The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 23 vs Bulldogs

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 6

Canterbury Bulldogs 12


The Good:
To be fair, that game was incredibly entertaining to watch. I’m also glad we don’t have to play the Dogs again this season; they were both excellent and frustrating.

Maybe tonight was the loss we had to have? I guess we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.

The Bad:
Too many mistakes, too much frustration, too many should haves, could haves and would haves. Moments make a game, and too many of them didn’t go our way tonight; either by bounce of the ball or the Eels missing opportunities.

Man, I much prefer Post Game Grades when we win.

The X-Factor:
Gees, there were some interesting calls out there tonight, but to be fair to the men in the middle, games of that sort of intensity are difficult to keep a lid on.

It must have been an excellent spectacle for the neutral fan, but I dare say it felt like a horror movie for many frustrated Eels fans. The Eels missed a whopping 40 tackles tonight, many of which came as a result of a fatigue filled second half.

The MVP:


For mine, a pregame feed at Mr Chicken takes the MVP tonight.

I consider it Bankwest Stadium’s finest cuisine.


1- Clinton Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Clint Gutherson seemed constantly close to finding the right play, but like most Eels players, close enough just wasn’t good enough tonight. As usual, Gutho got through a mountain of work (15 runs, 171 metres and a ridiculous 6 tackle breaks), but credit to the Dogs for somehow still keeping him in check.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Although he recently relinquished the NRL try scoring lead, tonight’s performance means that Maika Sivo is now actually on top of the NRL “almost try” tally. Sivo’s 4 tackle breaks were impressive, and he whacked the hyphen out of Watene-Zelezniak in what I suspect will soon be dubbed the hit of the year. Nonetheless, he should have scored a couple more tries tonight.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Sporting a new haircut, Michael Jennings ran sideways a lot (13 runs for 72 metres).

4- Waqa Blake

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

Other than getting yelled at by Taka for not supporting as he should have, Waqa Blake was once again pretty great out there tonight. The Other Blake ran for 138 metres from his 15 carries, broke 1 tackle and was also credited with both of our linebreaks tonight.

5- Brad Takairangi

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Bradley has been playing very well in recent weeks, and that trend continued tonight with 15 runs for 134 metres, 4 tackle breaks and amazingly just one tackle.

6- Dylan Brown

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Dylan continues to punch away at his NRL career, currently balancing back pain and expectations with aplomb. Speaking of balance, I continue to wonder how well Dylan’s growing evolution into running NRL half will continue to mesh with Mitch’s possession thirsty dominant style; time will tell. Irrespective of future fit, the kid still looks the goods.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Although he had some moments, Mitchell Moses had a pretty rough first half; with blame probably equally shared between he and his edge runner Manu Ma’u. He deserves all the plaudits for when we win, but as a team we were frustrated out of our systems tonight, and Mitch probably needs to cop some of that on the chin. Some excellent cover defence should not be forgotten in the penalty try saga; I mean it was either that or just let the opposition score. No hard feelings from me, there.

8- Kane Evans

Prop, Parramatta Eels

I thought Kane was very effective in his first stint; finding his front and putting would be tacklers on their ass; but then he sorta went Bermuda Triangle on me and I never saw him again. Compared to the lofty standards of recent weeks, the 12 runs for only 96 metres is a little disappointing, too.

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

I thought the rib injury to the Little Terrier added the sour sauce to an already disappointing evening, but it turns out was able to run back out there in the second half. Speaking of which, the Eels attack once again stymied in that period either side of half time, when Reed and the starting props all have a breather, with Gutho at 9. Without an actual back up 9 in the 17, that time feels more like a BandAid solution that it does effective strategy. 

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

The man personally responsible for the closure of three Sizzler restaurants absolutely feasted on the Dogs tonight with 16 runs for 140 metres, 2 tackle breaks and 24 tackles.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

DWZ certainly played a big role, but that drop on the Dogs line with 5 to go was a kick in the teeth from Shaun Lane. Nonetheless, he contributed a stellar 154 metres from his 17 runs tonight, with an enormous 5 tackle breaks and 31 tackles to boot.

Do you like Shaun Lane?

He likes you back.

