The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 7 vs Raiders


Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels  25

  Canberra Raiders 24


The Good:
It’s been almost exactly 3 years since the Eels last played in (and won) a Golden Point game; that time was 29 June, 2017 against the Bulldogs (we won 13-12 off the boot of one Mitchell Moses).

As for tonight, despite an imperfect game in many ways, the Eels somehow found a way to win and now remain in top spot in the NRL competition. Still, I think it’s fair to say that this win came in waves.

For the first 50 minutes, my list of highlights consisted of the first 10 sets of the game, a nice try to Ryan Matterson and the time the cardboard cutouts at Bankwest Stadium made Corey Horsburgh cry.

When Your Redhead Friend Starts to Act Tough STORAGE GINGER | Meme ...

If you want more Good, you’ll then want to skip over the phantom bells on Eels possessions, a missed forward pass call on the Raiders’ second try and Mitchell Moses getting injured, until you get to Ray Stone’s first four pointer and minutes later an incredible Shaun Lane pass to Michael Jennings.

Once Moses went down mid way through the first half, you could be forgiven for thinking the Eels simply would not be able to stop the bleeding. But on the backs of the other 16 players, the Eels managed to win back the middle and go on an 18-0 run to lead it by 12 with 6 minutes remaining. There was more bad to come, so maybe fast forward until the second Golden Point extra period where Clint Gutherson sealed the win for the Eels  with his first ever field goal.

A nightmare for those with high blood pressure, but an absolutely huge result for the Eels.

Just out of interest’s sake: after tonight’s one point win, in all 58 contests between the two clubs since they first met in 1982, the Eels have now actually scored just one more point than the Raiders.

The two teams were locked on 1193 points each before tonight’s game; the Eels now lead the all time points tally 1218 to 1217.

How about that?

The Bad:
Relatively free from the bite of the injury bug in 2020, tonight’s contest saw our key playmaker and organiser Mitchell Moses tear his right calf. The Prince of Egypt could be out anywhere from 3 to 10 weeks.

Here’s what I think of that:

Outside of this devastating turn of events, letting the Raiders back into the contest on TWO separate occasions will give BA something to yell about this week, but it’s tough to be overly critical of a win like that.

I think the momentum of the match first turned in the Raiders’ favour with that one little forward pass from Reed Mahoney to Junior Paulo. Up until that point, the Eels had started the game with a 6-0 lead, completing 10 from 10. However, from there they dropped 4 of their next 5 sets, allowing the Raiders to wrestle both the ascendancy and the lead from the Blue & Gold.

In the second chapter of tonight’s Nightmare at Bankwest, the 74th minute saw the Eels leading by 12 points, only for Shaun Lane to drop the ball coming out of our end and gift the Raiders the opportunity they needed to go back to back and force Golden Point. That also sucked.

The X-Factor:
Well, that certainly was an interesting no forward pass call for the Raiders’ second try.

In all seriousness, I’m normally a big defender of the referees, seeing the sort of decisions they make in split second moments, but that looked like a more than straightforward.

Despite the close score, I actually thought the Eels were the much better side tonight and should have been up by plenty more if a couple of tough decisions didn’t go the other way. The good guys ended up with 250 more running metres (2333 to 2092), a smidgen more possession (51 to 49) and ended up with a respective completion rate (83 to 78 for the Raiders).

The Eels had won 5 of their past 6 at Bankwest Stadium, the Raiders 5 of their last 6 against the Eels, so you just knew it was going to be close.

The MVP:
Clint Gutherson was obviously pretty integral to the Eels victory tonight, as was Dylan Brown; but I actually think it was the dominance in the forwards that put us in a position to win.

Although he admittedly only started playing for us at the beginning of this year, tonight marked RCG’s best game in the Blue & Gold, and it’s not close. It was a gargantuan 22 runs for a Taumololo-esque 217 running metres, 4 tackle breaks and a half century worth of (50) tackles. I hope you captained him in Supercoach or something.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard is tonight’s Post Game Grades MVP.

