The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 24 at Brisbane

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 16

Brisbane Broncos 17


The Good:

Although far from ideal, people shouldn’t lose their minds over this loss. We scored more tries and came back from a 10 point deficit in hostile territory. We also had a pretty dubious forward pass call go against us (but that happens).

The Bad:
Another golden point loss?

In short, we took too many poor options, conceded too many penalties and had too many missed opportunities. Our play in the 10 minutes against a 12 man Broncos was particularly ordinary, as were many of our 5th tackle options. The Eels also became the latest team to sample the bitter taste of David Fifita.

The Eels also scored 3 tries to the Broncos 2; a statistic that usually means victory for the Blue & Gold. On every other night you would have thought Moses slots at least one of those sideline conversions, but it wasn’t to be tonight.

Other than our defence behind the ruck, what concerned me most was our middle 40 minutes. More than most games this season, tonight felt a lot like 2018; we had 4 or 5 individuals trying to win the game in that period, rather than a combined unit. Thankfully with a bit of possession we started to rumble through the Broncos’ middle in the later parts of the game, but our cool Winter heads seemed to have disappeared on the eve of Spring.

The X-Factor:
Like most people, I thought the forward pass call for Fergo’s no try was very harsh. We can’t expect refs to get everything right, and sometimes those calls hurt a little, other times they hurt a lot. Tonight was the latter.

Would you believe me if I told you the Broncos had 17 offloads to the Eels 4? In reality, that stat was actually reversed. Maybe those 4 offloads from the Broncos just stung a bit more.

For those who like to keep notes, both teams completed at 75%, with the Eels winning the metre advantage 2137 to 2026.

The MVP:


I thought Kane Evans was incredible, Blake Ferguson warmed into the game nicely and Manu Ma’u was outstanding in defence. But none reached the heights of everyone’s mid week tear jerker, Maika Sivo.

Remember when I predicted he wouldn’t make the Eels’ Round 1 starting 17? What an idiot.

You the MVP, Maika. You the MVP.

Please note that tonight’s MVP award is also awkwardly sponsored by Victoria Bitter.


1- Clinton Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Gutho was both crafty with the ball and terrific in attack, getting through 177 metres from his 17 runs, 2 offloads and 3 tackle breaks. On the other hand, I’d suggest he was caught out pretty badly on the Boyd try. If you’re inclined to get all refs faulty, Clint Gutherson was pretty well impeded on Isaako’s game winner, but thems the breaks.

*inserts incriminating screenshots nonetheless

Credit to Steve Zemek for the images above.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Maika Sivo’s running game was so destructive tonight Donald Trump has proposed firing it into the eye of approaching hurricanes. Magic Maika ran for an outstanding 225 metres from his 19 carries, made 2 offloads and had more linebreaks (2) than he had to make tackles (1). Not only did Maika and his Dad’s story make everyone tear up during the week, the big Fijian had a similar effect on the Broncos right edge, making his way through 5 tackle breaks, as well as touching down for yet another four pointer.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Jenko played pretty well, but he wasn’t as good as this tweet.

4- Waqa Blake

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

Waqa Blake was absolutely invisible in the first half, and until he put a timely chip kick in with 10 to go, his greatest impact on the game was running decoys for the understrength Blake Ferguson. I would have thought his 4 tackle breaks leads to more than 91 running metres, and the 4 missed tackles isn’t ideal from our newest recruit. I want to love him, I really do.

5- Blake Ferguson

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

I, for one, am thankful that Blake Ferguson returned to the Blue & Gold tonight.

He’s not back to his rampaging self, looking decidedly underweight; but his athleticism and stubborn distaste for losing were very welcome additions to a side missing Nathan Brown. I could talk to you about his 146 running metres, his linebreak or his 3 tackle breaks, but really all I want to do is slip into my PJs and watch an endless loop of Fergo’s gravity defying four pointer.

6- Dylan Brown

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Quietly, I thought Dylan Brown was pretty great in an understated way tonight. Playing a complimentary role to Mr Moses, Dylan probed the Broncos with darting runs and his willingness to dig into the defensive line; the latter leading to our first try. It’s becoming clearer that we need to find a way to balance both Mitch’s brilliance as the dominant playmaker with the team’s need to have two legitimate options in the halves.