12- Manu Ma’u

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

In the opening parts of the game, Hull bound Manu Ma’u was playing like a Greek god, rolling his way around the field with a lightning bolt in one hand and a football in the other. The offload for our opening try was something to behold, but when you consider how he’s been playing in recent weeks, not entirely unexpected. However, from that point on Monster Mash dropped ball and missed a pretty straight forward assignment to charge through a hole close to the Dogs’ line, then continued his descent early in the second half to bring error total to 4. The 16 runs for 153 metres were great, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say those mistakes killed us.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Pregame coverage commented on Nathan Brown‘s 8-2 record, inferring his impact as “Parra’s lucky charm“. I love Cyborg as much as anyone, however luck had nothing to do with that hit he put on DWZ. It was worse than stupid, it was absolutely disgraceful.

I call this photo “If Bulldogs were weeks on the sideline

Photo credit – Gregg Porteous.

15- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

This week, old man David Gower ran 6 times for 77 metres, made 16 tackles.

This comment has been brought to you by Depend; for when you need David Gower dependability.

16- Daniel Alvaro

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

It must be said that our bench has struggled when the starting props went off. Tonight, Daniel Alvaro might have played the least memorable 24 minutes of Rugby League known to man.

17- Marata Niukore

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Aside from sunrise/sunset weekly consistency of a 7/10 from David Gower, Marata Niukore was once again the lone bright spot off the bench with 7 runs for 77 metres, 22 tackles and a tackle break.

18- Tepai Moeroa 

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Although he wasn’t poor tonight, Reed’s almost injury reminds me that Tepai Moeroa continues to take up a spot. Injury insurance is one thing, but for mine, 14 minutes of Tep simply isn’t worth keeping Jaeman Salmon or Stefano Utoikamanu out of the 17.

I have this awful feeling that we’ll be playing the Sharks in Week 1 of the Finals. Ugh.

Speaking of Sharks, remember that every time you watch an Eels game and don’t read Post Game Grades, Paul Gallen plays another game.


Next week it’s Suncorp and Seibold’s Broncos.

See you then, sports fans.


Go you Eels,


Photos courtesy of the Parramatta Eels. Stats courtesy of the legends over at Champion Data.

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I remember them saying Nrown was our lucky charm and knew we were fucked hahah. I thought he got injured early and looked pissed fighting through it for the rest of the game and if he was I wish he was subbed out or something. Suuuuuuper frustrating considering we were one player away from seeing us full strength. Hopefully it’s only two weeks but good luck with that. And again I have to CALL for MOEROA to be dropped we need some punch off our bench. All he does is tackle and poorly at that. Gower (love u), Alvaro and… Read more »

Big Derek

Grades pretty much spot on again. The disappointment is that the game showed up the teams weaknesses in dramatic fashion. The inability of the replacement props to make ground and influence the game is highlighted. The use of the bench is an issue, taking off the whole front row and no replacement 9 to add spark continues, seems substitutes are done by the minute not influenced by the flow of the game . Overall, the inability to counter a team that spoils, niggles and plays a controlled in your face style asks what is plan B. To some extent that… Read more »


Yes Derek, I think it was a wake up call as to any complacency we might have generated to take into what we need for next year. Mitch the “F” you gave NBrown is very appropriate but the lack of discipline in that one move was not the issue, it was apparent he was on a self destruct mission with the air swings he had leading up to that. I believe the lack of discipline cost us the game and potentially the next 3. I am assuming he will get 2 to 3 weeks, he is irreplaceable from a normal… Read more »


What a terrible performance.
Unfortunately I made my first trip to BankWest tonight to check out the new stadium and I really wish I didn’t bother. Not only did I see the worst Eels performance in months but Iv picked up what I strongly believe is a case of food poisoning from a double cheeseburger at the ground.


Those burgers sit around for a while mate hahaha


Not in my experience mate. I’ve been to every home game and have always seen the cooks struggling to keep up with demand.


The bench will cost us in a big game if stone is fit he needs to play next week in place Tepai.
As much as i lover Gower i think he can’t go on another year he was serviceable again but we need more from the bench.

