The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Abrupt Farewells Edition

NRL Team List


Miraculously the Parramatta Eels are still clinging onto 8th place coming into this week but that is a damning indictment on the rest of the competition more than anything else. Truth be told, Parramatta’s season is on life support after Saturday night’s blow-out loss to the Sharks revealed that previous round’s victory over the Rabbitohs was a false dawn or a dead cat bounce.

If I am to be candid for moment after the events of 2018 I was ready to accept a genuine, fully-fledged rebuild and all the short-term pain and suffering that would come with it. Knowing that we had a number of exciting young prospects on the cusp for first-grade that should feature prominently in this year’s rebuild seriously softened the blow.

However, Parramatta’s exciting start to this year obviously moved the goal posts for all stakeholders at the club and when the team eventually hit the skids, it was the young talent that were the first cast-offs as the club erred on the side of experience in an attempt to right the ship. While I seriously doubt that Oregon Kaufusi and Jaeman Salmon were going to spearhead the Eels to victories over the Cowboys (Oregon did play in this game mind you albeit minimal mintues), Panthers and Sharks in recent weeks but their demotions to a struggling Wenty Magpies team signaled a desperate grab for short-term success…one that has obviously backfired spectacularly with the benefit of hindsight.

As the ripples from Tim Mannah’s sensational departure from the club continue to flow-out today, the club re-affirmed its commitment to the likes of Kaufusi, Stefano Utoikamanu, David Hollis and Sam Hughes as its future in a minor media blitz through Dean Ritchie and Paul Crawley. While I am fully on board with this sentiment, it seems to be at odds with the selection policies – even up to this very week as Oregon’s omission from the team stretches out to a fourth consecutive week.

I understand that the coaches see a far more complete breakdown of both team and individual performances than any of us fans and that obviously played into the demotions of Kaufusi and Salmon. I also believe that the club needs to decide if it wants to mire itself in mediocrity and attempt to compete for the Top 8 with known talent or look to 2020 and commit to a proper rebuild for the remainder of 2019.

Still, there is some positive selection news as Salmon and Ray Stone return to the fold to face the Brisbane Broncos. The struggling Tepai Moeroa makes way for Stone while Will Smith is bumped from five-eighth to the extended bench by Salmon. Nathan Brown rightfully reclaims his place at starting lock in what should hopefully be Parramatta’s most competitive starting pack in some considerable time this season.

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


Injury Report


Dylan Brown – Lower Back – Indefinite


Canterbury Cup Team List


For the second week in a row, the Magpies collapsed in embarrassing fashion despite a star-studded roster – this time gunned down 22-10 by the Newtown Jets. Fortunately,  rare bright spots in the massively underachieving squad include youngsters Stefano Utoikamanu and Salesi Fainga’a. Alas it seems like young play-maker Joe Taipari picked up an injury last weeky given his omission from both Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg team lists.

There are no valid excuses left for Wenty. Their inability to win with the talent on hand is not acceptable. They face an entirely beatable New Zealand Warriors outfit this week, a team that occupies the position just below them on the ladder.


1. Bevan French
2. George Jennings
3. Josh Minhinnick
4. Ethan Parry
5. Greg Leleisuiao
6. Brad Takairangi
7. Will Smith
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Matt McIlwrick
10. Oregon Kaufusi
11. Tepai Moeroa
12. Salesi Fainga’a
13. Andrew Davey
14. Brad Keighran
15. Mitchell Butfield
16. D’Rhys Miller
17. Piki Rogers


Jersey Flegg Team List


Unsurprisingly, the Eels succumbed to the table-topping Cronulla Sharks on the weekend – bringing an end to their midseason surge. They still sit 5pts adrift of 8th place and have a mountain of work to get through if they are to see any sort of postseason footy this year. Fortunately, they are actually developing some important talent in the meantime with the aforementioned David Hollis and Sam Hughes locking down spots on the bench in recent weeks.

The 11th placed Eels have a chance to make up a little bit of ground this week as they travel to play the 9th placed New Zealand Warriors.


1. Sione Fonua
2. Taufa Afu
3. Haze Dunster
4. Tui Afualo
5. Turaganivalu Nabetelevu
6. Nicholas Tilburg
7. Bailey Biondi-Odo
8. James Porter
9. Kyle Schneider
10. Harry Duggan
11. Charbel Tasipale
12. Arron Shelford
13. Jesse Cronin
14. Lachlan Poko
15. Sam Hughes
16. David Hollis
17. Vea Tapa

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Colin Hussey

A pretty bland blog methinks sixties, but I guess its how most of us feel these days, and helped big time with the announcement that Perenoria is the ref that will add a lot of distinction to the game, I think it will be a howler of a game. If I see any positives in the Wenty team its found with having Stefano and Oregan packing down together in the front row, a role they may play in the NRL squad going forward, also with Salesi in the pack will also give grit and start a working relationship together. I… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Missed that aspect of Haze in Flegg.

I would like to think that despite all of the happenings with the eels that the three grades can put on winning formulae’s this weekend and make it happen. I would also hope that will be the case.


Yea after watching that game against the sharks like all our games you could tell in the first set that we weren’t 100% on. You could also tell that the sharks had turned up so i think a lot of us saw early where that was going. I can’t see us winning this week but the team selection is better. Will smith is not a first grade five eight , never was, terrible choice and incredible he got picked for so long. Salmon isn’t perfect but the kid looks like he belongs in first grade he has a pretty good… Read more »


How well does this sum up the current position – “I am fully on board with this sentiment (promoting youth), it seems to be at odds with the selection policies”. Let’s hope the injection of some youthful enthusism lifts the NRL team this week.
And agree, there are no excuses for Wenty not performing

Longfin Eel

Parra may yet make the top 8 this season, but we will just be making up the numbers in that case. Moving into the second half of the season, the club should be trying to build some development into the younger players. Give them a particular job to do and see if they can do this in the NRL. I don’t know what the solution is to the lack of commitment – most other teams are able to lift after embarrassing losses, but Parra seem to just take it in their stride, as if they believe that is their fate.… Read more »


They do address this aspect Longfin. They address everything that we moan about. When there are aspects that we all see as major problems – and most can be related to attitude – it’s time for those players to be moved on.


Just hope the team can learn to compete for 80 mins. To me that is all i hope for; team does look a little better than last wk and I hope Gutho is ok to play.

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