PS – How about that hit from Kotoni Staggs? Holy moly. If Dylan Brown were a jam donut, there would be jam everywhere.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

We can’t really give him any credit for our 3 tries tonight, and he missed 2 of our 3 shots at goal. Even though neither of those are mistakes or blunders in the traditional sense, there also wasn’t really much to love about Mitch’s game, either. His kicking game was nice, I guess.

8- Kane Evans

Prop, Parramatta Eels

In some ways Kane Evans’ form is becoming so consistent it’s easy to forget just how unreliable an option he was at the beginning of this year. Despite the loss, there’s a great deal to like about Kandy’s 154 running metres, 3 offload, 3 tackle break and 25 tackle stat line.

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

If you read the papers this week, you’ll know Dad will not be happy with the loss. I enjoyed the 6 darts and 2 tackle breaks, and the ever expected tackle haul (46) was once again impressive. I prefer he made those 4 missed tackles, though.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

The World’s Widest Athlete displayed a pretty solid running game at Suncorp, getting through 14 carries for 119 metres and 3 tackle breaks. But it was his pass that set up Fergo’s aforementioned acrobatics that really put the shine on Paulo’s performance. The 28 tackles in the middle are great, but not unlike Reed, however, the 4 missed tackles would have been better left in the sheds; highlighting once again our inability to consistently defend opposition darts behind the ruck.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

I heard people bagging Shaun Lane tonight, and as a result I’ve decided I don’t understand this world anymore and am now moving into a commune. It was like Lanky Lane was on work experience tonight, at one point running down the left wing, at another he was kicking for touch. More traditionally, Lane’s 14 carries for 156 metres was only second to Sivo in bang for your effective buck. Unlike Sivo, Shaun was also asked to get through a mountain of defence, making 35 tackles. Good stuff, Laney.

12- Manu Ma’u

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

After a horror showing last week against the Dogs, Manu Ma’u was outstanding tonight; particularly in defence, an area he isn’t necessarily considered Mr Consistent. The Hull FC bound Monster Mash had 12 runs for 101 metres, 3 offloads, 1 tackle break and a massive 41 tackles of his own. In one of the universe’s greater mysteries, Manu recently placed second in a local Scone Bake Off competition. If anyone has seen Doreen, the little old lady who placed in 1st, please contact the authorities. 

16- Daniel Alvaro

Lock, Parramatta Eels

It was a little bit of a Polar renaissance tonight, as Daniel Alvaro chalked up triple figure running metres (101) from only 9 carries. He also snuck away 2 more offloads. You can also set your watch to him wracking up more than 20 tackles (21) and going off for a HIA inside the first 6 minutes.

13- Marata Niukore

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Put in the starting lineup, then taken out, then effectively thrust back in after Polar’s early HIA, Marata Niukore was pretty effective for the times he wasn’t down injured. Whether it was his face, a knock to the back of his head or a sore leg, Crash was in the wars tonight. Thankfully he also managed to fire off a couple of salvos himself, running for 101 metres and making 30 tackles in the middle. He’s still young, but he remains a worthwhile investment.

14- Peni Terepo

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Just the 15 minutes, then? This week was evidently Peni Terepo’s turn to play the role of “wasted bench spot” vacated by resident specialist, Tepai Moeroa. And no, I do not have an explanation for why Stefano has not had an opportunity yet.

16- David Gower

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

The last time we played Brisbane, David Gower was out of this world. Tonight, he was very much in and of the world. His 5 runs for 38 metres weren’t great, but it was the miss on David Fifita for the Broncos opening try that really took the wind out of his sails.

17- Brad Takairangi 

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

I can’t remember saying this once in 2018, but I really would have liked more of Brad Takairangi tonight.

Before I leave you, I’d like to take you through the full gamut of Eels fan responses to tonight’s loss.

Like a barometer of optimism, see if you can find yourself somewhere in this reserve of reflection. Tonight’s game had every type of reaction. We had the statistically considered:

the cautious optimist:

and the future focused:

There was refs’ faulting:

the frustrated realist:

and, of course, the “I blame BA for all the losses” response:

What a wild ride. The Blue & Gold army are a diverse bunch; where do you sit on said spectrum after the loss?


As an aside, you should be going for the Raiders on Sunday. If they manage to win, the Eels are guaranteed a home final.

Regardless, next week we’re back to Bankwest for the season finale against the Sea Eagles.