Were getting predictable lately in attack its all focused on the right side alot of side to side put there

Longfin Eel

We may well need Stone to play in place of NBrown. Stupid stuff from him. Agreed that we aren’t getting the full use of our bench. How is Mannah playing in Wenty? Surely he would be hungry for a couple more games in NRL.

!0 Year Member

Hmmm, interesting game. I am not one to call out ref blunders, we must play the whistle, but geez, the 50/50 calls did not go our way tonight. Putting a foot out for the opposition to plant the ball on it is deem dangerous? cmon, seriously, there was no leading with the knees or kicking someone in the head. If that lost ball from Laneo was not crowding, I do not know what is. Ok, the doggies aimed up well and our halves could not build any pressure and we lost the game of field position as we could not… Read more »

Michael Formosa

I thought it was an ugly ugly game and the refs allowed them to make a mess of the ruck but no different to all other Bulldogs games this year so good luck to them.

The rev aka Snedden

I’d never ever say a good word about the Bulldogs nooooooo way.


What would Sivo’s grade be if he had planted those 2 bobbles? On both, the Dogs competed to force the errors. Sivo was brilliant under the high ball, you got the feeling a fumble on any of them would be a huge momentum turner. After our try, we just didn’t build any pressure, we were working the ball upfield OK but errors kept wasting the effort. The second half requires a 1000 word essay, had a bit of everything. We attacked their line a bit more, but when you analyse it, a lot of field position came from Dogs’ errors(followed… Read more »

Longfin Eel

There were a few things in particular that killed this game: 1. We lost all momentum when Mahoney went off and Gutho played dummy half. When is this going to stop? If Mahoney can’t play 80 min (I don’t blame him for that!), then we need a backup dummy half coming off the bench. You can’t take your fullback out of the attack and expect to win the big games! 2. Moses lost patience out there in attack and just put in the same kick every time near the try line. By the end he was switching across to D… Read more »


I think Reimis Smith knocked Sivo’s wrist when the ball was under control and about 1 foot from the ground. His hand slid down the side of the ball, losing downward pressure. His hand was actually still on the side of the ball when it touched the ground. Greg Hartley may have awarded it, but the bunker wasn’t having any of it.


Grades spot on I think Mitch. The ruck was a mess, Doggs were pushing and walking off the mark and hands all over the ball player…Doggs had numerous players rushing out of the line probably offside… Our defence was willing but let us down with 40 missed tackles and the numerous error count killed us. I think we bombed that game. Lane’s bustling run sublime then dropped the ball… ridiculous. Brown was trying to get the team fired up, but everyone knows the should charge is being stamped out….why did he do that.. The Last play of the game reminded… Read more »

Colin Good

When I picked up the Tele and seen the parra stories I thought this not good .


Mitch, again I have to raise the point of the mental toughness of our team, we had everything to play for last night, and we just didn’t turn up with a win at all cost attitude. Mitch I agree with the majority of your gradings, however I think if you are going to rank Moses with a C, Gutho has to be a C at best. I thought his performance last night was genuinely poor captains effort.

Colin Hussey

For me it was a frustrating game to watch and I walked away when the penalty try was scored as I saw we would not get another try to draw the game. It was in many ways old school as far as being a tough game, and had I been at the ground don’t know how I would have survived it at my age, I always thought we would win by a small margin, I think it was 5 but for me we squandered chances were robbed of at least one Sivo try so had some passes stuck we could… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Mitch, when that last try was scored, it really summed up for me that by that point we were offering nothing in attack, no matter where, to who the ball went to it was obvious that we would not score again. It saddens me when I was looking forward to the game and believed the eels would win, but by that time there were too many areas in our attack that was not working, in general terms though our defence was not too bad, while that would appear to be a contradiction the eels generally covered the attacking plays of… Read more »


Thanks for the grades. Thought you were a bit hard on Sivo. The man brings so very much to the side. Ok he should have planted the ball but most mere mortals wouldn’t have even been in those positions to begin with !
He’s a massive weapon for us and we probably wouldn’t be near the 8 without his input. His defence and positional play has improved so much this year.
He’s an A most weeks !

Colin Good

It is hard for Sivo to run extra metres Mitch when there is so much ball going right ,if he doesn’t go looking for the ball he would catch a cold standing out there .

