The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Looking To The Future

From the stands is going to be forward thinking and positive this week. This is not me ignoring the negatives or problems. After listening to BA call some of our players part-time I don’t feel the need to point out the obvious as the obvious is known, noted and those that need to be removed from our squad going forward will be.

In the press conference the coaches are really addressing the fans and I applaud BA for his honesty. I sensed a man who is fed up with the excuses from our players. In some ways losing on Saturday could be a blessing in disguise. There is no hiding from the fact that we have some dreadfully mentally weak players, they cannot turn up each week with a tough attitude. One good game a month is enough for them.

Thankfully most are off contract this year or a few next. I dare say we will have far fewer part-time players next year so I will not waste my time on them anymore. I would rather talk about the positives moving forward.

If you look at our forward pack we have some really good foundations to build from. We have some good leaders who our young, talented forwards can learn from.  Brown, Manu, Lane and Junior have the ability to shape our pack going forward.

It is no surprise that we got back into the game when Brown came on in the first half. His direct running, quick play the balls and leg drive was equally impressive as it was damming on others.

Nathan Brown

Statistics sometimes can be misleading. Brown’s metres were gained when we needed them, through the middle and against the Sharks best. He got us back into the game. Other forwards gained metres in the hit and giggle time at the end of the game, running out wide with the Sharks best happily sitting nice and relaxed on the bench. There is no comparison between his metres and the others. They may look the same but they are worlds apart in both impact and effort.

Lane has an important role in this team. You could see Moses trying to involve him, but it was tough for Moses having to constantly play both sides of the ruck, make the kicks and also run himself. I cannot wait until the partnership of Lane and Dylan reunites, it could be lethal.

Some will say Reed had a tough night and in truth he did. What I really liked was from the stands you could see he realised that he had to take more responsibility with kicking once Gutho went off. Sure his execution was poor but the fact he realised he had to. and the fact he got himself into the position to attempt it is very pleasing. He is young, he is talented and he is a hard worker. I have no doubt he will work on improving his kicks but the fact he both recognised he had to kick more and the fact he was willing to do so was extremely positive. Unlike others he was not unwillingly to have a go, to step up and try to do what the team needed. He will learn from this. He will get better because he has the right attitude.

I really like the extension of the Moses contract. You would know I have not always supported Moses and if truth be told I wanted to keep Norman over Moses. Some will criticise his game last week, especially the kicks and missed tackles. His missed tackles had as much to do with our non existent line speed and our middles inability to slow down the play the ball.

We left Moses exposed one on one against Fifita. Our middles cannot tackle him by themselves yet we expect Moses to. That is an unfair criticism. His kicking game in the first half was poor at times and he must improve it.

Mitch Moses

So why do I like the extension?  Simple, his combination with Gutho and Dylan Brown works. They complement each other and after watching Norman and Moses fail we should know how important that combination gelling is. Norman and Moses are both extremely talented but just did not work. I don’t really know why spine combinations do or don’t work but our three do.

I do want to praise Moses’s attitude last Saturday. I did not see yelling, hands going up or his head dropping. That is important, it is an improvement and once reunited Moses, Gutho and Brown could become a real asset to this team.

I don’t have the luxury of watching the junior rep teams play but over the last couple of years I have heard names like Reed, Oregon and Dylan praised. All three have demonstrated this year they have the ability and mental toughness to make the jump to first grade, they have a big role in our future. I mention this because the weaknesses I saw on Saturday in our team have the capacity to be filled in part by our young players. This is important because with the salary cap it is hard to simply buy on the market all the players you need. Most clubs don’t have the luxury of uncle Nic’s sombrero.

Along with the above three players, praise has been given equally to Parry, Utoikamanu, Fainga’a, Dunster and in the group below Schneider and Hollis. We externally recruited well last season. Ferguson, Junior, Sivo and Lane have made a big difference. A few well selected, seasoned, mentally tough recruits coupled with the promotion of a few highly talented and capable juniors could transform this team. We have the nucleus of a strong squad. We have the ability to shake up our squad without paying players to play elsewhere and most importantly we have a coaching staff who is willing to call out and no longer accept part-time players.

Stay strong Parra fans. We have a bright future and we have a group on Saturday who both deserve and need our support against the Broncos.

For our season this is a crucial game. We will be there cheering on Brown, Gutho, Reed, Mitch etc on Saturday night as they deserve our support and will respond to it. We trust that the blue and gold army will get behind our boys. The ones who are our future will put in and they deserve and need our help.

