The Cumberland Throw

Live Blog – District Representatives Round 3 vs Sydney Roosters

Henson Park is the venue this week as and while I will be bringing you the updates from the Harold Matthews and the SG Ball but can also catch Sixties on the official NSWRL live-stream as he co-commentates the Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup from 10:00AM on wards via this link!

Harold Matthews


# Parramatta Eels Sydney Roosters
1 Patrick Spence Dane Towns
2 Sulasi Aho Zac Sarfati
3 Cody Parry Sam Brial
4 Declan Murray Ramses Ah Chong
5 Joshua Lealaiauloto Matthew Wheatley
6 Charlie Guymer © TJ Speedy Coe
7 Ethan Sanders Brent Hawkins
8 Sam Tuivati Baxter Seinor
9 Yehya Ayache Tyren Ryan
10 Genesis Talagi Seuala Venasiotangifetaua Patuki Case
11 Saxon Pryke Thomas Fletcher
12 Joshua Alhazim Michael Abdow
13 Myles Martin Nosa Obaseki
14 Terrence Lafai Zane Rugless
15 Movete Otoota Kakile Leha
16 Domenico De Stradis Patrick Hogget
17 Raffaele De Stradis
18 Will Johnson
19 Josh Durkin

First Half

Apologies for the delayed start but I ran into some brutal traffic en route to the home of the Jets. I walked into the stadium in time to see that Roosters score a try that took them level with Cody Parry’s opening score for the Eels before the conversion gave the tri-colours the 2pt lead.


Roosters lead 6-4

7min gone


The Eels produce a strong set of defence from the kickoff and pun the Roosters well inside their own half. They can’t replicate the same intensity in possession as Sanders (I think it was, he and Guymer look quite similar from afar) sails a bomb too far and it is marked inside the in-goals.

Parramatta maintain their defensive standards in the next set and the building pressure results in a penalty when they reclaim possession. They look to press the advantage inside the Roosters’ red-zone and Myles Martin steams on to the ball and shows a bit of awareness to extend his lengthy left arm through contact and slam the ball down from a good metre and a bit out!


Try scored by Miles Martin. Conversion successful by Suliasi Aho.

Eels lead 10-6

14min gone


Sanders completes a very solid set after points with a tidy kick into the left corner but the blue & gold undo a good kick chase two tackles later with a penalty in the ruck. The Roosters find touch short of halfway and look to build an attacking set from there but when they venture down their right-edge the Eels jam in aggressively and force an error.

From there the referee calls consecutive ruck penalties against the Roosters as the Eels barrel down the field. To the left with Sanders where he plays short before going left two more times after that.  Looks like a bit of white-line fever perhaps as Parramatta lose focus and try to force their way through the left-edge short side. Sanders looks to force a repeat set on the last but strikes the ball with too heavy a foot and a 20m restart in the result.

Martin produces a dominant tackle late in the 7-tackle set to force a mid-field bomb and Spence shows a clean set of hands under the high ball to put the Eels back in possession.

Suddenly a line-break! Was it Cody Parry who finds Spence in support? The far side of Henson Park makes it hard to make out but the Eels slice through regardless. Spence (?) looks for support on the inside but it catches a Roosters’ hand and the home-team then claim the bouncing ball. It looked like that ball was batting forwards from the defender but the ref sees otherwise. Or does he? Is that a late over call or was it an error in the play-the-ball. The Eels will feed the scrum either way.

Parry slices through from the scrum win and pins his ears for the try from 35m out. It looks like he has the legs but the cover defence chops him down about a metre short of the goal line and as he tries to stretch out and put the ball down he loses possession of the ball. Would have been a brilliant individual try but the Roosters get the big let off instead.

It looks like Patrick Spence got rattled some time after that kick reception and has been replaced by Terrence Lafai.

Both teams work through their sets in the mean time, playing at a pretty good standard it must be said before the Roosters narrowly miss a 40/20 attempt which leads to a minor break in play.

Spence jogs back out from the tunnel, looks like he is okay to resume play and he swaps out with Lafai. The Eels are playing off a penalty as he gets back into place and the fullback injects himself immediately as he weaves through the middle of the field. He might have been able to go himself but he looks for Suliasi Aho down the right sideline and the massive winger can’t hold on to the pass! Oh no. Two blown tries within 5 minutes. They might not be able to make them but the Roosters are certainly counting their eggs right now.

