we showed no ability to be patient with the ball when we held it. Yes our discipline was terrible and yes, without a doubt, the team we love lost the game as opposed to Penrith winning it.

    However, I have now watched the game again today and I am not understanding a lot of what everyone is saying.

    Our middle defence wasn’t “that” bad. Our ruck play was x 100% better than the previous 2 games. Have a good look at number of times an eel is last off the ground V the previous 2 games.

    Take ALL OF YOUR EMOTIONS out of the game and the single BIGGEST difference is the amount of dropped ball. If we manage to have a 50% possession rate we win that game. Yes we kept gifting possession and clearly it’s why we lost.

    However, with the benefit of time to reflect and consider my thoughts, I remind myself of who our team is and what we can reasonably expect from them this year. Do we need to be reminded…


    I am not for one minute suggesting that we should accept mediocrity from coach, players or staff but, did anyone actually think that we were a serious candidate to win the competition THIS SEASON?

    The club has recently acknowledged our position in this world as a development club. Our current coach has been instrumental in driving this over the last 4-5 years. As a club we are JUST starting to see the fruits of this labour. Look at the talent we have “brewing” at the moment.

    The team here at TCT have done a wonderful job keeping everyone well informed about the rising stars in our ranks. We have plenty to look forward to in the next couple of years.

    It’s so easy to get emotional when the team you love, the team you are passionate about fails to perform. It’s so easy to feel let down when we invest our hard earned cash and our precious time into going to the game.

    I have supported The Eels for over 45 years and will continue to do so until I die. I will always be upset when we lose. I will always be disappointed when I feel that some members of my team are not contributing to 100% of their ability.

    BUT, I think that we ARE starting to figure out who we are as a team and as a club. There’s plenty to be upset about with Thursday nights result but I actually feel more comfortable with where we are heading rather than thinking about where we have been.

    Eels for ever.

    1. Colin Hussey

      Jonboy good post, and a lot of what you say is correct, however I for one cannot sit down and watch what was displayed on Thursday night, in the short while I watched of the game, there were some fair bits of good play but gee they were well overshadowed by child like performances that a young kid playing their first game of RL would be doing.

      As for player retentions, we have 14 players under contract for next year, of the team selected for Wenty on Sunday, there are 9 players that are in our contracted list that is they are part of the eels playing group that could be brought up from development squad to NRL level after June 30. Total of 23 players from the overall list of 30 required for a season.

      That allows for 7 players to be brought in to the club, but who would we want and able to improved the side? but most of all how many would want to come here anyway?

      For me, there are a couple, make that at least 3 that are on contract for next year that I would like to see leave as they are certainly not NRL standard at this point of time and doubt they ever will be.

      My thinking is that come June 30, the development players should all be part of the NRL squad picked each week, also the others who have had few opportunities so far this year, and even younger ones who are being shopped around should also get a chance to show that they are worth an extension.

      I would seriously love to see BA given the position of head of player development in the pathways brigade, that is where he could be of high order and value to the club. Look at getting another coach but who? In saying that, I still support BA as the coach of the club, and its up to the players to start showing their hearts and play the game with a heart for each other club and supporters, also for a coach who has stuck with them, but I believe its time for a change in selections though.

    2. The rev aka Snedden

      Sorry jonboy but let’s look at the last 3\4 yrs ok.with Brad Arthur in charge.
      Picks the same players week in n week out. If there not inform he drops them to the bench n not to Reggie’s.
      Has only just started bringing in fresh Young Blood. Doesn’t want to use or re-sign these young up n commers. Except niukore. Plays player’s out of position. Ferguson in the centre’s big mistake n the game vs storm peni at hooker. Want’s to shop stone to pommy team’s why who knows.

  26. Anonymous

    I agree with you’re comments regarding Reed.

    ” Reed’s as tough as nails, but still too young for 80 minutes IMO. The kid’s got heart, though”

    But in saying that his stats the last few weeks are indicating he needs to adjust his defence.
    & missed tackles,
    This week it was 7 missed and 2 ineffective with worse stats last week.
    I was informed opposition teams are targeting him as his try line defence is very ordinary.
    Reed has allot of heart and i admire his work rate, But he tackles way to much around the legs allowing the opposition the get to there front allowing quick play the ball and leaving either reed not square at marker or left laying on the ground.
    Hence why he is targeted defending his own try line.

