The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Justice For Nathan Brown Edition

NRL Team List


The meat-grinder continues to churn for the Parramatta Eels this week. They fell short of a rousing comeback against the reigning premiers in Round 6 and now have to switch focus to the other 2019 grand finalist in the Canberra Raiders. Brad Arthur and Nathan Brown have elected to fight a trumped up high-tackle charge and will face the judiciary tonight to await a decision that will have significant ramifications on this game.

On paper, Brown’s quest to downgrade his charge from a Careless Grade 2 to a Careless Grade 1 should be a slam dunk based on another case from the very same game with Victor Radley’s receiving a Grade 1 charge for what seemed to be a significantly more vicious tackle on Clinton Gutherson. The Eels will surely be feeling trepidatious however given their shaky record at the judiciary in recent years and failure tonight would rub out Parramatta’s x-factor lock for a further two weeks.

Provisionally, Nathan Brown has held his spot in Round 7’s team sheet as the Eels name a full-strength starting roster. Oregon Kaufusi has earned selection on the bench in a hugely positive sign for the young bookend following a strong performance against the Roosters but there are a couple of notable omissions from there.

Kane Evans has not been included inside the TLT-21, even though he returns from a one week suspension this round. Evidently he picked up some sort of injury or niggle either against the Panthers in Round 5 or at training some point after with his return date to be confirmed. Likewise, Peni Terepo has fallen out of the 21-man list suggesting that he too has joined the Evans on the sideline. Brad Takairangi takes his place on the interchange bench for Round 6 while you think that either David Gower or Daniel Alvaro would slide into the game-day roster should Nathan Brown fail in his bid to receive a downgrade.

Parramatta’s opponents this week have been spluttering through the weekly grind since the resumption of the competition. An outstanding victory over the Melbourne Storm in Round 3 had the Raiders poised to push for premiership favouritism but a splotchy win over the Tigers and losses to the Knights and a heavily wounded Sea Eagles since has left them somewhat in the lurch. They are very much a threat this week, make no bones about that, but the Raiders are there to be beaten and the challenge for the Eels is to show that they can back up after the epic battle against the Roosters last week.

‘BA’ and his brains trust have shown a rather handy ability to negate the influence of the opposition’s most dangerous player in 2020. The question here is – who fits that bill in the Raiders? Is it the scheming ruck work of Josh Hodgson, the damaging running game of Jack Wighton or the powerhouse impact of Josh Papalii? Obviously the Eels will do their best to contain all three but who do you think is the man that we will systematically attempt to game plan out of the match on Saturday night?


Parramatta Eels Canberra Raiders
1 Clinton Gutherson 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2 Maika Sivo 2 Jordan Rapana
3 Michael Jennings 3 Jarrod Croker
4 Waqa Blake 4 Curtis Scott
5 Blake Ferguson 5 Nick Cotric
6 Dylan Brown 6 Jack Wighton
7 Mitchell Moses 7 George Williams
8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8 Josh Papalii
9 Reed Mahoney 9 Josh Hodgson
10 Junior Paulo 10 Iosia Soliola
11 Shaun Lane 11 Joseph Tapine
12 Ryan Matterson 12 Elliot Whitehead
13 Nathan Brown 13 Corey Horsburgh
14 Ray Stone 14 Siliva Havili
15 Marata Niukore 15 Emre Guler
16 Oregon Kaufusi 16 Ryan Sutton
17 Brad Takairangi 17 Hudson Young
18 David Gower 18 Bailey Simonsson
19 Daniel Alvaro 19 Dunamis Lui
20 George Jennings 20 Matt Frawley
21 Jai Field 21 Tom Starling
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Colin Hussey

Based on what I saw of the tackle by Brown, I cannot see it being worse than the one that Radley put on later in the game. The aspect that Radley was able to get up and have a go at Brown shows there was no injury or the like to him. Can he go before the judiciary and plead a non event careless tackle as the initial contact was on Radleys arm just above the left Elbow and he was falling as another eels player had him around the waist and Radley was falling. Also, could they show and… Read more »


