The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 3, 2020: Eels 34 Defeat Broncos 6

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Suncorp Stadium, Thursday 28th May, 2020

Crowd – Virtual

As we round out Round 3 of the 2020 Telstra Premiership, most of the plaudits have already been delivered about the Eels powerful win over the Brisbane Broncos.

The opening first 10 minutes of the game saw a Parramatta side which has rarely, if at all, been seen. Brutal defence, blistering attack. The only question at the time was could they keep this momentum up. Its was a big, make that HUGE, YES.

Previously, when we’ve seen the Eels open a game in strong fashion, their efforts begin to dwindle and after about 50 to 60 minutes the tank is empty and the opposition just feast on points in the closing 20 to run over the Eels.

This match was different, so let’s see how it was reflected in the stats.


Let’s just start with having a look at the two Hit Up heat maps. Just let it sink in for a moment

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These graphics alone show the Eels dominance against the Broncos. I have never seen a more dramatic difference in the Hit Up heat maps than this.

There was nearly a 1,000 run metre difference between the two sides. The Eels ran for 2093 metres off 221 runs with the Broncos at 1158 run metres off 130 runs. The Eels had 12 players run 100 metres or more against the Broncos 4. All the Eels forwards, bar Mahoney, ran 100 metres plus.

But let’s also give a massive accolade to Dylan Brown.

Dylan ran for 106 metres, absolutely rarely heard of for a five eighth. This in no doubt was Dylan best game in the Blue and Gold. We have seen glimpses of what he can do, and he showed it against the Broncos in spades. He ran the side beautifully around the park and it was great to see Mitch Moses step back and let Dylan lead the team. Was this a plan from the Eels coaching staff? Or was it just how the game panned out?  In saying that even Moses ran for an impressive 87 metres himself.

Both our edge forwards in Lane and Matterson had terrific games. They ran hard and in most instances had opportunities to get an offload away or break the line themselves. Brad Arthur would be salivating knowing we have options on both sides of the field just as strong as each other. All I would like to see is someone just hanging off the hip of Ryan Matterson. There were a few times if he had support player next to him the Eels would have crossed a few more times.

The Eels lethal attack was strongly supported by 23 offloads to the Broncos 5. Add in 8 line breaks to 2 and you can see the field dominance the Eels had.

The Eels maintained 61% of the possession but only completed at 73% (36 completed/49 sets) I would say that the coaching staff would have liked that to be a bit higher. There were times I thought that the boys pushed it a bit too much and their patience could have been better. These are the times when we don’t need to score off every single play.

Top mentions: Clint Gutherson 249 run metres, Reagan Campbell-Gillard 194 run metres and Kane Evans 179 run metres.


We all know that the attack from the Eels was pretty much on song but it was also an absolutely superb defensive effort as well.

Not only are the Eels scoring nearly 30 points a game, they have only conceded a total of 14 points. This is the best start by a team in the NRL era (from 1998). Having only had their line crossed just twice in 3 games is nothing short of remarkable. Especially in this high paced era of rugby league.

The Eels made a total of just 243 tackles against the Broncos 386. That’s a massive difference – close to an extra 24 sets of six that the Eels enjoyed over the Broncos.

The Eels made 26 missed tackles and 12 tackles were ineffective giving them a tackle efficiency of 86%. A little low on the Eels scale.

The Eels definitely held their mantle better than the Broncos with the new six again rule. That was plain to see in the opening few minutes. That would have been something the coaching staff would have worked on over the covid break.


Reed Mahoney

Reed Mahoney had a great return back from a foot injury with a team high 37 tackles.

But all in all there is not much to say about the Eels defence at the moment in just saying it has been nothing short of brilliant.

Top Mentions: Ryan Matterson 28 tackles, Marata Niukore 27 tackles.


Really not much more to say than I cannot wait till I can get out and watch this team live.

This week’s game is going to be a cracker against the Sea Eagles. But I truly believe we have the team that can put a score over our arch rivals.

Manly did play well against the Dogs, but really the Dogs didn’t throw much at them, so it will be interesting to see the Sea Eagles defence against a rolling Eels pack. The Manly side did give a few “six agains“ away in their last match which if repeated would benefit the Eels and allow them to get that roll on once again.

The Eels playing out of Bankwest will add that bit extra of incentive, if not advantage.