  27. The rev aka Snedden

    Mitch that was hard to sit thru really hard.

    On takarangi I think he needs time in wenty along side gennings n Alvaro n Smith.
    I think that salmon will be back in to play 5\8 he has to also learn when to kick n when to run or pass.

    Hoffman n Gower were our 2 better players.

    Was it me or do we lack good Line speed off a kick 🤔 Seems to me that our defence was waiting for them to come to us instead of us meeting them at the Line.

    Your ratings are very fair Mitch.

    Now I’ve never hammered the coach but blow me down. His team selection process has been poor his coaching methods are so wrong in every way.
    Mannah into the run on side 1st boo boo.
    Ferguson in the centre’s 2nd boo boo.
    Having takarangi n Alvaro of the bench 3rd boo boo.
    Dropping kaufusi 4th boo boo.

    I had a customer who I see every day n told her about last night. She’s a Roosters fan she turns and says you must be used to medeoga team n coaching staff. I had no answer.

    Can we go after Jackson Hastings his killing it in England n is looking to come home.

    I don’t drink but last night they Eels turned me into a full blown alcaholic. I needed guides stiff drinks to watch the rest of the game.

    If we get DWZ I think we should shift Gutherson to Centre along side Jennings or Hoffman with Ferguson n sivo on the wings. DWZ fullback.

    This should be our team next weekend.

    1. DWZ
    2. Sivo
    3. M. Jennings / Hoffman
    4. Gutherson
    5. Ferguson
    6. Salmon
    7. Moses
    8. Moeroa
    9. Mahoney
    10. JP
    11. Niukore
    12. Lane
    13. Gower.

    14. Mcillwrick. Share the workload with Reedy. I like you also believe his not a 80 minute DH.
    15. Kuafusi to replace junior
    16. Stone only until Nathan brown comes back.
    17. Mannah to replace moeroa.

    Can we sack the coach n ask the NRL to let us sign Shane Flanagan.


    1. Colin Hussey

      Brother Snedden, another night of sleep after the horrors of Thursday night, I am finally starting to think a bit more clearly and perhaps I’ve hit the point of accepting that there is a real aspect of the movie “Never ending Story” where the hero had to find and defeat the curse of the creeping Nothing which was consuming the world in the story. The young boy riding on the back of a great hairy white dog of some design, sort of reflects a bit of what the current form of eels are chasing – and have found that being Nothing, and have been caught in the disease, and have no escape.

      With news this morning that DWZ is being sought after by several clubs, and Wests offering player swaps what chance do you rate him in riding the white fury animal here to the eels in order to find and beat the nothing? I doubt very much that he will come to the eels after this weeks nothing, if he does then my choices compared to your team would change slightly.

      I have big concerns regarding the two starting props you mention, Tepai still probably sooking after not liking the coach calling the team/him soft, how much will he do to turn that aspect around? The disease has caught him! Jnr, our bug white hope to give the pack authority and go forward, that bloke has been out looking for the disease for some weaks now.

      I’m not convinced with the fish trying to avoid the bunnies who are looking at scooping him out of the creek as he tries to swim up current for spawning, but perhaps he might make it.

      Forwards running to the line and push hard for defence, they do that! a couple of them a couple of times in the game until the hovering disease takes over.

      The haggis perhaps does need to be on the bench, as certainly our current 9 is exhausting himself in trying very hard to keep the disease away from him, I also believe that Stone has the same ability as the 9 he would have to be in the side.

      As for the head coach. I still believe he can be the right person for the club, but have said it a fair bit and that is the need for changes to his assistants especially the so called defensive coach, if ever there was a case of the nothing, therein is likely a good place to start, at least and some players.

