The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Cautiously Optimistic

How did you feel before Saturday night’s clash with the Broncos?

From the stands, I sensed a somewhat apprehensive crowd. And that’s understandable given the Jekyll and Hyde performances of recent weeks.

We wanted our team to win, we wanted them to show up and have a real dig, we hoped they would respond well to what happened the week before and we wanted to be able to cheer loudly for them.

I was strangely confident before the game. Despite their obvious talent, a young mobile pack like the Broncos is not the type that normally troubles our forwards. The first ten minutes showed both some promise and concern, but once we got down to the Broncos line and scored early I knew we had a big chance.

The crowd responded as expected – they got behind the team and the game unfolded as most games do at Bankwest for us. High energy, committed and entertaining footy flowed.

While there are many things I could praise about the game, from the stands it was obvious that the team had energy.

Brad Arthur

The previous week started with BA’s post match comments, continued with Paul Gallen’s opinion on the team, then plunged into the sagas surrounding Tim Mannah’s request for a release. It was the sort of stuff that could galvanise the team or it could expose any cracks and continue the downward spiral.

Early signs are that the team can move forward, but we’ve experienced false dawns before.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve questioned the strength of the relationships in the team, as they seemingly reverted to playing one out footy, without covering each other, especially in defence. This was very concerning for most fans and was obvious from the stands.

I don’t expect my team to win each week. I completely understand we are reshaping our squad and have some young players in very important positions. No athlete can be at peak form and fitness each week. What I do expect is total effort and commitment and a team of players who are both willing and able to cover for others when they are a little down. That is what good teams do.

Therefore, without getting too carried away after this win, let’s treat the performance as a good first step and look for the team to back it up.

And so to the positives.

‪On Saturday night, many things pleased me but a couple stood out. ‬

‪First was the ability for our forwards to get out of our own half. Our back five obviously played a role in this, as they do for most teams. However, the ability of our forwards to take the 3rd or 4th hit up, sometimes out wider, and make ground with quick play the balls was very pleasing. ‬

‪There’s no point in singling individual players out for praise as the pack functioned as a unit. I liked the hard running of the forwards. They looked to run hard first, and then as they tired the Broncos out, the offloads started to happen. ‬

Kane Evans

‪Though I wasn’t going to mention specific players, I must make a confession. I criticised Kane Evans in the Sharks game and most people, including my family, thought I got that wrong. I was impressed with his running against the Broncos, he made good metres and played the ball really quickly. So credit where it’s due.‬

The other aspect that pleased me from the stands, and I dare say pleased everyone, was the ball movement in attack.

The Eels offence was not pointless side to side movement, or one out hit ups. It was well constructed plays that made the Broncos make a choice. Most times they made good choices, but when they selected poorly we were good enough to take those chances. It was probably the most happy I have been with our attack since round 1 this year.

The pleasing news to emerge after the game was that Josh Hoffman was cleared of any serious injury. You don’t want any player to suffer serious injury, and Hoff has been in outstanding form. He’s played with real energy and skill, and truth be told, he’s playing much better than I thought he could.

Despite some of our troubles, which will likely continue as we reshape our team, we go into the global bye sitting in the 8. We have a positive for and against and have won as many games as we have lost. Although some weeks have been tough, if you had put this scenario at the beginning of the year to me I would have gladly accepted it.

Good luck to all our players in Rep round, it will no doubt be entertaining.

Get behind the team, we have a bright future and besides that, watching our team play at Bankwest is fun. It is hard to describe the atmosphere to those who haven’t experienced this amazing venue, so it’s best that you get there, support the team and find out just how brilliant it is for yourself.

Let’s be there in numbers for our next game – an away game against the Tigers.

We’ll remind everyone that BankWest Stadium is our home ground, no matter which team is listed first.

