The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – Learning To Lift

I was a very proud supporter as I left Bankwest on Saturday night. While the win was obviously pleasing, I was proud of the supporters, the club and obviously the team. The whole day showed why we as a club have so much potential and at the risk of stating a cliché, we really are the sleeping giants of the competition.

Being able to watch three grades was wonderful for my family, especially seeing some of the juniors that we have heard so much about play in person.

When first grade began the stadium filled and you could feel the excitement  amongst the crowd. We had four older ladies from Newcastle who had travelled down by train behind us. I would guess they had to be at least 80 years old. They were very loud, opinionated and had blue and red eyes painted on. They were wonderful and I hope that when I reach their age I still have the passion and commitment for my team that they do. 

That aside, two moments in the game stood out for me and probably most fans at the ground. The first was the wonderful defensive set with 28 minutes to go. Somehow, the Knights had managed to get in front of us on the scoreboard, as they always do. We turned the ball over down near the Knights line. We needed to turn momentum and we did just that. Our defensive line moved up quickly and shut the Knights down.

Junior

Junior started it with a wonderful first up tackle, then Lane, Jennings and Brown proceeded to do the same in the next 4 tackles. By the time Takairangi  caught the ball on the half way line, we had turned momemtum, we lifted the intensity in the match and from that point on only one team was going to win the game.

It has been a long time since I have been able to say that my team collectively lifted intensity to a level that the opposition could not match. The crowd loved it and responded by lifting the noise in the stadium. It was a telling moment in the game and displayed the growth in this team; we are becoming confident and are now defending as team in unison.

The second moment was the beautiful try to Reed Mahoney.

From the stands there was so much to like about that try. Junior Paulo’s skill and game awareness, Mahoney’s effort and toughness but for me the ability to respond to the opposition tactics is a very pleasing development in our attack.

Reed “Cash” Mahoney

Ever since the Broncos game in Rd 15 our opposition have been rushing us in defence as we shift the ball. The Knights dented our attack most game, by rushing up out wide. But,  defending this way takes effort and also takes a lot of energy.

At the ground you could see the Knights tiring and at this time the Eels started attacking them in and around the ruck. If we can continue to become dangerous in and around the ruck it will open up space for us out wide. This try displayed really good game management and awareness. How often have we been able to say that in the last decade?

It is very exciting to see our team improve. While I am not oblivious to the areas we still need to work on, it is pleasing to watch the team employ a well structured and attacking game plan. It may not work every week but it is such a long way away from my observations last season that regularly revolved around the phrase ‘what are they doing’.

My only hope for the remainder of the season is this; from the stands I want my team to be in the game, to stay composed and to dig in. If they do that they will get my vocal support and I dare say every other supporters respect.

Well done to our players, coaches, club officials and supporters. I’ve been to every game this season at BankWest and it has been invigorating to watch our club rebuild from the disaster that was season 2018 and to become more unified. While it is still too fresh to forget the torture of last season, it may very well turn out to be one of the most important seasons in our club’s history.

Shelley

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Jonno
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Jonno

Well said, yes coming back against the grain would not have happened last year. We have come a fair way in a short amount of time, yes recruitment was good, but I believe our attitude and belief in team and self has improved immensely.

Shelley
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Shelley

While recruitment has certainly helped, I think winning the first few games was important. I also think having clarity around key positions removed distraction. Remember last year the constant talk about our best fullback, who was our controlling halve and hooker. The talk started before the kick off last season and never stopped. Entering this year all that was removed. Gutho, and Moses have been given the keys to control the team , with Reed and Dylan stepping up and we are benefiting from that clarity. Add that clarity to the recruits and Nathan Brown back on the field and… Read more »

DDay
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DDay

Good write up and agree with the 2 key moments – positive signs of composure.

pete
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pete

Great read Shelley, The last few weeks it seems our defence has improved in the middle. I have been very critical of our defence and even calling for the sacking of the defence coach. But, given the improvement it shows with effort we can win battles up front. Knights having Klemmer, the Safiti brothers and a few others showed we have improved. Still room to improve our for and against. I can’t see Tepai making the team again. We need to bring some young guns in before the Semis…. Wait did I just say Semis… We need to get Kafusi,… Read more »

Shelley
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Shelley

It is pleasing to see well thought out footy and real genuine effort. If our forwards can break even in finals we have the most dangerous backline, especially with Fergo outside Blake. Control the ruck and we could go far. Of course that could be difficult for us.

The rev aka Snedden
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The rev aka Snedden

Well said Shelley. I couldn’t put it better my self. I’ve noticed ever since Brad Arthur has put the big red machine Kane Evans in the run on side his game has improved alot since moving from the Roosters. With that said I’m thinking Kane is worth extended contract for 2 more yrs If he keeps this form up. As much as Lane is being hammered from pillar to post by the media. I will say his form has been nothing short of outstanding that left flank n his offloading for Dylan Brown was all class. If the signing of… Read more »

BDon
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BDon

I missed the first 3 minutes of the second half, then watched the Knights pile on 12 points. I was in a state of disbelief, and as you suggest Shelley, the Knights were playing with energy. I was wondering what happened in those 3 minutes. Later, the replay showed Ponga sending the kick-off out, a dream start for us…more confused. But then a relieving penalty to the Knights, coupled with their energy, solved the mystery. We gradually got back into our groove with some great effort and game management. More of that please!

Milo
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Milo

Yes same here Shelley. V proud of the club and what they have done so far but we expect them to make the 8 and go well. Great result so far. I am trying to be positive for next yr and only hope some of the players BA is keeping get a go at some stage but I cannot see it at the moment. Not sure what to think at the moment as tepai going and Mau too, and just hope we have someone decent players lined up to come in with nrl exp otherwise the younger players will need… Read more »

Rowdy
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Rowdy

Well done, Shelley. I’ve been busy and then crook for the last week. But……….
Your game day description was so inviting for an old Parrafanatic. I almost found myself standing on the hill on the righthand side of the old Cumberland Oval, watching Ella and Kenny playing lower grades thinking “how good will these blokes be”?
And your commentary of the game was excellent, just how I recall seeing it last week.