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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69 thoughts on “Post Game Grades – Round 24 at Brisbane

  1. Seth hardie

    Good on the Broncos coach for having vision and belief in his young forwards. Sadly, our young guns are consigned to watching from Ringrose..

  2. Paul

    Solid grades Mitch. I think you were a little hard on Kane. He was my MOtM last night. His aggression in defence and consistent post contact metres was huge for us and putting him back on just before half time probably saved us from being behind even more.

    Im going to send my criticism about the game down a different route than many others. I think our team selections hurt us as much as any factor last night. Peni Terepo and Dan Alvaro have been close to useless this whole year and somehow keep getting picked. That alongside the fading form of The Good Doctor really put us in a bad position as our middle was buggered by the end of the game causing the missed tackles on Fifita. Many of us are in agreeance that the young forwards should have been tested months ago but BA has continually picked players that have no impact on the game or are not with us next year (Tepai).

    Very frustrated in this area but happy that our middle held its own against one of the best forward packs in the comp (when we had our best middle on). Anyway, on to Manly

  3. Big Derek

    It’s hard after a loss to be balanced, but it shows how difficult it is to build a challenging roster when the team finishes motherless last after a disastrous season. The fall behind the top 13 is a concern and needs to be ONeil’s focus .

    Generous ratings for Gower and Terepo who were pretty toothless when they came on, that was reflected in how quickly Evans returned to the field and they headed off.

    The game was a roller coaster much like the whole season, the promise for the future is tantalising. A few astute signings and the promotion of younger forwards could be what is needed to awake the sleeping giant.

    A Critiscism is the preference for experience old head forwards over opportunities for younger , bigger players. Gower looked small out there for instance, hope the coach moves to utilise young guns, with the lack of reserve grade playing ahead of NRL we just don’t see the potential of our development players.

    1. Colin Hussey

      BD, its sad for me to see a player like Gowie who was so good as a replacement a few short weeks back to be shown up as bad as he was last night on at least 3 occassions, with the one by Fifita being the most notable, but he was not Robinson Crusoe there, perhaps Man Friday is more apt. I sincerelly hope he retires at years end as his original intentions were and not play again, for 2 reasons. 1: Don’t want his good reputation dragged down. 2: Had been offered a job with the eels as a mentor which he should still take on, he is a vg clubman.

      Picking at least two of the younger brigade in the forwards will give energy to the side along with providing them with confidence for their futures, especially when they see other clubs bringing up young players and sticking with them, but not the eels. Someone like Stefano would be an ideal for a stint to replace Jnr for his break and run with Evans who could help him in his workload.

      1. TolEelts

        Agree with you. Stefano was already ‘dealing’ with Fifita in SOO so he won’t be intimidated with him. Playing Terepo for just 15 minutes is a waste of bench space. It should be given to our young players hopefully in the last game since I reckon/hope even if we lose it will not harm our ladder position.

  4. Dave

    I thought you were a bit harsh on jnr, but I suppose the 4 missed tackles dropped his rating. I enjoy checking out your grades because after reading what the supporters say on the eels Facebook group I wonder if I watch the same game. I would of dropped fergo down to a B- even though he didn’t have a bad game after 6 weeks off he bombed a couple and looked a bit gun shy in the 1st half. All in all I didn’t think it was that much doom and gloom in their performance a couple of dud calls cost us and we made them look better than us. Neither team looked like finals team but I must say when we started coming back that parra chant was louder than the broncos one

    1. Anonymous

      Agree Hinto, Mahoney rating is harsh. Strong game from him mixing dummy half runs, a close 40/20 attempt, good service and 46 tackles (96% tackle efficiency) surely rates him well above the pedestrian efforts of Taka, Danny and even Waqa.
      Another game that got away but happy to see the Eels come back to 16 all, it’s to be hoped that the lessons from the past 2 games will assist in closing out games from here on.

      1. mitch Post author

        I often amend Grades based on comments from the punters, but not often for comments like Hinto’s. Besides, it’s not like this is gospel or anything, it’s just for fun.

        1. Poppa

          Don’t worry Mitch, you have been trained well and nothing on here would rate about a grading issue in comparison to what you have seen. LOL

  5. Colin Hussey

    A very frustrating game for me, on reflection we shoulda/coulda won with one extra goal being successful, 3 tries to 2 and we lose.