As I type that out the Roosters make a shocking error off the boot and kick it out on the full by some considerable margin. Massive chance for the Eels to forge ahead on the scoreboard after blowing two earlier chances and the make it third time the charm! It looks like Spence was in the thick of it again as he sweeps down the left edge and hits Joshua Lealaiauloto with the cutout pass. The left winger still has a bit of work to do and he pushes up for the pass and dives over in the corner despite the attention of his opposite. Lovely little piece of work.


Try scored by Josh Lealaiauloto. Conversion unsuccessful by Suliasi Aho.

Eels lead 14-6

28min gone


Half Time

Parramatta Eels 14 lead Sydney Roosters 6


Second Half


An early error from Parramatta as they try to force a pass through a tackle. The Roosters surge into Parra’s red zone and pick up a penalty from a flop in the ruck. Some desperate goal line defence keeps them at bay as they try to crash over under the posts but a second penalty is blown for offside defenders.

Superb goal line stand! Courageous stuff from the young troops as they repel the Roosters and force an error with line speed. The rain is starting to drizzle down at Henson Park but it isn’t too heavy yet.

Parramatta deliver a great counter-punch as Sanders drills a kick deep into the Roosters’ half but for the second time today a great kick chase is undone by a follow-up penalty.

Well that sure looked like a greasy ball. The Roosters try to rifle a pass towards their right-edge but it is speared at the ankles of the intended recipient and naturally a knock-on is the result. Parramatta play fast and flat at the line nearly release Saxon Pryke into open space but the right-edge backrower can’t quite hold onto the short ball and it is turned over.

Speaking of turnovers, the drizzle seems to be impacting the game now as the Roosters quickly turn it over once more themselves and Guymer leads the attack for the Eels in reply. His carry down the left edge sets up a red-zone opportunity and when he gets a second chance to run the ball a few tackles later he sees a defender shoot on him. He tries to step off his right as he gathers the ball in, all in one motion, but can’t keep control of the incoming pass. He was a real chance there too.

Myles Martin is in the thick of things in defence once more but a sound defensive set is undermined by an error from Sulasi Aho in the play-the-ball after he returned the Roosters’ clearing kick. The scrum is set 5m inside Parramatta’s half as the home team looks to bridge the 8pt margin.

The Roosters take play to just outside the left upright as they set up for a right-edge shift. Initially I thought the Eels would be short defensively but again they jam with speed and intent and once more they force an error. Goal line defence has been outstanding.

Now Declan Murray makes a huge bust through the middle! The centre was standout last week and he continues his strong form as he finds (the Colonel) Sanders in support. Encouragingly the Eels don’t recklessly throw the ball away and instead choose to build down their right-edge from the line-break. They are reward for the patience as Guymer splits a strong combined tackle to slam the ball down!


Try scored by Charlie Guymer. Conversion unsuccessful by Sulasi Aho.

Eels lead 18-6

45min gone


Oooh, great footy from both teams! The Eels send up a contestable mid-field bomb and Aho sails high to claim possession. He tries to find support with the goal line in sight but the Roosters swarm him in defence. Barring a bit of a lull after half time this has been an outstanding game from both the Eels and Roosters.

Putting the mockers on our boys there as an error in the play-the-ball is compounded by a ruck penalty in the following set. The tri-colours go on the attack as the line up down their left. Terrence Lafai shows some hustle to make the cover tackle down that side but is pulled up for a high shot.

Oh my goodness was that Declan Murray again!? Whether is was him or Lealaiauloto I am not completely sure but that was arguably the defensive play of the year. After the right-side of the Eels defended their goal line desperately the Roosters attack the opposite side with a loaded back line. Sanders is beaten off a left arm fend and with an open passage to the goal line it looks for certain the Roosters will score before Murray (?) swoops in from behind to swat to the ball out OVER the goal line. Sensational play to say the absolute least.

Parramatta push into the Roosters’ half in the following set on the back of an early penalty but turn the ball over roughly 25m out as they look to utlitise short passes around the ruck.

Now a gift opportunity to put the game beyond doubt comes the way of the Eels as the Roosters knock-on in the play-the-ball. Left first for the Eels before they come right to Spence who has a spirited carry down the right sideline. Back to the right of the posts where Terrence Lafai produces a late offload to Martin who strolls over for his second of the day! He celebrates in janky fashion as he tries to boot the ball away only to shank it badly! That elicited a chuckle!


Try scored by Myles Martin. Conversion successful by Terrence Lafai.