      We need a clear cut elimination of the nothing runs and not taking on the attacking players on their conditions, rather torment them by fast moving defence, in attack run different lines in order to confuse the opposition as not knowing what our next play will be heading. It was done in our early victories but the opposite in loses with the predictability of nothing taking over.

      1. The rev aka Snedden

        Brother Hussey I know about the nothing to me that Dog is called fowlcore n that dog is Brad Arthur. His doing nothing to improve the team. To me he keeps his favourite player’s n doesn’t seem to trust the Young kid’s coming thru. For yrs know his had the same players n the lot of them produced nothing. Untill we learn to win games in a row instead of wlwlwlwl this club and player’s n coaching staff will produce nothing. What scares me is that the players coming through will think it’s ok to wlwlwlwl. And it’s a repeat process. Not good.

  28. Anonymous

    Do the Eels win a single game before the club spears Arthur, despite having just signed him to a new contract?

  29. The rev aka Snedden

    Mitch just a simple few questions for you. It’s not directed at you in no shape of form ok.
    Did the club look at other coaching options. Like Toovey , Anthony Griffen Jason Taylor, even Cameron ciraoldo from Penrith Panthers. , Demetriou or even some pommy coach.
    I’m asking because surely the club must of thought same players n coach for almost the same time n still not making any Improvements. With this side I think bellamy n Robinson would be able to get us into the semi’s every year. I’m at a loss. Why didn’t the boys lift for big (D). Shame on them. No excuses for what we all watched on Thursday night. I can’t wait to see how we perform against a very weakened South’s side. I think Benny will have them primed.

    1. Bad Arthur

      I don’t think the club had any intention of signing another coach. From what I understand the players are very loyal to BA because he acts in their best interest. Good example of this is fergo (arguably the best winger in the game) asking for a go at centres so he could push for the vacant NSW blues centre spot. BA obliged. Disaster ensued.

      I also believe his resigning was a big factor in gutho resigning. In fact I’m not sure Guth would’ve re signed at all if BA hadn’t of as well.

      Being loyal to your players and having them want to “play for you” does not necessarily make you a good coach. What player wouldn’t want to play for a coach who refuses to wield the axe even after disgraceful performances we’ve seen over the past 3 weeks?

      We have no direction in attack and we are dominated in the ruck more so than any team every week. This is his job to pick up these errors in our game and make changes to fix them as opposed to just praising our “effort” every week and remaining loyal to players who put in the bare minimum.

  30. Anonymous

    In the old days, players used to get hooked if they were playing bad. The Panthers coach did it to 2 of his own last week – both of whom have represented Australia. I’m no coach, but i would be wielding that hook without prejudice. I’d rather our team lose because we had too many debutants having a go, than for some of these established players continually getting a run and under-performing. It’s an indictment on our team when our best forward came off the bench and is about 60 years old – I love you Gowie.

  31. Kaul Pent

    Imagine if this football team did the 1% right
    Fight to win the ruck
    Quick play the balls
    Earning the right to play expansive football

    Mahoney is an 80 minutes player. They only way he will become a better 80 minute player is to play 80 minutes. Wouldn’t be so fatigued if parra held the ball more then they dropped it. Would be great to see his attacking flair, very unfortunate that the play the balls are slower then grandmas crossing the road and he never has a chance.

    Bench selection last two weeks has been horrendous. Where’s the young spark gone that has served us so well!!

    Would be great to see a kick to a corner for once, or even twice.

    Onto next week….

    1. mitch Post author

      Disagree re Reed needing to play 80 in order to become an 80 minute player. He can build towards it playing 65 and improving his techniques under that level of fatigue; building towards playing at a higher level for longer.

  32. Milo

    Cannot disagree with this Mitch.
    My question is who comes in and who has a spell in Reggie’s?
    I for one cannot fathom Kaufusi and Salmon being dropped and others with more experience and earning more money are kept.
    I do not follow this. To me the season is about gone as i feel our mental capacity is v low….and i dam well hope the retention group has some serious plans for 2020 and beyond. We need to reinstall the mongrel defence we had in 2016 / 17 and someone mentioned last week the wrestle guy we had……
    I wont go into the coaching staff and leave it as that……

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