    For me Evans had his best game I have ever watched, he made impact from the start and on his second stint as well, unless we get some different bench forwards, Evans needs to be on the paddock for longer minutes, even 5 extra each half would make a difference.

    Mitch, your ratings are pretty much spot on, and the two players with a D against their names, should have the following letters put against their names for next week D-ROPPED. While Alvaro was slightly better last night, I would be interested in hearing how Tim goes at Wenty this weekend and of he goes ok should be picked for a swansong presentation game at Cumberland next Week.

    We need to replace our two D’s and have at least one new player in Stefano on the bench, other teams can play rookies in the forwards but not the eels it seems. I would also like to see Kafusi given another shot or Stone as utilitly in place of Taka.

    So near, but so far is hard. If we are to progress, we really need that home finals game, along with some new tactics as well as sideline rockets for some players to avoid.

  6. Anonymous

    You could argue that our bench cost us that game. I have no doubt that we have over achived this year and this last 2 weeks plus next weeks loss will confirm that being in the 8 is an achievement. Untill we fix our things we arnt going to go further.

    Im on record of not being a BA fan but ive given credit for the season but his use of the bench and insistence on playing players who have let him down before Alvaro,morea etc..
    I dare say if Hass and Fifita were at parra they’d still be playing for wenty.

    1. Rowdy

      Dear Anniemous, yes I get it wrong sometimes too! But it is really only a forum of ideas and opinions, so here goes mate. “I also give you credit for being able to give BA credit for this years’ turnaround season” And yes making the 8 is a quite incredible achievement when you consider the disaster which was 2018.
      Then on the matter of our bench, although I don’t disagree with the fact both Alvaro and Tepai have let BA and us fans down from time to time this season there is a memory of both of those men playing hugely positive roles in our pack earlier this season. Ironically both of these men’s demise coincided with serious head knocks and in Tep’s case numerous heavy head knocks.
      On the point of Hass and Fifita playing for Wenty, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and call it “Tongue in Cheek”. If they were at our club we would probably win the comp this year instead of waiting until our young blokes come through to join the core group. Once again, thanks for the bait Anon.

      1. The rev aka Snedden

        Rowdy this is the reason why our young up n comers leave us n turn into something more. It’s because they are givin a great opportunity elsewhere to play 1st grade.

        At Parra they are waiting for a shot to prove themselves to the coach. But that can’t because he won’t give them a call up. I’m really worried about our future players I really am.

        1. Glenn

          Agree 100%. Been saying for weeks for Stefano to be promoted but BA keeps sticking with failures, and it’ll eventually cost him his job. What point is BA trying to prove? If he keeps picking them eventually they may prove to be successful, and he’ll keep doing it until they do. ‘There that proves that I was right all along,’ says BA.

  7. Michael Formosa

    Pretty spot on with the grades, I would have given Paulo a bit more credit, I thought he was great in both attack and defence. I thought the team did quite well tonight but just had to be a little smarter and they could have won well. If you look at every one of Sivo runs you would have noticed Isaako wanted nothing to do with him! He didn’t even attempt to tackle him! So why we didn’t go to Sivo when we were in the attacking zone is just dumb football. I think this fell on Dylan tonight.

    1. Jeronimo

      We tried but they kept successfully snuffing out the raids by jamming in on Brown. Our left side was a half second off in attack almost all night and it cost us dearly

  8. Rowdy

    Good read Mitch.
    It’s not easy to put a positive spin on a loss, eh? You have been very skillful in expressing what actually transpired on Suncorp last night. It should inspire some evocative responses.

  9. Shelley

    Kane and Junior are in fantastic form and while it is fantastic it also highlights how far behind them Alvaro and Terepo are. If we are only going to play 1-2 forwards each week for 20 minutes or less why not make it a young guy who will benefit from the experience and bring energy.
    I support BA but he is not above criticism. His bench make up and rotation has been highly confusing for the last 7-8 weeks.

    1. Sam

      Wholeheartedly agree here, i would really struggle to see how Mannah or Kaufusi or even Big Stef could do any worse than how Peni & Tep have gone the last few weeks.

      It Feels like Alvaro May be turning a corner, but without Brown to lock down the middle – we can’t carry Alvaro/Gower/Terepo.

      I’d give Mannah/Oregon another opportunity if they are playing any good in Wenty.

      And Stone should come in for Takairangi – who wasn’t bad by any means, but is not of any use in the forwards either really.