Eels lead 24-6

55min gone


Confusion from the kickoff sees Aho make a late attempt at catching the restart near the sideline and he spills his lollies. it is too late for the Roosters to win it but they add some credibility to the score line as their right winger Zac Sarfati dives over in the corner from the scrum win.


Try scored by Zac Sarfati. Conversion unsuccessful.

Roosters trail 10-24

57min gone


In typical fashion there is a sloppy end to the game as both teams concede errors and penalties. Aho does well to tip a touch finding penalty kick back into the field of play and Spence cleans it up allowing the Eels to run out the clock in possession.


Full Time

Parramatta Eels 24 def. Sydney Roosters 10


SG Ball


# Parramatta Eels Sydney Roosters
20 Joseph Boayke Moala Graham-Taufa
2 Francis Faaofo Tuitino Lani Graham-Taufa
3 Viliami Penisini Jordan Swann
4 James Malauulu Corey Ross
5 Tutonu Junior Wright Isaac Guba
6 Jabriel Kalache Vaiala Tamati
7 Josh Chappell Ronald Volkman ©
8 Taylor Mauala Toesami Toevai
9 Vlado Jankovic Josh Bevan
10 Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa Nicholas Fenton
11 Toni Mataele Darcy Clifton
12 Maximus Tupou Naufahu Whyte
13 Peter Taateo © Tallis Duncan
14 Drew Loyd Alan Holten
15 Larry Muagututia Henry Mikaele
16 Jai Vakai Samuel Iese
17 Kyle Leonard Asoleiei Fretton
18 Kani Manu
19 AJ Kurucake
20 Drey Mercy


Joseph Boayke replace Freeman Forsythe at fullback for the Eels. Parramatta will be kicking off in the first half.


First Half


Ouch. A penalty on the penultimate tackle is a brutal result for the Eels. Caught slowing the ruck down too much and the Roosters will get a huge chance to push for first points.

The home team plays short in front of the posts before switching back to their left-edge but they get a touch too optimistic trying to reach out and score through heavy contact and lose the ball.

Parramatta punch the ball out over halfway in response and Josh Chappell sends the mid-field bomb up. Kalache gives chase and claims the ball before stabbing a perfectly weighted grubber kick ahead but the chaser for the second kick is deemed offside and instead of a line drop out the Roosters get a penalty.

The tri-colours work through their set and complete it with a clearing kick that finds Boayke but a penalty then follows for the Eels and the blue & gold get their first real attacking opportunity of the game. It looked like the hooker Vlado Jankovic showed some guile and heads up footy to play the right-edge short side and releases the fullback Boayke down the sideline! The latercomer to the starting team streaks down the boundary and dives over in the corner!


Try scored by Joseph Boayke. Conversion unsuccessful by Josh Chappell.

Eels lead 4-0

9min gone


Another penalty puts the Eels immediately on the attack. They focus their efforts down their left-edge as they arrive in the red-zone. Chappell then steers the Eels back to the middle of the field before they immediately switch back to the left where Maximus Tupou surges over the advantage line and drives between retreating defenders to score!


Try scored by Maximus Tupou. Conversion unsuccessful by Josh Chappell.

Eels lead 8-0

13min gone


Finally an incomplete set for the Eels as they try to push their advantage following a strong carry up the middle. The Roosters venture dangerously down their right edge and look to have numbers on hand but desperate cover defence from the Eels nearly bundles Isaac Guba into touch before his pass in intercepted by Kalache. Great hustle from the left-edge for Parramatta there.

The next big sequence of play belongs to the Roosters as they are piggy backed down the field care of a penalty. Their lock forward winders up from 15m out and nearly careens over save for a brilliant last ditch tackle but the Eels are sloppy from marker in the wake of the run and the tri-colours hooker Alan Holten dives over after a bit of a double pump or hesitation move.

Tempers flare up for some reason following the try and both teams congregate together before getting separated before the captains are spoken to.


Try scored by Alan Holten. Conversion successful by Ronald Volkman.

Roosters trail 6-8

19min gone


Oh no. Boayke loses control of the bomb from the Roosters and their kick chase swarms through to claim the ball and score their second try of the game. Worst possible result for the Eels as the Roosters harness the momentum in this game and push ahead on the scoreboard. Alan Holten the man of the moment as he gets the rapid fire double.


Try scored by Alan Holten. Conversion successful by Ronald Volkman.

