The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Credentials Edition

NRL Team List


Parramatta’s strong start to the 2020 season has been dismissed in some quarters due to the calibre of opposition faced. While the Eels ground out a tough win in the opening match against the season against the Bulldogs, they gave both the Titans and the Broncos the business in performances that suffocated the life out of their Queensland opponents. Now they face a rival that has captured a sneaky share of premiership favouritism in recent weeks in Manly Sea Eagles in a clash that will shake up the top of the ladder and perhaps, for whatever it is worth, deliver a result that will shape the outside narrative of whether the Eels are pretenders or contenders.

Brad Arthur has famously stuck strong to a winning formula throughout his time at Parramatta and that is very much the case this week as he names an unchanged line-up from the squad that engineered the demolition job in Brisbane last round. Mayhaps the Eels will explore a rotation policy on the bench further into the 2020 season as attrition begins to wear down on the squad but with his troops fresh from essentially a second preseason it makes sense for ‘BA’ to lean on his top roster for now.

There is one cosmetic change to the extended roster with Jaeman Salmon dropping out of the 21 this week to make way for Will Smith but barring an unfortunate training accident the Eels will surely run out 1-17 in their return to Bankwest Stadium.

Manly will be looking to improve on a dominant showing against the Bulldogs in a game where Tom Trbojevic shone from fullback. The Eels have traditionally done an excellent job of limiting the impact of the rangy fullback and have found an interesting way of troubling Trbojevic with an emphasis on grubber kicks in the red zone.

Asides from the other usual candidates to keep an eye on in a top-heavy Manly roster, new acquisition Dany Levi could prove to be a nuisance for the blue & gold. While I don’t rate Levi particularly highly among NRL rakes, he has made it a habit to produce season and career best games against the Eels during his time at the Newcastle Knights. If Marty Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake establish a foothold in the ruck then he could be a factor on Saturday night.

I have raised the point before but the Parramatta Eels have thoroughly out-classed their Northern Beaches counterparts throughout Arthur’s time at the club. While the stinging 54-0 loss in Round 2 of 2018 still underscores that horrific season to this day, Parramatta are sitting on the right side of a 8-3 record against Manly since 2014. Saturday night looms as the Eels’ biggest test of 2020 by some margin but there are plenty of reasons to be confident that the home team can take care of business and improve to 4-0 on the year.


Parramatta Eels Manly Sea Eagles
1 Clinton Gutherson 1 Tom Trbojevic
2 Maika Sivo 2 Jorge Taufua
3 Michael Jennings 3 Brad Parker
4 Waqa Blake 4 Moses Suli
5 Blake Ferguson 5 Reuben Garrick
6 Dylan Brown 6 Dylan Walker
7 Mitchell Moses 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
9 Reed Mahoney 9 Danny Levi
10 Junior Paulo 10 Martin Taupau
11 Shaun Lane 11 Joel Thompson
12 Ryan Matterson 12 Curtis Sironen
13 Marata Niukore 13 Jake Trbojevic
14 Brad Takairangi 14 Lachlan Croker
15 Ray Stone 15 Corey Waddell
16 Kane Evans 16 Sean Keppie
17 Peni Terepo 17 Taniela Paseka
18 Oregon Kaufusi 18 Morgan Boyle
19 George Jennings 19 Jack Gosiewski
20 Will Smith 20 Tevita Funa
21 David Gower 21 Brendan Elliot
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14 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – Credentials Edition

  1. Eggman

    Can’t wait for this one, will be a good test for us, and surely give the team a confidence boost with a victory, whilst also making a few critics take notice. Manly are up there with the other 3 as one of the teams to beat this year, or should I say the other 4?

    1. Anonymous

      Just curious why it has taken so long to stiffen our defence, we do look fitter, has that lacked in the past. Junior playing 5/8 sensational. Defend that!

      1. sixties

        Anonymous, when you hear or read commentators say that it will take a certain number of years to rebuild a team, it’s because you can only add a small number of key recruits each year. The two wingers, Waqa, Junior and Lane were terrific additions last year that lifted us from a spoon season. The addition of Matterson and Reg have boosted the forwards. When you add quality players to your systems like defence, it can help your goals to be achieved. Canberra made a quantum leap with their defence last year.
        i think once you have success with something like defence, it’s easier to maintain than it is to create it, because new players buy in, and the current players take pride in what they do.
        Junior – he’s an amazingly talented player. I’ve watched him showcase his skills at training. Can lob sensational bombs, can kick goals!

    2. sixties

      Eggman, I’m confident, but no overly confident that we will get the job done. The reason I’m not overly confident is because of the caliber of key players in the Manly team. Levi was a decent pick up too.

  2. John Eel

    It is interesting Sixties when the team is under stress,Team list Tuesday is always a must read. However without wishing to get ahead of myself, the team is travelling well and there is an unusual calm about this list.

    I watched bits of the Manly Dogs game and from what I saw the Dogs were off their game and defence was brittle. Notwithstanding that we will have to be on top of our game to get the chocolates

    Obviously their go to man is Tommy Turbo However they also are very strong in the middle. Marty Taupau, Fonua-Blake and Jake T are an exceptional Middle.

    Suli and Levi, as you mentioned in great form. Our recent record against Manly at Parramatta is good under BA

    I am looking forward to the contest given our efforts this season

  3. BDon

    All teams go through disruption, I’m wary about Manly because they had it in droves last year. With their best roster they will compete with all comers. Jake T is a great ball player (similar to Junior), his brother knows it too.i think they miss Fainu, who had that knack of taking early yards from dummy half, getting his big guys moving and nailing slow or tired defences.He’s a smart player,Levi is a quick mover but not as composed.Our fitness and defence looks in good order to grind this out,

    1. sixties

      I reckon the tougher the contest, the more BA will appreciate it. I think he’ll get what he wants but I’m quietly confident of a win.

  4. The rev aka Snedden

    Talking about players apart from shutting down turbo Tom we should also target Jorge tafua. I’ve noticed that when he runs out of the defensive line he comes infield also.
    I Think the Eels should do a cut out pass down his side so that way he will Target our Centre n leave his wing n give us room to move or we could kick in behind Jorge tafua n attack down his side of the field.

    I think we can win but will be tougher them most Think. Being at Bankwest stadium won’t mean nothing because it’s empty.

    My score will be Eels 30 Manly 12.
    Mom. Matterson.
    Try scores Will be.
    Waqa, Jennings, Paulo, Mahoney, Evans,

    1. sixties

      Seems like your predicting a win through the middle given your try scorers and man of the match Rev.

  5. paul taylor

    Great game to come up. We have to be even better than we were against the Broncos. Manly are tough but they can get flustered and can make mistakes. I think their backline is rocks or diamonds and we have an advantage there. The kicking game to the corners and jamming in hinders big Tommy. Make him do a lot of hard carries.
    If we can maintain the line speed and the hits we will control their forwards. They got beaten by pre rules Storm , they beat an under strength Roosters and then toweled up Dogs. They are a good team we are just better.

    1. John Eel

      PT Marty Taupau is one who gets flustered then makes errors. It is the biggest downside of his game

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