      Love BA to bits but really struggling to understand his Paul Green-esque bench useage lately.

    2. Anonymous

      If guarantee success against the dogs if we just played Stefano and Kaufusi. Can’t believe we didn’t test them out against the titans and nights to see if they should be there.

    3. Rowdy

      Hi Shelley, I can see there is a lot of support for your comments on the bench, but I am of the old school as BA appears to be and that is you don’t just play yourself into the top team? The incumbents have to play themselves out of it. I am also aware that there are a group of bench forwards that number more than the 4 selected this week (add Mannah, Tepai, Kaufusi, Stone and of course Nathan Brown all having played NRL this season) so there are 8 potential suspects to draw from before we give Utoikamanu his debut and then there is Kaufusi who has not come up to expectations this year. There is also a rotation in respect to order of merit when it comes to playing oneself “off” that team of 17 if one gets into it?
      So there are other elements to the equation including. How long does a player (who’s been out injured or suspended or a combination of both like Peni) have to regain his match fitness, confidence and or timing? Is he psychologically able to cope with being shunned if having been given an opportunity after a pep-talk and assignment comes up short? Timing is critical when introducing a young forward into that arena because all the simulated bashing’s from your teammates in a contact session at training will not prepare most aspirants for full scale war against a battle hardened enemy, no matter how good they are.

      1. Longfin Eel

        The trouble with Terepo is that he has not been up to standard all year. Regardless of whether he is/was injured, he has in the past cost us games with his poor discipline. I made a comment before the game that we needed Junior and Evans to play bigger minutes to account for the drop off when the bench came on and from what I could see, this was the case.

        I think there are many here who don’t feel that Terepo is up to standard, and you can thrown in Tepai and maybe even Gower into that. This is the NRL and we need to select the players who will give us the best chance at victory. It was good that Mahoney was able to play 80 minutes and that solved another problem with lack of dummy half cover. We have one more game to get the bench right and if we don’t get it right we have very little chance in our finals game.

  10. Anonymous

    At this point I’m wondering what Gower offers that Timmy doesn’t. And Terepo over Stefano. Mannah will most likely make a lot of tackles and metres off our bench when Gower showed he can’t do either. Terepo is just… a slouch like is his defence that good or something? Lol. Stefano has glowing reviews from wenty and I’d put my money on the fact whatever Peni does Stefano can do too. Personally mid drop Taka and make my bench 14. Niukore, 15. Alvaro, 16. Stefano, 17. Mannah. BA you have one game to get that bench right. Move quick!

    1. The rev aka Snedden

      Your bench is still weak. Manu mua had to come on the bench alongside kaufusi n stefanu n salmon. Marata niukore for mine takes Manu’s starting spot.
      Bench will be
      14# salmon
      15# Manu
      16# kaufusi
      17# Stefano

  11. BDon

    Mitch, I thought WBlake had a quiet first half because we really didn’t attack their line much, we spent a lot of time working upfield but errors and poor 5th tackle plays denied us any dominance. He had a good 2nd half, put Fergo away(but dropped it), was an inch from grabbing his own kick and earned a repeat,and forced that key late error.Maybe a B double minus.

    Some key moments..Fergo looked like he got the jumpers confused in Boyd’s try, he just didn’t react til too late. The offload to Boyd leading to Fifita’s try, our middle/edge were resetting for next ruck, yeah, i mean not looking or thinking. Gower on Fifita needed to be nuclear, it wasn’t. Gutho’s pass even had the boomerang shape(back then forward), when they’re direct/straight call them forward, no argument, really poor call. Why did Lane just watch Segeyaro on the deck? I think he even put his hands up like ‘is he tackled?’ No big fella, he’s alive still. Had the refs called him out of it, Segeyaro had run more than 10 mtrs?..who knows? Marata’s crusher, he actually changed his torso/head position to not crush, then Sivo copped a glancing actual crush but hey, he’s got a big neck, no probs.We dropped the ball 3 times from Broncs rushing defence. Did I see Taka with a 2 on 1 outside him and he tucked it under his arm?
    And the one you’ve highlighted,Boyd and Lodge standing offside next to the play the ball and moving into Gutho’s path. If you watch, Reed from the defensive line gets to 2 metres from Isako, Gutho definitely would have gotten closer. Is that in the rules?