Shelley

(Thanks and best wishes to Tim Mannah)

 

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Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, a good post, and time for us all to pick ourselves up from the mire so far seen. Going forward I believe as soon as NB is ready and able to pick his on field minutes up he should be given the captaincy of the team, while Gutho does well I would prefer to see him concentrate on his game, and have Nathan take the primary role while on the field, Gutho take it perhaps when Nathan has a spell. I totally agree also with you regarding BA’s presser, many have pounded him again saying he’s out of his… Read more »

shelley
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shelley

I personally like Gutho as captain, although I would imagine that Nathan Brown is in the leadership group. I think a captain needs to be on the field the entire time and needs to be calm enough to approach the referee’s. Apart from that Storm game Gutho is calm. By nature on the field Brown is aggressive and you don”t want that to change. He does not have to have C next to his name to lead. I loved BA’s post match interview, although I dont think it is easy for him to say nor would it help with the… Read more »

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

BA and his coaching staff have nothing to answer for Shelley? They were the people who recruited and trained these part timers.But I suppose it’s all sugar and spice on that side of the fence.

Shelley
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Shelley

I never criticise people for mistakes they make. I am far from perfect. I belief they have seen the mistakes. Look at who is not in the team this week, it is telling- Taka, Tepai, Tim, Danny, Smith, G Jennings. The fact we have a recruitment and retention group with BA on it plus the decisions being made is a good step forward.

You are entitled to your opinion but I still support BA and the way the club is moving forward.

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

For somebody who does not criticise you sure gave Kane Evans a fair spray in a previous post. Also you said you would blame BA if he was picked this week ahead of Mannah or Kaufusi. Change of heart?

Shelley
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Shelley

Not at all. I don’t happen to think Kane Evans is the type of player we need and have not hidden that. I think props have to be tough and uncompromising and in my eyes he is not that type of player. In my opinion Evans has been given multiple chances but unlike others he is not off contract, they are. You can not just get rid of players on contract, you need someone to take them and often have to pay to do so. It is in our interest to try and improve him. I would prefer Oregon but… Read more »

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

Fine Shelley so your comment in post game grades that you would blame BA if Evans was picked this week ahead of Mannah or Kaufusi was what? Heat of the moment.

Shelley
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Shelley

To be honest I did have to consider the fact that many people I spoke to who watched the game disagreed with me on Evans. I don’t like him in the team as I don’t think he delivers when the game is on and his stats look better than they actually are but most people saw differently, obviously BA is one of those. I would pick Oregon but I am looking from the outside in. I love the fact that we can watch the games and all have different opinions. I doubt anyone would ever convince me Evans is our… Read more »

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

” I will blame BA”. Just to make it easy for you Shelley I don’t rate Evans either and BA should be kicked up the arse for picking him in front of Kaufusi. There, not that hard is it?

Shelley
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Shelley

This will be my last reply on Evans.

I did not rate Evans game against the Sharks and still think that, but others did rate it not just BA. So yes I do have to consider that there is every chance I was wrong and the others including BA are right. Time will tell. I don’t see it as a weakness to consider other views.

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

look up the word. “hypocrisy”

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Seth, whether you like it or not, if a player is beyond taking notice of what game plan he puts to the team, and they practice that out during the week, so they are ready for match day, and when that day arrives they blatantly ignore the plan and do it their way, that is disregard the coaches plan? where can you blame the coach for the players not following the instructions and what they trained to do? I would suggest that the words Soft, Dumb and failed to turn up as said by the coach over 2 pathetic losses… Read more »

Seth hardie
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Seth hardie

I’m sure Shelley can defend her own words mate.Our coach and players make big money in a sport that’s in the public arena. Therefore they are open to criticism either positive or negative. Both forms can be beneficial. Not finding fault is not a balanced viewpoint. The eels situation certainly requires a balanced discussion.

Shelley
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Shelley

I don’t disagree with that. Many, in fact most people think Evans had an okay game I just happen to disagree. Would I prefer him not in the team, yes but if there is something they want Oregon to fix before bringing him back up into first grade I think that is more important long term. It is like when the Roosters dropped Latrell 2 years ago for 8 rounds, they wanted him to fix his defence and did not bring him back until he did. They did not discard him by playing in Reserve grade but helped his development.… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Seth that’s your view and it does not make you right or Shelley wrong; just differing view. Shelley can more than handle herself. No one i think has said that the club / players etc are beyond being criticised- they’ve had this for the best of 33 yrs……

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, I believe very firmly and worked with many people that could never be taught. In my early days as a Fireman on Steam with the NSWGR, it was part of the drivers role to assist and show the young brigade on how to do their jobs, it wasn’t an easy job either for both driver and fireman, and I am glad for the huge amount of help I received by those with experience, a few very easy to remember were tops for me. Later as a driver, steam had gone but on diesels we still had to help with… Read more »

JonBoy
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JonBoy

Well said Shelley.