Brown being found guilty of a grade 2 has such a negative impact on our game. Forget Parra for a moment, this decision is the perfect illustration of what is wrong in our sport. So no one gets in trouble let me say this. My view is simple- The NRL administrative bodies Integrity is so closely aligned to those of FIFA and the IOC. If it walks like a duck, it is a duck. If it smells rotten, it is rotten. And the worst part, as a lifelong fan, someone who spends 100’s of hours a year driving to and… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Totally agree Shelley, I just read on fox spots the decision that has put Nathan out for two games and what a lot of twaddle, I sense your last paragraph, is spot on in every account.

I am in many ways actually glad I am unable to get to games anymore, and for me the only ones I watch are the eels games, most of the other games, I watch maybe 20 minutes at the most, same with Origin. My support will always be there for the eels though.

The rev aka Snedden

Brown out I’d say marata to lock. This leaves our Bench a little skinny up Front. Do we bring in Alvaro because of his size or do we bring in the doctor with his offload game n experience ? For me personally I’d put ray stone at Lock because he plays the Same kinda footy as browny does. Hits hard in defence n runs hard.n while his out their he can relieve Mahoney at DH. Save a interchange free. I say we attack Curtis Scott with Jenko n sivo jenkos in form Scott’s out of Form n missing a lot… Read more »

Colin Hussey

I like the idea of Stone at lock and to give more game time, will help his confidence, this game we need defensive players on the bench, little doubt that Marata will go to Lock with Nathan out. Where Taka fits in is perhaps a small minutes player instead of Stone if he gets more time. My choice for the bench replacement would be the Yowie, has not let the team down when he’s played. Sivo stood up against the chooks, Fergo was likely thinking he was an old tractor the way he played, Addo Carr, still contracted to the… Read more »


The Brown suspension really reeks of small-time thinking & backwards logic to me. I doubt a Cordner or even Murray from Souths gets the same grading and sit out for the same shot. Radley sure didn’t. I’d start stone at 13. – he will stay out of the way in attack and defend the opening stages well. Allows us to bring a punchy Marata on later as the bench looks real light for impact with Him starting. Alvaro in over Gower as attack isn’t our issue but size and punch upfront is ESP. Without Kevans. Should be a good game… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Sam, while Stone is noted as a defender, he also runs hard and belies his size. The eels have had more than one forward in the past that plays well above their weight, so I would not be selling him short.

There’s 10kg difference between Alvaro and Gower, and perhaps a toss up between who to pick, Alvaro adds some size, but Gower has never let the team down in the past.


Thanks Colin, didn’t mean to sell Raymond short – simply that he won’t play the same attacking role as N Brown but still hold his own in defence. I think that so many of us feel he should start above Niukore is a huge wrap.

You’re probably right tho – Marata Starts and Gower in over Alvaro he hasn’t let anyone down.

I do recall a pretty incredible solo try that Danny boy scored against Canberra a few years back though….he loves a big game! And my view is he’s best for us on the weekend.

Colin Hussey

Sam, there was one great run that Polar had against the dogs a while back when he ran hard and straight, took several dogs players with him under the posts and scored. Sadly he hasn’t produced a repeat. I believe last year he had beefed up but it really had the opposite affect and hindered his play. Not a lot of players can replicate Nathans runs and power especially for someone at Lock but he can also play a top props game as well & came here as a prop. What he needs is some good help in tackling techniques… Read more »

John Eel

Colin I think Stone is good finding a hole to get in and find space behind the ruck.

Also agree with the good Rev regarding Scott. His defence was appalling last game against Manly. No prize for guessing why Bellamy offloaded him.


