The Cumberland Throw

Instant Reaction – Eels Sign Ryan Matterson


Weeks of speculation came to an abrupt close at 8:30PM this evening as the Parramatta Eels’ issued a late night statement confirming the acquisition of backrower Ryan Matterson on a three year deal.

The Eels had been vocal in their desire to bolster their forward pack with a strike backrower after signing Reagan Campbell-Gillard to shore up their prop rotation and were linked to the likes of David Fifita and Tyson Frizell along side Matterson. While any of the three players would have been a blockbuster addition to the Eels, Ryan Matterson always represented a tantalising balance of talent, value and experience among the trio.

Matterson, who joined Clinton Gutherson on the cusp on selection for the NSW Blues in 2019, brings something unique to Parramatta with his intoxicating blend of freakish athleticism and play-making from the backrow. With 84 games and a NRL premiership to his name, Matterson also brings vital big game experience to a team looking to make a deep push into the 2020 post-season.

There is no doubt the Parramatta Eels now field their most talented and well-rounded top seventeen in a long, long, LONG time. With that said, how do you all feel about the signing? Is Ryan Matterson the catalyst for the Eels to ascend to  the level of the perennial premiership heavy weights like the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm?

I can tell you one bloke that is excited by this addition!



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Superb result for me. He has matured as a player and i hope he can be with us for a while. Well done BA and co. RCG too is also a good get imo.
More back up to come? Centre? Dummy half and or second rower?
I think a back up hooker unless Stone does this.
Matterson players before the line; hits the hole well and can create chances for the outside backs early……bring it on 2020.
Can someone pls let Tony Bongo know…..?

The rev aka Snedden

FFS stone is not a Dummy Half his more backrower or lock. N Alvaro wouldn’t be in my starting 17 no way. I’d bring in big Oregon kaufusi b4 I’d put Alvaro in my top 17.


Rev settle bud I never said I agree with Stone being DH bud; and I am not sure I mentioned Alvaro but as you mentioned him he would possibly be called up before Oregon unless the offseason brings changes..

The rev aka Snedden

Wasn’t directed at you Milo I just keep hearing how he stone can be a backup hooker. It drive’s me mad is all. Sorry didn’t mean to upset you just wasn’t directed at you Milo.

John Eel

I think someone like Stone is the right fit to give Mahoney a break in the middle of the game. After Mahoney comes back on Stone can be used on an Edge or at lock.

If you are looking for someone to replace Mahoney if out injured for a game or two, Stone is probably not your man

The other interesting aspect about our pack in 2020 is that from memory RCG played big minutes last year. How does that effect our Middle rotation considering Niukore can play Edge and Middle?

Colin Hussey

I am very pleased with this signing, he is a great replacement for Manu Ma’u and adds a bit more than Manu’s abilities to the side. Matto is a vg defender, but his offloads are excellent,, the right side will be more lethal with him there, with his signing, it really adds icing to the forwards which will be better than this last season, I believe with the other addition in RCG we have a strong side, they just have to put all together. Come on season 2020

In saying all that, we should not put over expectations on him.


Fantastic signing, as a long time tragic I can safely say this is one of the best teams we have put together in a very long time, strong all over the park with a good mix of youthful enthusiasm and hardened veterans with big game experience. Rising stars in Moses, DBrown, Reed, Sivo, Lane and now Matto combining with our seasoned players like Gutho, NBrown, Fergo, Jennings is a very promising prospect. I love that we have attracted both rep players and players on the cusp of starting their representative careers. I feel the club is very smart securing Gutho… Read more »


A very good acquisition and complements the side with a player with similar attributes to Ma’u. He in himself doesn’t strengthen the side greatly but the addition of RCG along with a off-season dedicated to improving our defence fills me with optimism for next year.


Thanks for brief 40/twenty. Initially, I liked the idea of pursuing Iron Mike more than David Fifita or Ryan Matterson. Then it became clearer that we are a team that needed to be added to just as scripture explains God’s Way of growth. “Measure upon measure, line upon line, bit by bit”! Therefore we didn’t need DF to build our future around or Tyson Frizell to bring a devastating ball runner to our right edge by spending more than was necessary? What we needed was another good footy player who wants to be at this club. Someone who brings an… Read more »

Jimmy Corbo

Does this put us in a “Premiership window” , if not what else is missing? One more year of experience for Dyl Brown, Mahoney and the younger brigade?

Great signing.

John Eel

Blake Ferguson and Michael Jennings are probably at the peak of their powers and football development.

The rest of the team are still young and have the potential for plenty of organic growth. They are still developing their footy IQ and it will be interesting to see how we keep this talented crew together

Go the Eels

John Eel

Forty great piece. I like your comment about having our best 17 since who knows when. I feel the same way about where we are at. I like the way that we are slowly building towards a really competitive team. When you look at last year all of the purchases worked out. I have not seen that for some time. The two purchases for the coming season looks to be targeted and measured To answer Jimmies question are we a premiership team yet. I really don’t know. What I do know is that we are headed in the right direction… Read more »


Astute signing, hoping RCG brings some mongrel. Back up hooker next ?

John Eel

There were reports last year that Cleary had RCG alter his running style in order to protect himself after the two broken jaws. There are also reports that RCG was not happy with it.

It is going to be interesting how how he turns out for 2020 and what running style he adopts. I thought he was playing visibly better toward the end of the season.

Parramatta Tragic

He’s a great signing and will make a difference to the team. As mentioned in another blog, I would now throw the kitchen sink at Semi and/or Frizzel and fill the remaining gaps with our promising up and comers. Any chance Forty/Sixties of an article outlining how the new reserve grade competition will work next year? Will both Parra and Wenty be in it? Who will coach both teams? There is not a lot of clarity surrounding how next year will be structured and who will be involved and who will be playing for what team in reserve grade.


Very good summation Forty. Yes, exciting times ahead. The option for a 3rd year…in whose favour is that option?


It would have to be his. If he’s great and he takes the pay rise or whatever it could be then that’s okay

John Eel

These options in the players favour are one of my pet hates. Reason being that with this arrangement the club bears all the risk and the player and his manager controls the contract

As an example if a player has a poor year or serious injury he takes the cash he will never get anywhere else.

If on the other hand under the mentoring of your club he grows in stature and is in demand. He will demand more money than is in the contract or head to another club

Where is the benefit for the club?


Benefit is it entices the player and it’s more incentive to sign. That’s about it.

The rev aka Snedden

Good player on his Day. Is he a David fafita type player 🤔 for mine no. His not really big like fafita but he does have a much better skills then fafita Having played in the halfs.
The one thing he matterson doesn’t have that Manu mua had in the truck loads is aggression. Only time will tell if the club has made the right call in signing matterson.



Rev, I’ m thinking you don’t make Origin squad if you can’t compete at a high level mentally. This is what I see with Matterson and RCG, a real shot at solving the meltdowns against those relentless top teams. Here’s hoping!

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