    Just wasn’t our night, both teams had claims on victory, we battled pretty well overall, we need to quickly develop a mindset around energy, patience and second effort. It’s developing.

  12. Darryl West

    Spot on about Gutho and the two linebackers that the Broncos employed for their golden point drop goal attempt. A penalty to the Eels, a reasonable kick for touch. Three or four strong runs and Parra is 20 metres out and it’s our game.Footy van be cruel at times. Then again, if we had Dick Thornett, he would have kicked a field goal from the sideline on halfway, like he did three times in one game at Cumberland. Sweet memories.

    1. Rowdy

      I was ther for one of those field goals from Moby Dick against Balmain, I think I saw him do similar against Souths also. he was incredible.

  13. Michael Formosa

    I liked also you menchaning Clint Gutherson obstruction but can you do like stuff with Blake Fergo forward pass no try can look how BACK IT WAS!!!!.

  14. pete

    Good grades Mitch.
    Evans and Paulo were were awesome. Our halves have been lacking in recent weeks. To many crucial errors and missed tackles. Gower’s right arm is obviously only hanging on by the Elastoplast tape holding it together. Hence, his crucial miss tackle on the try line on Fifita.
    If Moses had his kicking boots on we would have won.
    Fergo should have had 2 tries. One was obviously denied for the home fans.
    There were a few suspect penalties to give Broncos momentum and take ours away. Awarding Gutho a fake 1M out pushing penalty instead of the 7 tackle set that actually was due. Sending McCullough to the bin for a leg pull was done to waste time when we probably would have scored from the next play. Then the last play Darius pushing Gutho and then Lodge changing his line to block Gutho should have been a penalty and a professional foul…. But Specsavers are no longer sponsoring the refs.
    It was a great game, always going to be a home ground stitch up, but I feel we should have bagged it.

    1. mitch Post author

      Yeah pundits will probably say we were due for the Warriors game, but there were some 50/50 moments that just didn’t go our way tonight. We’re not in that top echelon of teams yet that will win regardless. That should be the goal; that when the whistle doesn’t go your way, you find a way to win regardless. Work in progress, but at least it’s better than 2018.

      1. Longfin Eel

        I thought as captain Gutho was a bit more controlled in this game, but he still blew up on a few occasions. He is the captain and needs to keep the team calm and to play to their game plan. Refereeing decisions will inevitably go against you, but you need to just put it behind you and look towards the things that you can control.

  15. Terry

    Plenty of young tough forwards playing in Wenty, but yet again BA chooses not to pick em. If Peni is only going to play 15 mins then why not put a up and coming forward on the bench to play that role?

    Gower has had it for this year.

    Mannah > Alvaro
    Peni > Gower
    And any young forward on the bench

    Must win game next one, pull your head out of your backside BA and stop being stubborn.

  16. Steeleel

    I find it hard to be critical of our performance. We got a home town rub of the green. Some of Klein’s rulings were quite puzzling, to say the least.

    1. mitch Post author

      Yeah, I thought we were alright, and to be fair on Klein in some respects – he doesn’t have much of a choice when the linesman calls it forward.

      1. Rowdy

        I watched Klein closely last night to see if he would continue his improved perception of Parraamatta as a law abiding footy team which he has done more often than not this season. Once again I thought he was very fair when adjudicating on our performance. As you mentioned Mitch it was the bloke on the sideline with the eyes painted on that called the incorrect forward pass and I also noticed the same fella allow a questionable call against the Broncos go thru to the keeper. The other referee stuck his threepence worth in a couple of times to ping us on a 50/50 calls.

        On the strength of that and this season’s performances I’ll take Ashley all day long for the remainder of the year.

  17. Anonymous

    I am so confused by our bench selections. Alvaro, Terepo, Gower and Meroa have offered nothing for some time now. Ours starting forwards are going great but once we go to the bench we go backwards.

    I think BA owes it to the fans to pick the best possible squad to try and win and continually picking these four when there are better options available is stupidity at it’s highest and an insult to fans who want to see the team do it’s best.

    Mannah, Stefano and maybe Kafusi should all be given a chance this weekend. We have seen enough from this lacklustre bench to know what they offer.

  18. The rev aka Snedden

    Good read Mitch. Sorry if I upset ppl but I I’m going to come out n say it. Our bench except marata niukore is killing us.

    When Kane the big Red machine Evans comes off n junior Paulo we lack impact.