The rev aka Snedden

Mitch tell me who plays fullback when Gutherson goes to hooker. Because when Gutherson goes to hooker his not directly behind the ball player his facing to his right n the dogs seen that n moved there players to there left his right side. Manu poor game. Nathan brown. Dumb dumb. But we all saw what his trying to do n that’s firing up the boy’s. Sivo should have been awarded a penalty try in the 61 minute. Tackled of the ball n in the air. Moeroa n Alvaro should never see the NRL side this yr. Bring in Stefano… Read more »

Big Derek

Rev, just seems there is a deci,soon not to play our younger players with a reliance on older heads. Looking around the competition most sides are running with at least one young forward off the bnch, BA doesn’t. With the split at Wenty like most I am not seeing reserve grade, but Oregan was always useful off then bench, his defence sometimes lets him down,but his carries and general work seemed useful. The bench does a job when in front, but adds nothing dynamic ( except Marata) when replacing Junior and Kane. Bit late to perhaps change line up, but… Read more »

Colin Hussey

BD, there’s an old saying “never too late to change” & in this case we also have to change. With Brown out, perfect time to bring Kafusi back into the top squad at 13, where’s been playing for some weeks at Wenty, there will be one other change with Fergo back which may save Taka to the bench, but we need Stone to come in to replace Mahoney as needed and the 13 if needed. No reason why we should not also put Stefano and Salesi on the bench, as those who were there against the dogs failed and Alvaro… Read more »


Rev I disagree with your point about Gutho indicating where he is going to pass the ball before he gets it. I just watched the game again and while he did on one occasion as you suggest he mostly looked both sides.

I do agree with your point about Sivo. Should have received a penalty try. He was tackled in the air while attempting to regather the ball. Good pickup.

Just one thing to add. Lachlan Lewis is officially a grub. Did he spend time at the Storm? He plays like he did.

Posted by John Eel


Hi guys, thought overall we stayed in the game. Some lack of composure at crucial times, some poor handling. We bombed 3-4 tries, score line could have been anything. Our game tempo management needs more tweaking I think. Browns reading his own press, to coin a phrase, trying to spark our team, great sentiment, dumb play tho. I think B.A is deliberately switching our attack to the other side coming into the finals, to eliminate Maika as our only threat, thus save him from being targeted, and being a 1 trick pony. This also gives us genuine threats all over… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

Rd 24 line up should be like this.
1# Gutherson
2# Sivo
3# Blake
4# Jenko
5# Ferguson
6# brown
7# Moses
8# junior
9# Mahoney all 80 minutes of him.
10# Kane
11# Mau
12# Lane
13# stone ) but Brad will go with Moeroa

14# marata
15# kaufusi
16# Gower
17# Stefano. But Brad Will Go with takarangi.
18th man salmon

It’s the future. It’s time we start giving these young guys a Fair crack at NRL.

John Eel

When I turned up to the game on Thursday I saw the last few minutes of the Jersey Flegg. The big number 16 immediately grabbed my attention. The only thing I saw him do was make a couple of tackles. He monstered the players, his “hit and stick” was brilliant. I think that his name was Etu Vava Lui

Anybody know anything about him. Think he played on the edge. Just a guess


Watching Gutho on Thursday night I thought he looked slow, broken and busted. Is it just me, or is he not carrying the ball back from kick returns with the same level of gusto that we have been used to. Its something I’ve really noticed the last few games but it was really noticeable on Thursday night? I am worried that Gutho might be running close to empty when we really need him to be firing! Geez I hope I’m wrong. I was also a bit confused with his actions when the “melee” was on with the NBrown incident. Not… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Jonboy, I think I have said in the past that there are aspects in his game that I would prefer to see him concentrate on and rather than being the ONE with the C next to his name, that someone else should ALSO have that role as in it being known. I have said NB would be the ideal but, after his latest episode I would withdraw that for now until he gets his head in the right position. What I believe is Gutho’s problem at the moment is him going to DH in order to give Mahoney a break,… Read more »


Apart from Niukore our bench was rubbish. No impact whatsoever. Alvaro, Gower and Tepai have had too many chances and continue to not deliver. Bring back Mannah and a couple of youngsters.

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