Roosters lead 12-8

22min gone


The Roosters turn the ball over on halfway as they work through their kickoff set but the Eels can’t a ripose in reply. They run the ball down their last with Tutonu Junior Wright popping up down the left-edge from his right sideline but the Roosters read his sweep option perfectly and crunch him to force the turnover on tackle.

Trouble now for Parramatta. The Roosters are finding their stride as they rumble down field. They attack down their left-edge and a swathe of missed tackle allow them to keep the ball alive before their fullback Moala Graham-Taufa finally touches down in the corner. All the flow is with the Roosters here and the Eels desperately need to snap this run of play.


Try scored by Moala Graham-Taufa. Conversion unsuccessful by Ronald Volkman.

Roosters lead 16-8

27min gone


The Eels finally compose themselves for a goal line stand. Fair effort after the run of play against them. They are forced to concede a penalty to save a try when a perfectly placed attacking bomb left them no recourse but to engage the catcher in the air but from the following set the Roosters are caught for a forward pass. Best defensive set(s) by some margin for the Eels but they inflict more wounds on themselves as they fail to complete the following set and instead turn the ball over on half way.

Well that was a contentious no-call from the touch judge. The Roosters roll a grubber kick down their right-edge on the last tackle. Francis Faafo Tuitino takes a chance on it kicking on to the dead-ball line and tries to shepherd it over but the Roosters get a chaser to it before it rolls head. It looked like a knock-on on first glance but they rule play-on allowing the right-centre Corey Ross to plant a hand on the loose ball. That will also take us to half time.


Try scored by Corey Ross. Conversion unsuccessful by Ronald Volkman.


Half Time

Sydney Roosters 20 lead Parramatta Eels 8


Second Half


After a moment of miscommunication the Eels field the kickoff and begins working their way out of their half. They work to the last tackle after forcing their way 15m into the Roosters’ half but a called running play on the last falls apart at the seams when an errant pass is lost backwards and the Eels have to dive on it

Fortunately the Roosters lose the ball on the first tackle and the Eels are back in business – if they can hold onto the ball. Penisini finally gets a carry and has a good run and from there back-to-back penalties lead to a shock binning but again the Eels are their own worst enemies as they cough the ball up on the first tackle.

Again the teams clash after the dead ball and the officials have to pull them apart. More binnings a possibility here.

Forget the sin-bin, Jai Vaikai for the Eels is sent marching for the rest of the game and he is joined there by a Rooster. Two send offs for what looked like a minor fracas. Wowza. I missed the number of the Roosters player but this now a 12vs11 game with the Roosters also playing with a man in the bin.

Geez this game has quickly devolved with errors pouring in from both teams. A high shot from the Roosters is missed and the Eels turn the ball over a tackle later.

The Eels pick up a 7-tackle set as Junior Wright does a better job of shepherding this kick over the dead-ball line. It is a scrappy set from the tap restart before a strong carry from James Malauulu takes them deep into the Roosters’ territory. Chappell directs play down the right-edge and stabs a kick in behind but the Roosters knock it down, or rather knock it on, in the front line of defence and the Eels will get a repeat set.

Oh wow, is there now a biting allegation against the Roosters? Time is off and a fourth official is on the field to document the alleged bite. Heck of a story line to come out of this mess of a game.

Sloppy work from the scrum win for the Eels as a pass down their left-edge goes to ground. We recover the ball but lose a good 10m. Jankovic scurries to the left from dummy half and turns Peter Taateo back inside as the captain and lock forward burrows under a pair of would-be defenders to break the drought for the Eels.


Try scored by Peter Taateo. Conversion successful by Josh Chappell.

Eels trail 14-20

46min gone


The reprieve on the scoreboard was short lived. Parramatta are penalised in possession for an incorrect play-the-ball. The home team push into the red-zone from the touch finder and build through their set until the last tackle where they run it down their right. The Eels are man-to-man in defence but I think it might have been Kalache who is fended off as Corey Ross scores.


Try scored by Corey Ross. Conversion successful by Ronald Volkman.

Roosters lead 26-14

51min gone


Swings and roundabouts a plenty here as the Eels are quickly back on the attack following an error from the Roosters. Just as it looks like Parramatta might be lined up for a raid down their right-edge time is blown off for a Rooster who needs treatment. He doesn’t leave the field but it does kill any chance the Eels have down that side.