1- Clinton Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

With all these newly vacant podiums where statues once stood, all I’m saying is this moment below looks like it could easily be immortalised in a renaissance sculpture of sorts.

Other than kicking his first ever field goal, the King (who will bow the knee?) went off for 20 runs (163m), 2 try assists, 2 linebreak assists, a linebreak and a brilliant leg-stretch-back-into-the-in-goal thing in Golden Point. Monster game from the Captain.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Fresh from dodging those attempted murder charges from Round 6, Maika Sivo fended three Raiders during one run in particular tonight, possibly putting himself in a position to answer ‘assault with a deadly weapon’ charges. He later palmed Jordan Rapana’s mouthguard from his mouth, and also took a terrific catch to defuse a Raiders attacking kick with 8 minutes to go.

The Fijian Scud was in everything tonight, running 13 times for 121 metres, adding 3 tackle breaks and a linebreak to his growing collection of tries. In fact Andrew Voss mentioned in the coverage tonight that Maika needs only to score against the Bulldogs to have scored against every team in the NRL. That’s some claim for a player in his 32nd NRL game, and it was one of the all time swindles when the Eels snatched him from the Panthers.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

I have noticed and thoroughly enjoyed Michael Jennings adding an NFL style spin move to his repertoire in 2020, tonight slicing his way to 129 running metres from his 17 runs, adding 4 tackle breaks and a linebreak to his magic try.

You can’t stop the music, nobody can stop the music.

4- Waqa Blake

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

In response to a poor showing last week, Willy Waqa Blake scored what I thought was a pretty fair try, only for a marginal knock on to be found by the officials. Taking a break with a HIA, Blake managed only 61 metres tonight from his 7 runs, but did break two attempted tackles. However, the ease in which Elliot Whitehead strolled through the right hand defence with a minute to go is also the stuff of nightmares; I think we’re pretty lucky it didn’t cost us (and Waqa) where it counts.

5- Blake Ferguson

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Still trying to find his mojo in Season 2020, the Eels will lean pretty heavily on Blake Ferguson’s star power in the coming weeks. Once again impressive on the stat sheet (20 runs, 149 metres, a team high tying 6 tackle breaks and no errors), I’m admittedly still waiting for both Fergo to break games open like he routinely did in 2019, and for him to score his first four pointer of 2020.

6- Dylan Brown

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

An NRL debut, big money deal and Finals pressure might very well be in this young half’s past, but here comes your next test, young man. You’d think Dylan Brown is every chance of donning the Blue & Gold 7 next week, and he will be called upon to rally the Eels to as many victories as he can muster in the next 6 weeks or so. Still, when was the last time you saw a 20 year old half run for over hundred metres (103m from 13 runs) in a game?

Despite being well known for being a defensive half, Dyl is probably still underrated for his contributions without the ball (30 tackles with only one miss tonight), such as his try saving knock down of what would have been the final pass for the Raiders’ third try. Despite all these plaudits, you just know the next few games will be more than an interesting test for the young half; I for one think he’ll be up to it.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels


8- Reg Campbell Gillard

Prop, Parramatta Eels

RCG got his agro back in recent weeks, leaving Corey Horsburgh running to the sheds and earning himself what I believe is the first A+ of the year. Sivo, Blake and now RCG; Gus Gould is probably one of the best CEOs we’ve never had.

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

After throwing away his headgear in the sixth minute, Reed Mahoney then threw the Raiders a lifeline mid way through the first half with a poor forward pass, leading to Josh Papalii’s four pointer. Thankfully crisp service, a mountain of tackles (57), a beautiful pass for Ray Stone’s try and a couple of nifty runs (7 runs, 2 tackle breaks) redeemed the game not only for the nuggety hooker, but the Blue & Gold as a whole.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Playing against his old team, whilst playing once again for his former old team, Junior Paulo terrorised the Green Machine with an incredible 19 runs, 197 metres, a team high tying 6 tackle breaks and couple of sneaky offloads. The Big Fella also crunched and squeezed his way through 31 tackles. In short, Big Junez is a Duplo built man living in a Lego world.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Although he helped the Eels get to the front with an absolute pearl of a pass late in the second half, Shaun Lane’s dropped ball with six minutes to go simply gifted the Raiders the chance no Eels fans wanted them to have.

