The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – From Brookie To Better

By now we have all dissected the loss.

For me, sadly, I was not really surprised one bit with what I saw. It’s now up to the coaches and recruitment committee to their job.

But in doing so, there is one thing which they cannot ignore.

There is still a soft underbelly to our team and it needs to be removed. If players can not be relied upon to turn up with the right attitude ready to do their job, then they don’t deserve to wear our jumper.

There is a difference between a poor game by a player making some mistakes and a poor attitude. In our loss on Sunday we had some players who played well, some who made mistakes, but worst of all – some who did not have a real go.

We risk the growth and improvement of this team when we include players who have frequent flexi days on the playing field.

Disregard any thoughts about fatigue. The soft attitude in defence was evident from the opening set. How is that possible for a team holding on to a Top 8 spot, and within reach of the Top 4?

But there were positives to come from Sunday and that will be my main focus as they were displayed by young men who are very much part of our future.

 To start with, a young man made his debut. To play even one game in first grade takes talent and hard work. Many sacrifices are made by family members to help any junior player make it and so no matter the result that should be celebrated.

Part of an exciting future – Ethan Parry

Ethan Parry held his own. Sure he made some mistakes but he also made some hard runs, much harder than some forwards, showed enthusiasm and effort with his try and kept in the game even after an error.

In other words, he didn’t look for a place to hide.

It’s pleasing to see some of our juniors progress to first grade and importantly handle the rise in class. It was a pressure situation last Sunday with a hostile crowd and from my perspective, as a supporter, Ethan Parry handled that pressure.

With continued coaching and being exposed to more first grade game time and training Parry will naturally improve, but the ability for our juniors to step up into grade and give a good account for themselves over the past 18 months has be extremely pleasing and points towards a bright future for our club.

Both halves played well, or as well as they could behind a badly beaten pack.

Dylan Brown – what a talent!

Dylan Brown started to run the ball and was much more decisive in attack and Mitch Moses stayed composed. I was waiting for Moses to explode and to his absolute credit he didn’t. He is certainly showing more maturity this year and proving people wrong, including myself.

Moses’ kicking game is improving and becoming more reliable. The fact is he was often in terrible field position to kick but he kicked long and I think he kept our score somewhat respectable.

From the stands, I really enjoy watching these two young men play football, because they do just that. They are developing the skills to manage the game but also have wonderful natural instinct and creative ability. It is exciting to think about what this combination could develop into.

So, as predictable and disappointing as last Sunday was, and acknowledging our inherent weaknesses, we have no option but to move forward.

Like always I will be there supporting my team this Saturday. Yes we lost last week and yes our forwards got rolled but we are in sixth spot and we have another game to look forward to.

Every time it seems like the team is ready to move forward, they remind us of where they’ve come from – that wooden spoon year. But we have also unearthed some real talent.

It will take time to rebuild properly from last year and I encourage all supporters to remember that.  It will do our young spine and team so well to make the 8 and I predict this Saturday will go a long way towards determining that.

Turn up this week blue and gold fans. Despite Sunday’s effort, Parra have come a long way from last year. The club is on the cusp of better times.

Home ground support helped the Sea Eagles last Sunday and it will help our Eels to overcome the Warriors.

See you there!

17
Click Here to Reply ...

avatar
5 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
AnonymousMiloRobShelleyMAX Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
BDon
Guest
BDon

Shelley, I had that funny feeling as well, that 12-6 wasn’t real, Manly were playing harder and faster and we would find it tough to keep up with them. An interesting Hasler ploy was the DCE long pass to a centre when coming off their own line, early in the set, once they got beyond 15mtrs out. Worked every time, got our line untidy then the forwards rolled.

shelley
Guest
shelley

I think the tigers also tried to use this tactic but because our line speed was so terrible on Sunday it worked very well for Manly. I think our defense across the park was poor but you are right it was terrible in the middle. All teams have inconsistent players but we have to many who have a big difference between good and bad games. What I would not give for a player like Nathan Hindmarsh right at the moment.