Stumped by the Brown decision. The stills clearly show the hit is across his upper arm and goes up. I think all teams’ fans will say that there is a consistent lack of consistency in gradings – it’s like there are no actual guidelines on what constitutes each grade. I also think in-game punishment should be taken into consideration – that cost his team a penalty and two points. Radley’s tackle cost his team nothing, looked worse, and with the player visibly more injured by it. I do think Brown has gained a reputation he’s going to struggle to overcome.… Read more »

Ace Eel

With Brown who was never going to get a downgrade and Evans injured both being unavailable…the selected 21 man squad highlights a big worry in our lack of decent forward depth .Surely Stefano Utoikamanu would have been a better option over players like Field..Jennings and even Stone…Stefano had an early tigers release denied by the club because he was needed to bolster the pack this year…some strange team selections going on here..He should be on the bench to take on the raiders.


With Brown’s decision it just shows again the bias in sections of the league. Talk about a Kangaroo court. We will just have to beat all the odds on the field and then things might become fair dinkum. Either that or lure Nick Politus to Cumberland.

Colin Hussey

Gallen had a good article in one the RL sites where he said that Nathan needs to “Cut the Crap” and is a good call as he compares his early days to Nathan’s and how he was then able to change and be a rep player. His previous outage should have woke him up especially as it was a knees issue, this one was a very lazy attempt and as I have just watched a video of the initial contact on Radley, while soft the careless aspect really applies, and certainly changed my thoughts on it. The eels had… Read more »

John Eel

I think the Eels are much fitter this year and that is part of the reason they are going so well.

I would like to see Alvaro come onto the bench for this game. While he will be short of a gallop due to no recent game time, if he has been working as hard as the rest of the team he should be right for a couple of short stints.

Colin Hussey

John, I would say that most of the non top 17 would be short of a trot, rather than a gallop. That basically applies to the few that are getting NRL matches as it stands, but even those on the bench are not getting the time they really need.

I pondered the choice of Gower or Alvaro as Browns replacement but from the bench, & still not sure who is the better, thing is I guess is that Polar can be somewhat of a plodder at times while the Yowie is ever reliable no matter the game.

John Eel

I thought Kaufusi played really well last week one of his best in the NRL.

For me Eels best last week was Matterson. I thought he was outstanding


Time for Gower i think the new rules will suite him. Id even have Stone start and let him focus on just hitting people

The rev aka Snedden

I agree offside. Do you start with stone at Lock or of the Bench n start marata.

!0 Year Member

Stone is a liability. 1 or 2 paces behind NRL level, that is why he gets pinged for doing something stupid as soon as he gets on the field. Perhaps if he tempers himself like Mitchy has, he might make it. But as of now, I doubt he will play more than 2 more games in the NRL.

Colin Hussey

Dare I suggest that Stone may do something stupid, at least based on your call as the result of a player being on the bench for a long time but wanting to get out there to show what he can do? rather than having some extra settling minutes, has been done before?

Young Kaysa was another player who was similar to Ray Stone except that Stone has a bit more beef also a better tackler than Kaysa, who also tended to be left on the bench for long period of time.

!0 Year Member

to paraphrase a coach, in relation to the Brown decision “THERE NEEDS TO BE AN INVESTIGATION”


The Raiders’ patchy form has coincided with Bateman’s injury and contract headlines. He is a genuine X factor player with a really high work ethic, he and Hodgson made their pack not only strong but clever. They’ve been thrown out of balance but good teams recover. We’ve dealt with NBrown’s absence OK before, and we have the roster to do it again. We just need to watch our agility factor in defence, an issue we appear to have overcome.


Stone for me at lock, bring marata on fresh legs and aggression, better bench rotation. Plus gives Stone incentive and hope for a position, he will get the job done

John Eel

Just watched the preview of Eels V Raiders on and I am sure Jamie Soward has been reading the good reverends blogs on here.

He reckons that the Eels will have MJ targeting Scott all night


Just thought I’d have a look at Latrell Mitchell’s effort on David Fusitua…not suggesting it was with wrong intent, but does ‘careless’ apply to some and not to others? It was clear, high, head only and Fusitua left the field. I had another look at Nathan Brown on Radley. His arm is pretty well 180 degrees horizontal, he clips him but his hand immediately finishes on Radley’s upper bicep, not like he was swinging at the head. Radley leant into the tackle like a sprinter hitting the tape. I don’t get it, put it in the ‘thats football’ file.

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