  • Colmac


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16 thoughts on “Stats That Matta – Round 3, 2020: Eels 34 Defeat Broncos 6

  1. DDay

    Thank you for the analysis Colmoc. Interesting point you make about the Eels completion rate being a focus area for improvement, love to see them put a score on against the Eagles

    1. sixties

      I agree. BA would probably have been happy that there were things that he wasn’t happy about – if that makes sense?

  2. Colin Hussey

    Thanks for the stats Colmac, always a good read, moreso when we are winning. For me there was so much in that game that was positive, in fact cannot think of a negative, except perhaps a couple of the bench players did not add greatly to the spectacle.
    I was however, quite nervous after the mules scored their try, but that nervousness slowly slid away in the first half to be on a princess cruise line heading out to see in the 2nd half.
    I have the feeling though that the game against the sea gulls may well be different and much harder.

    1. Milo

      Col, i think this week will tell us a bit about Parra. If we can play tough and hang with Manly and more importantly be patient and tough in the middle we can get the chocolates.
      I still want to see our team be strong in the middle consistently for the year and more so in defence when our backs are against the wall. This will tell us how serious a threat we are.
      No doubt we can score points, and we can do this so well, but its the hard yards we need to be consistent at. Manly are a good outfit.

      1. Colin Hussey

        No disagreement with you Milo, looking at the Manly team its a good side overall, I am wondering though with the number of ex eels players how they will go, especially for Sean Keppie.
        It will probably be an arm wrestle in many ways, and they do have a few big men in their team, not just in the pigs either. I certainly hope we see another huge display from Jnr & RCG, don’t hear much talk about RCG being a poor purchase anymore.

        1. sixties

          Colin, from his first day at Eels training I had no doubts. Improved every week over the preseason too. And Penrith are subsidising his contract 🤣🤣🤣

          1. Colin Hussey

            sixties, my last bit re RCG was me being sarcastic towards the many critics last year when his signing was announced.
            Many were putting him down especially his turns into the tackles as being him not prepared to put his body on the line, likewise too injury prone and wont last, along with several other reasons, one in particular being his lack or participation and not getting involved.
            I watched him play a few games for the rif after his signing, and his back running into the opposition gave him extra leg drive as he pushed backwards also he got a few good passes away when facing his own team. In attack, if he did not have the ball he was constantly close to be able to assist and get the ball, the very same in defence as he would come in to take on the opposition runners.
            From what I saw was a player ever ready to do his job in both attack and defence, with some game time at the rif and this extra time off this season, he has shown what he is capable of and little doubt injury free. An excellent signing and will be a great complementation with his partner in the other prop position.
            The game against Manly the battle between the two opposing props will be worth watching.

          2. sixties

            Colin, I saw all of that too. I was highlighting what I saw at training because I too could not understand the criticism or doubts that even now still exists.

        2. Milo

          Yes Colin it always manages to bring out some good battles and no doubt some of those players may seek some redemption etc. Hopefully we just focus on our game. This is a big game in my view.

    2. sixties

      I for one welcome our Northern Beaches challengers. I expect a tough game, but I expect to emerge victorious.

  3. Zero58

    Some years back Parra flogged North Sydney in a semi final and the critics came and said Parra tackled too hard against North. It wasn’t fair.
    Thursday night against the Broncos I again saw that tackling effort.
    Yes they were missing a couple of hard heads but so what. Did they have 13 on the field along with 4 on the bench.
    Parra was absolutely awesome/brutal/ clinical and magnificent.
    My season is always made with a win over the Broncos and Manly.

    I am looking for a bonus this weekend and I want it.
    Question for 60s how fast is Dylan Brown.
    From afar I think he must be very close to quickest.

    Great win – looking for a repeat set.

    1. sixties

      Hi Zero, I’ve never witnessed an organised sprint involving Dyl at training, only running mechanics involving sprints. They’ve probably got times over 40m which I’m now keen to find out. But in my post about Dylan I talked about how he scored a try from about 50 metres out during an opposed session the previous preseason, and French was at fullback. He stood him up and outpaced him to the line. He literally repeated that try when we played the Dragons and he ran around Norman. I’m not saying he’s faster than French who would probably have his measure in an organised sprint, but he has the pace to do plays like that (and Moses is the same as we’ve seen). When all is said and done we possibly have two of the fastest halves.

      1. Zero58

        He is quick Last year he ran down Isaako with a start and Thursday night he gave Staggs a good start and rounded him up.
        I recall that try against St George which prompted my question back then.
        I hope we get to keep him.

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