It’s very easy for us to want to hide from the memories of 2018 after seeing the team start the year of so well. Like many here, I’ve supported the Eels all of my nearly 50 years on this planet and have suffered more disappointment than celebration, and I think the disappointment hurts more the older I get.

But, I can see a light in the (rollercoaster) tunnel and will continue to support our players, our head coach and importantly the administrators who are pulling us out of the rubble left behind by others in recent times.

shelley
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shelley

It is hard to see players go, especially those who have been at the club a long time but as long as it is done the right way I have no problem with it. We need change. No players should automatically get a contract, or a position in the team. If the coach decides they need to be in Reserve grade, go play there, improve what the coach wants and when you get your chance play well. Look at David Gower. I love Tim Mannah but the hysterical response from fans blaming the club is the exact reason we have… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, I have no issues in what you have said re Evans, I watched him play for the chooks and he had another player of same age and less experience in the team Siosiua Taukeiaho, who was born 6 days before Kane Evans, both are 27, Evans sort of kept Taukelaho out of the top side briefly. Evans left the Chooks and came to the eels, and Taukelaho stayed at the chooks we pretty well know the rest. Thing was that in that year when the two of them were in the same team, Taukeiaho played head and shoulders over… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

It is all good. I don’t get offended easily. I have no fear expressing my opinion so I have to respect others will do the same. I always try to remember sometimes an opinion is right, sometimes wrong and I try to listen when other views are different to understand why. On Evans I never begrudge any players contract money, they get what the manager can get for them. Good on them. I just think Evans is good when everyone else is good. But I see a props role primarily to win momentum so the backs can be good. In… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

We cannot ask for more when the perform, and to express ones own opinions are still legal in this country.

You do well Shelley.

pete
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pete

Thanks Shelley, it’s been a rollercoaster ride again this year. I’m a pretty fair minded supporter, but when the opposition put 30 or 40 or 60 points and we are soft we need to call it out. BA has done this. The difference this year is there is a will to make the necessary changes to make the team accountable. I have always liked Mannah, but he appears to have fallen on his sword after seeing the writing on the wall. Should be the same thing for a few others, including Kidwell, I would like to see Dymock brought in… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

It is interesting times. Personally I don’t want panic player signings, look at the mess at the Dogs and Tigers with signings we all knew would be a disaster. I want us to win this year, but also build for years to come- no short term signings for me. I think we will win our fair share, I happen to think we will make the 8 or at least I do if we beat the Broncos this week. In our remaining 12 rds we have a bye plus we do not play Sth, Storm, Roosters. We play Manly + Broncos… Read more »

pete
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pete

I agree all is not lost. Now is the time for BA to “stop the rot” so we can make the 8. I’m confident BAs recent statements and by dropping players he means business. I support BAs work but it’s unfinished business. I still think Dymock would be better than Kidwell to stem the 300 point defensive blow out.
Anyway keep posting and keep positive. A few wins will be a good remedy.

Shelley
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Shelley

Sorry yep meant to comment on defensive coach. Not really sure what technically makes a good defensive coach but it is not good what we are doing now or in the last 1 1/2 years. We seem unable to stop offloads or dominate in tackles, yet many of these same players in 2016-2017 could do just that.
If our defence does not drastically change surely you would have to change, even if you bring in new players.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, I may be wrong but! I am not sure either what they do as far as the technical side of tackling is concerned, but good tackling techniques are vital for all players to have right across the board. Every playing needs to learn those techniques both for themselves as tackler and also as one being tackled so as to avoid injury moreso to ones self. Mid last year you might remember that the first addition brought into the team was the trainer Adrian Jimenez and he brought a new direction to the team, we didn’t win much more but,… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

I know why Peter Sterling has never had a public rant about the Bulldogs player who put a pretty cheap shot on him and forced his retirement. It’s because he respects the game, and he respects himself, he has the right attitude, he is mentally strong.Shelley, I like that thread on Reed Mahoney, so true. We can all fall prey to serving our own ego, our own needs, our own feelings and it’s becoming increasingly clear our 2019 has got caught up in the mental minefield of Rugby League. It’s hard for fans to accept that we have to be… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