    Having watched the Game Taka n Gower n peni gave us nothing no impact what’s so ever.
    Isn’t it the Bench players job to come on n give us that impact 🤔 ?

    I didn’t see the point in swapping Daniel Alvaro n marata niukore.

    I was thinking after seeing that that maybe Brad Arthur was looking at adding size to a already large pack of forward’s to stem the tide from the Brisbane pack.

    Was it me or what but did anyone else noticed that the player’s weren’t running onto the ball in attack . They were standing flat in attack.

    Sorry Mitch n guys n girls from TCT but I’m going to criticize a few players.

    1. Daniel Alvaro please what’s he doing playing in the NRL side. He gives us nothing in attack or defence. His slow at getting off the tackled player’s n slow around the ruck.

    2. Dylan Brown please Brad Arthur bring him back into grade Next year. Yes he played ok last night whoopy doo. 1 in every 5 he gives his all. His running game was gone his passing Game is missing. Bring back salmon.

    3. Mitch Moses. He looks tired in attack his game has dropped off the last 2 week’s. It’s time he changed his plan of attack. Stop kicking on the 3rd tackles ( yes I understand why he did that it’s because he had to turn around the Brisbane Broncos big pack ).

    4. Reed Mahoney. I love this kid but for Christ sakes Start running from dummy half more. His game is like watching Matt Keating all over again. Tackles all Day that’s good but there’s no attacking from dummy half. Maybe we should have tried harder at getting api from Manly.

    With that all said and done I Think we have a awesome backline most coach’s would love our backline.
    Our starting props are playing well.

    Coach’s corner Time.
    Brad Arthur please I’m begging you stop putting Gutherson at hooker for 20 minutes that n resting Mahoney. Last night you didn’t n see what happens we almost won.
    Can you also explain why we have stopped going to sivos side of the field ?

    If we saw how easy he scored then why didn’t we continue to attack down that side of The field. 🤔

    Also please explain why kaufusi n stefanu n salmon have not received a call up. They would offer more of the bench then this mob except marata niukore.
    It’s time to look to the future.

    These player’s after 2 more yrs should be told it’s 1 more yr if not then you can look elsewhere. Your Times up.
    Player’s like
    Jennings X2

    Enough is enough. Parry should be in the centre’s Next year. Love your time at the club Jenko but goodbye.
    Takarangi his only playing well because his off contract once he signs he plays crap .

    Signing anyone.
    RCG is a must
    Fafita is a must but not for 1 million dollars a year.
    Should we chase Dany Levi that I don’t know but Mahoney needs help.

    Look forward to hearing the Manly vs Eels game as I will be at work so I’ll listen to the game via triple M.
    Special mention to Kane Evans outstanding Game son stand up n be proud of your self. Keep it up

  19. Trouser Eel

    Great read as always Mitch.
    As it seems nobody else has actually responded to your invitation, I thought I would. Specifically, I’m a “future focused” fan.
    I think we have shown enough over the course of this year that we have a good spine and improving forwards with some up and coming forwards yet to reach their peak.
    Injury and suspension has been kind to us this year (unlike last year) so I think our current performance and position on the table fairly reflects where we are. Another year like this one with some improvement in our cattle will leave us as real contenders.

  20. DDay

    Grades are fair I think with Sivo and Evans deserving their As. Good team effort, the forwards are working together and competed like for like with an impressive and aggressive young pack. Lovely try assist pass from Jr and brilliant skills from Fergo. The C grade for Mahoney is arguably tough, his service from dummy half and defence was excellent. The backs are defensively solid (Mennings & Fergo help with composure) and the backs are a constant threat though the attack is just out by a smidge, maybe next week it clicks.

    BA acknowledged that the Eels lost momentum in the middle 40 mins so arguably agrees with the observation of others on this blog about the lack of impact from the bench. But looking at the stats from Wenty V Rabbits, the young Wenty forwards aren’t demanding NRL selection; Mannah 184m (39tackles), Davey 81m (35), Stone 79m (36) then Ukoikamanu with 67m (27)… I’d like to see Mannah given a homeground NRL swansong and for Stone to replace Taka. Look forward to the Manly game.