 

Shelley

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Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Shelley, a good summary however, I have to disagree with you on one point/area though, where you say We have a positive for and against and have won as many games as we have lost. While we sit in 8th spot a 4th in regard to attack, our defence is very poor as we have the 2nd worst defence in the competition, the against nearly nullify the attack numbers

Anonymous
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Anonymous

But we’re still in front, Colin. 🙂 let’s celebrate the fact that our worst performances are overshadowed by our best.

sixties
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True, Anonymous.
I get as frustrated as any supporter over the fluctuating performances. The defence needs continued attention – and I can assure you it is getting dedicated attention at training. However, what the results have shown is the team’s potential when switched on. We need them to find that on a more consistent basis.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

I will take a win at any time be it by one point, I only drew attention to our for and against as a point of frustration, that being it proves that the side can attack and score tries enough to win games. The other side of the coin though shows our defence is the abject need of fixing one more big loss will really put a different image into the picture. The attack shows what they team can do, problem could be fixed I guess sixties, rather than a switch to be turned on that somehow a remote control… Read more »

shelley
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shelley

I would hope that our defensive efforts improve and I think the longer Nathan Brown stays on the field that will happen. He tightens up our middle.

Jimmy P
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Jimmy P

Am I wrong or has the draw been changed. Is Parra playing the Raiders next game or are we talking about the next BWS game? I have followed Parramatta for over sixty years – long distance now and the expression Jekyll and Hyde is quite apt. They have the ability to make one bi-polar with the win loss scenario. That Moses is the key to winning success is obvious. I also think that they have certainly missed the two Browns and what I have seen from afar Junior Paulo goes missing when needed. Sure he had been good but not… Read more »

shelley
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shelley

Yes we play the Raiders next game in Darwin and for the team that must be the focus. For our fans the next chance to watch them, apart from those who can afford to fly to Darwin, is Bankwest in an away game. It would be great to see more support at that game against the Tigers, especially as it is against a rival who wants to claim Bankwest. I

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Great observations from your perch in the stands Shelley. The vision appears to not only stay with you on the long road home but actually ferments over the ensuing days. I often enjoy reading “From the Stands” as your perceptions occasionally are spot on in areas that had yet to be revealed to me. But, we fans are all different and unique in what and how we see the same game. Personally I had been expecting a good win and so backed Parra 13+. This was on the basis that we were back at our spiritual footy home and with… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

The Raiders will be a good test of any newfound attitude. They will try to blitz us again, they got us last time when the refs had pocketed the whistle under NRL push for more game time/faster play. Not sure those conditions will re-occur. Our roster is better with NBrown and Mau, and Fergo got badly smashed up in the game. Not sure how Origin plays out for both clubs. Will be an interesting clash. DBrown must be close with an extra week of recovery.

Shelley
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Shelley

Agree. The raiders will test our ruck defence. I am as guilty as anyone in doing this but sometimes I forget how far we have come from last year. Last year we had defensive issues all over the park. This year it is really in the middle, our edge and backline defence is okay. A few smart recruits will help us improve again. Our attack, while not perfect is so much better. We are a work in progress.

BDon
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BDon

Those 4 Englishmen have made Josh Papalli a far better forward this year, and he ices the cake for their skills. Maybe Darwin will be too hot for the lads and Origin has blunted Josh.
With NBrown on the field we get one less forward with inconsistent concentration and energy. I’m no maths genius, but that could be worth a 20% improvement.

Milo
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Milo

Shelley in answer to your first question, i was definitely not confident and with decent reason. But pleasantly surprised we smashed them; i will also be just as happy and surprised if we win the next two or so in a row. That will tell me we have moved on……do i think we can win the next two? Yes. As long as they play with the same mind set, attitude on and off the ball and effort in terms of 1%. For example when David Gower made the effort to chase that ball that ricocheted- he got there before the… Read more »

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Milo, summed things up well, and we sit very much in line with each other on this.

It will be the big test though, and reveal the real character and determination of the team.

Milo
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Milo

Yes agreed mate. As you said character test and also we say it will be possibly character building for the team. To me we are a good chance of beating Canberra in Northern Territory but the effort / attitude needs to be there more often.
I keep wanting more from the team as they have shown they can do it; but also temper it with measured thoughts but to be honest we should be vying for top 8 spots.

Shelley
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Shelley

Giving 100% effort will always get my support no matter the result. We can recruit to get better and fill the gaps but unless we develop a winning mentality recruits won’t really help us win the competition and that’s what I want us to aim for.

Milo
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Milo

Spot on Shelley. Effort and that mental side has to be ingrained.