So true. It is hard but what is the alternative? Sack the coach, sack the board, sack all the players, pay them to play in another team and spend 2-3 years rebuilding and blaming the previous coach/ board. No thanks we have done that before and it does not work. Not only has it not worked for us in the past it does not work at all. Everything above is exactly what has and is happening at the Dogs right now. I would hate to be a Dogs supporters trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel.… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

In June 6 years back, Ricky Stuart announced a mass clean out. It spelt the end of our season and also the new dawn being offered turned into a sunset, some would say we’re still in the dark. Many of those players sacked cost the club in payouts and Ricky probably didn’t realise our front office was just winging it anyway. The difference this time, is that we actually have a cap spreadsheet, we have a governance structure, we have a development program, we won’t be facing worthless payouts. As you say, Shelley, we just have to come up with… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Maybe optimistic for the future, but for now, with our defense, we will struggle for the bottom quarter, like I has said before. To play in the big show, you must have steely resolve, which we just do not. Perhaps Sixties et al could do one of their great research and analysis pieces on how many teams, whom have the worst top 4 defensive records at the end of the season, finish in the top 4 / top 8. I am not holding my breath about our team. In the same vane as I mentioned earlier in the year, we… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

I agree with defensive comment. It is not good enough, will not win games against good teams and it is why I have been critical with our forwards, the defence starts and ends there. There is no point making metres and scoring tries if you concede points easy and cannot stop offloads or quick play the balls. I liked our recruits last year. Junior, Fergusson and Lane established first graders, with Fergo being rep quality. Sivo good cheap pick up. I would hope we have some good recruits coming in- probably 4-5 high quality first graders, one must be a… Read more »

JonBoy
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JonBoy

I’d rather live in Newcastle and get paid $500K or more to do so than live in Western Sydney. I’m not bagging Western Sydney, but “small town”, “country town”, beach side living…do I need to go on???? Then add in the roster that has been assembled around 2 people…KP and Mitchell Pearce.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Unfortunately shelley the way our recruitment is going i think they arent going to make any significant signings so they will probably just resign the has beens to have a squad !!

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Calm down the revs not going to hammer anyone or Brad Arthur. I can’t believe you put Manu as a forward leader Shelley. Why you ask well if I’m correct wasn’t Manu shopped to the tiger’s n South’s before the start of the year I’m sure he was. So with that said why hasn’t he been told to look elsewhere I’m more then happy to see him go his not worth keeping around. Yes I know ppl will use the South’s game as example to keep him. This coach Brad Arthur want’s to keep player’s who spend more time on… Read more »

shelley
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shelley

Everyone has different opinions on who should stay and go. I don’t know who is, was or will be shopped around as I don’t trust the media outlets to tell the truth. On Manu I think he is a good leader, both on and off the field especially as we do look to move on many older forwards we need to ensure we keep some strong older leaders in the pack, otherwise our inconsistency will worsen next year with so many young forwards. I happen to think Manu is one of those to keep but respect others will disagree. It… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

I certainly have no issues in Ma’u getting a one year extension, he was on the injured list for some time this year and really is not that long back either. At this stage he’s under 30 and has the ability to help the younger players as they start their NRL careers. In fact I think he is the exact sort of player we need to keep short term.

JonBoy
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JonBoy

I agree. Mau has the ability to be the hard nose Beau Scott type that we have been lacking. Deserves another 1 year extension.

People need to do some research rather than just spitting out words. Go have a look at the zero tackle site where they list contract status’s by team and position. You cant just throw out the current team without replacements. Apparently NRL players don’t grow on tree’s.

Chris Parra4lyf
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Chris Parra4lyf

I have been tempted more than once to drive down to old sales oval and abuse our players for being a bunch of softies. Although I do think BA has in recent times has been laying it into the players. I don’t appreciate people saying I’m being harsh, Fair enough a bad season or two is a fact of life in this comp, but decades of shit and failure, that’s just disrespectful to the people in this club and I take it personally, players who aren’t willing to play hard should have the decency to leave the club, it feels… Read more »

JonBoy
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JonBoy

Please let me know when your going to go down to saleyards Chris. I’d love to be there to see you rip into them in person instead of from behind your keyboard or across the road out in public.