  21. Milo

    Its hard to add anything more than what has been mentioned. For me game management at times needs to be better; and our first half defence at times was not good. Been similar for a good part of the yr.
    I am of the same opinion as many here and cannot work out why our bench and some other players are picked to play minimal time; I have not watched wenty and often wonder why we persist with some players who imo are not making any impact.
    We have done well this season, but should have won the last two matches. For me its the forwards who at times lack impetus in attack and our work on defence needs some attention for 2020.
    Utility bench back up too needs a look, but this has been mentioned before.

        1. Rowdy

          Do you ever go and watch the Wenty games aka The r S? If you want people to take you seriously? Either support your opinions with stats, facts or personal attendance observations rev. You don’t have to be right just have a bit of substance to support your opinion mate.

          1. The rev aka Snedden

            I Only watch the Games on TV. So rowdy what didn’t you like about my response to the rating ?

      1. Rowdy

        Yeah Spencer, I do and so does DDay in his stats above. Oregan is NOT playing up to the standard that got him a debut last year, his lack of even being mentioned in DDays stats above speak for themselves. Stephano has NOT done anything to make him standout in Wenty games as his stats in DDay post above confirm. I also attended the game specifically to watch our young forwards and would like to see Mannah given a well deserved farewell game at Bankwest as he has earned through hard work and a great attitude. Stone has been out too long and Taka played well off the bench.

  22. !0 Year Member

    Gotta love Parra supporters, we come 6th this year, from last place and play in two cracking games the last fortnight and all of a sudden the coach has got it wrong with the bench. This is so funny its comical. I also bet that NOT one of those keyboard warriors is a paid up member. Have an opinion, sure, but having one for the sake of it is just plain stupid. I myself am looking forward to attending the next two weeks of games and hopefully there may be some more this year. No matter what, I am super proud of our team this year and the effort we have put in (the Storm game being the only real clanger). If we can play like we have the last two weeks each and every week, we will win more than we lose, thus making us a top team going forward for hopefully the next decade, with a few premierships along the way.

    1. Milo

      Sorry to interrupt your comment 10 yr member; I’ve actually been a member since 2002. A few people have mentioned the bench for a while now so its not unusual.
      I think we are all proud of the team and all want them to perform consistently each week. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion whether you are a member or not.

      1. Seth hardie

        Just seen a replay of Boyd and Lodge blocking King Gutho on their winning field goal, an absolute disgrace.That seriously should be accountable.

        1. BDon

          Yep, Gutho didn’t go early so he’s playing to the rules. Boyd and Lodge are there as a wall, the refs seem to allow this on the basis of slow to clear the ruck but the second Boyd moves to impede Gutho he is both offside and obstructing, and a professional foul. I saw Gutho collide then fall, but like the refs wasn’t sure what happened. When you see the replay, it’s blatant. But that’s football.
          Boyd put an escort on Josh Dugan, with his arms around him like a tackle, in SOO. Matt Checcin didn’t blow a penalty to NSW in that half where Hayne also copped a similar one. Dugan and Hayne were chronic ref sledgers. The zilch penalties for 40 minutes gassed NSW (Qld got 4), they lost the game, the series and Laurie Daley resigned. So Darius really has got form.

          1. Seth hardie

            Well BDon if that happens in a semi and the Eels are knocked out I hope your as stoic then.Not one official on field or in the bunker thought that was obstruction.If those howlers are not questioned and punished the game is stuffed.

          2. The rev aka Snedden

            You really don’t like anything I say do you rowdy. I’ve noticed that about you but that’s ok. You have your opinion as I have mine there like assholes everyone has 1

    2. MattL

      We have improved so much this year & that is why it’s so frustrating that something within our control (bench rotation) is so obviously letting us down.
      It possibly wins us a close game like this – a game that would have been impossible to win last year.
      Also, I really feel like a jam donut for some reason…

    3. Longfin Eel

      I think BA doesn’t really have much choice with the bench. With so many middle forwards out of form, that creates some problems. What we need is for these bench players to lift to match the intensity of Evans and Paulo. Next week is a trial game for the finals and that is how we should be taking this.

  23. Parramatta Tragic

    Fair grades Mitch. Like most , I question the bench but let’s wait and see what the bench is against Manly and then the first semi final. I suspect the semi will see us playing like a different team with more options taken. The field goal blocking is easily fixed. The refs are almost compelled to send most tries up to the bunker for review. With something so important as a match winning field goal, every winning field goal should also be sent to the bunker for review. Not difficult. KFC would also be grateful.

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