They go left from the restart of play and Peter Taateo nearly does it all himself. Held up by the barest of margins there and Chappell does a nice job on the last to force a line drop out.

The outside backs get involved early in the drop out set as Penisini has an early run. Oh geez so close. Chappell plays late as the line as Jock Brazel steps through from the overs pass. He looks to have rolled through the fullback’s tackle and the referee’s first inclination seems to be to award it but his touchy thinks he was short and it is a turnover on tackles.

Parramatta are swiftly in possession again care of another Roosters’ error and a penalty comes after. Chappell runs at the line and tries to spin his way over but is engulfed by the defenders.

Big Larry Muagututia is shaping up as a bit of a difference maker as he provides a cracking late offload down our left edge. Drew Loyd fields the second phase ball and passes to his left to James Malauulu who steps between defenders and scores!


Try scored by James Malauulu. Conversion unsuccessful by Josh Chappell.

Eels trail 18-26

60min gone


Oooh a late penalty here in the count for the Eels. Huge chance to bridge the gap here. A loose pass catches a hand from the Roosters so a 6-again call comes. Patience needed now. Right then left for the Eels as Taateo centre the pill near the posts and another penalty comes.

Parramatta can’t find space down their right-edge and the ball pops out the back only for another penalty to be blown. The sin bin must surely be coming here?

From right to left for the Eels but the Roosters are up to to the task. Their right centre has been an absolute house in defence. Great reads and equally good tackles.

Still, the venture down their left has opened up space on the other side of the park and a clean passage of passing allows Joseph Boayke to dive over in the corner! Grandstand finish here maybe?


Try scored by Joseph Boayke. Conversion unsuccessful by Josh Chappell.

Eels trail 22-26

65min gone


Oh the twists and turns! A good set is polished off with a great clearing kick and a great kick chase nearly nabs a bouncing ball. The Roosters barely get possession back but are pinned to the sideline and a desperation offload can’t stop them from being bundled into touch! Huge chance here.

Parramatta begin the set down their left edge and eventually pivot to the right where Jankovic nearly burrows over. Chappell bombs to the left, really well weighted kick, but the Eels don’t contest the ball and the Roosters survive. Ooph.

The Roostesr work the ball into Parra’s half and opt for a safe kick as they stab it into the ground. One last set for the Eels to steal the game here.

Bit of space down their right-edge as the Roosters play with a big cushion and wow, WOW, big penalty from the ruck. 50/50 call on a loose play-the-ball or a penalty and the Eels get the call.

Booming touch finder places the ball on the 20m line as they attack down their left-edge where a stepping Drew Loyd is barely repelled. Back to the posts where Larry Muagututia crashes into the line and is held up with 7sec on the clock and unfortunately even with one last play left up their sleeve the Eels can’t conjure up a last second miracle for the second week in a row. The Roosters survive to see off the Eels in one of the most dramatic games I have ever seen.


Full Time

Sydney Roosters 26 def. Parramatta Eels 22

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Did coronavirus run through the Eels’ SG Ball backline? Nice effort, though. The Roosters’ team was stacked with junior Kiwis.

Doesn’t Myles Martin play much like Peter Wynn once did (for those with long memories), or am I just seeing things?


Interesting comparison mate. I simply classify him as a footballer – and by that I mean he has all the attributes in both attack and defence.


Good win by Matts and they have done well so far. I know its only round two but have the Ball team a few injuries and also maybe feeling some effects of players lost? They did well to come back.
Was there much to the send offs?


Milo, yes a couple of injuries and the boys who’ve moved up into Flegg would definitely make a difference. These are big calls to make. But they have to be made with the best interest of the player, as well as recognising that it’s about producing future players, with any titles won being a bonus.
I’m interested in further comments from Forty. He rang me when my commitments at McCredie were done and emphasised that it was one of the most incident packed matches that he’s ever covered.


Thanks for the reply mate; and i have heard since my message that some injuries have caused some players to move up etc.
I get it about players moving up. This is good.


How did the country boys in Parry and Brazel fair in their first games? I watched the Andrew Johns cup livestream and it was a very good game – really liked the look of the big centre Sinclair and the edge backrower Hurford.


Anon, I was calling that live stream and indeed Sinclair and Hurford impressed. Hurford will press for Matt’s selection. Sinclair caused problems with every carry. He’s very tall, and they found it difficult to tackle him. He also has a one arm offload. He could be one to keep track of, though Parry and Murray are obvious first choice centre selections.