Longfin Eel
Guest
Longfin Eel

The loss on Sunday was disappointing, and as you say Shelley it showed that despite being in the top 8 all season so far, we are still quite vulnerable at times. Like you, I think the team can take many positives from that game. In the end it is not season defining, but it points to the fact that the team needs to lift for every game. It seems that Parra struggle to do this, and I don’t know if the team needs to change around a bit on a regular basis to give some players a rest. This week… Read more »

shelley
Guest
shelley

We need to remember that we have improved in many areas but there is one glaring weakness. I don’t think it is talent but more mental strength, as when these players are on they are some of our best players on the field. I feel confident that what we are seeing with recruitment and retention so far is giving me hope that this soft underbelly will be removed. I think this week will be crucial for us. The fact is the teams behind us and even Manly in front if us have much harder draws. We win this week and… Read more »

Milo
Guest
Milo

For me a concerning loss; as the talk during the wk from staff and players was how big a game it was, and i know each game is important. You lead with your defence imo. I have some concerns with the defence and how it has panned out this yr. I know we ask lots of questions or a few with the attack, and this can lead to errors but the defence off the line was poor. It cannot be ignored and shows how inconsistent we can be. We have players in the forwards who have played some NRL and… Read more »

shelley
Guest
shelley

Agree with everything you say. The fact is some of these players do defend well when they want to against good teams. It therefore is hard for me to say it is the coaches and technique. It is attitude and I want us to be ruthless with retention. I don’t care if they are talented, if they don’t have consistent attitude and effort, we need to let them go ( and have already started this process) and replace them with someone who might not be as naturally gifted but is more reliable and consistent. It is why I agreed with… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Spot on Milo, I picked the eels to win, but it was only because I could not see myself picking Manly & I was not confident of a win & for me the option to see another young player given his first match was a win as far as I am concerned, we need a few more of them given that run. For me though, unless they get the chance to continue with that run, how are they going to get both the experience and learn the game at NRL level, with limited opportunities to play and show out? Sure… Read more »

Milo
Guest
Milo

Col, i feel exactly the same and am running out of patience with a couple of players….i am trying to remain calm. I too would like to see some young guys see game time as next yr is not too far away.
I am also keen to see who else comes in with experience…….more speculation than eating at the footy mate.

Pou
Guest
Pou

The problem isn’t the players we have, it’s the players we don’t have. We need leaders. There’s probably 20 blokes in our squad who are good enough to win an NRL grand final, provided they are in the right team. That right team contains experienced leaders, and we have far too few of them.

Shelley
Guest
Shelley

I agree 100%. We don’t really seem to have many players on the field who can get the team to say follow me. I hope that when we have turnover this year we bring in some leaders but also it may be possible for someone like Moses to step up as many of the old eels will be leaving. It may finally then become his team to steer. I have hope in Moses, he is maturing, much to my surprise.

MAX
Guest
MAX

The soft underbelly is 100% correct, what is disappointing is that we can look forward to this for the next two years, because for some inexplicable reason the board that Max Donnelly put in place decided to resign an underperforming Brad Arthur for a further two years. We have a team of gifted athletes, that lack the mental toughness to achieve against the odds. this is where talented man manages such as Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler, turn average players into great players and further a group of men that want to win for their mentor and a mentality of… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Mate, I think your beef with BA needs to be either let go or you should try to address him personally if you’ve got so much sage advice to offer him.

As far as I can see, BA has bled for our club and suffered through many very hard times that others (Ricky Stuart and Stephen Kearney) definitely would not have done, they had no passion for the club.

BA has.

Where do your passions lie except in laying the boot in, MAX?

MAX
Guest
MAX

Rob, my passions lie as a dedicated member of the Parramatta Eels (for 15 plus years) that have under achieved through the tenure of Brad Arthur – No other coach would have survived with the results that he has delivered. whilst it is sport, its also a results driven business, results to date by Brad, clearly have met with the board accepting mediocrity. Our club is bigger than that, we should be accepting nothing less than a top six finish year in year out.

Milo
Guest
Milo

Interesting points Max. Hasler had his chance at C’bury and while making a GF he ultimately got the boot; and we all saw what happened. Yes he has done well with Manly in his first yr back and lets be honest, when you have a fullback, prop and halfback plus Tapau who have all played origin / country he should be going ok. As for Bellamy, yes he has done well in a one city team set up well supported by News limited formerly, and a decent crop of Qld players. I have never spoken to BA but cannot see… Read more »

MAX
Guest
MAX

Milo, good point, Hasler was moved on, in what was purely a financial decision, his results as a rugby league coach and leader of men speak for themselves. In all fairness, Brad Arthur should have come under extreme scrutiny with the signing of Anthony Watmough, not just the signing but the length of the contract.
My beef with Arthur is certainly not personal, its based on results! As supporters we should want more, but I guess I am passionate about our club.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The arena that BA is in as a coach is probably the harshest of any coach at any club in the competition the blowout season from Hell last year really pushed the success rate as far as winning games are concerned. He came here in 2013, and the first two seasons were good ones, with the first reaching the finals, and 2nd year being put out by the Knights, yet better than under the previous pp. Also 3rd season was 12fh on the table, a backwards move indeed. 2016 we had the cap scandal where we were running very good… Read more »

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Don’t know why the reply has come up as Anonymous but its my reply