Still, the Eels nonetheless pulled the win out of the fire, and Shaun’s stats were also white hot, gutting his way to 152 running metres (16 runs), a team high tying 6 tackle breaks, 2 linebreak assists, 2 offloads, a try assist and 41 freakin tackles. What a line, Shaun; what a white hot line.

How does one measure a brilliant game tainted by a single moment of poor play? I guess that’s the fate of the guy who writes the Post Game Grades.

12- Ryan Matterson

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

The best looking man in my wife’s life had another big night out with 14 runs (122m), 3 tackle breaks, an offload, a linebreak and a ludicrous 41 tackles.

He also apparently put in a kick for 1 metre; SO YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING RIGHT, CAN YOU RYAN?

I’m begging you, please don’t steal my wife.

15- Marata Niukore

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Finding his niche in place of the oft suspended Nathan Brown, Marata Niukore once again proved his considerable worth to the Blue & Gold tonight. Crash churned out 123 running metres from his 12 runs, adding an incredible 42 tackles to his tally. That’s just great stuff from the young man.

14- Ray Stone

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Tonight was a landmark game for your mate Ray Stone, as the big chunk of earth got his first meat pie. Nice one, fella.

The good folk at Champion Data also credit Sunshine with 7 runs for 83 metres, a line break and 3 tackle busts, along with his customary 19 cut-you-in-half tackles.

16- Oregon Kaufusi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

I think Oregon Kaufusi is truly something special, just what Rugby League dreams are really made of. Let’s hope the Eels and he stay together, boy. There’s no one like him around.

A numerically beautiful 11 runs for 111 metres tonight (he meant that), along with 1 kick return for 11 metres (this is getting spooky), and 10 tackles a tackle break (that adds up to 11). In other words, this young forward is straight up an 11 out of 10.

17- Brad Takairangi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

For a bloke who was struggling to make the 17, Brad Takairangi is suddenly going to be playing a key role for the Parramatta Eels in Season 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed him running riot over Josh Hodgson (4 runs, 58 metres, 3 tackle breaks), but I hope when the opportunity comes knocking again in future weeks, Brad tries his best not to kick it out on the full.

19- Daniel Alvaro

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

It was not until 27th June that we had our first confirmed Polar Bear sighting in 2020, a particularly worrying statistic for climate scientists and Rugby League fans alike (shout out to Danny’s biggest fan, @BuduInya).

In regards to other important statistics, tonight Daniel Alvaro seemed to do his best Peni Terepo impression, running a meagre 3 times for 14 metres. I mean sure, he did also make 10 tackles and got his face rearranged for the Eels penalty goal, but still there’s not a great deal to cheer about here.

Now our heartrates are beginning to return to normal, we can begin to set our sights on next week’s clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.

I guess it’s not surprising that we’re all dealing with Mitch Moses‘ injury differently.

Some people are angry.

Ricky Stuart reacts in anguish as coach of the Parramatta Eels

Whilst others are grieving.

But whatever happens, know that BA will have the boys ready for the Cowboys next week.

I’ll see you then, sports fans.


Go you Eels,



Photos courtesy of the Parramatta Eels. Stats courtesy of the legends over at Champion Data.

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Well played boys .what a gutsy win 💪💪💪


Love it how Junior is now fooling the defense with his dummies. When he throws that spiral in a slick backline play it’s beautiful, but when he dummies it’s even more beautifuler(er). What a guy.

!0 Year Member

To win this game with our key play maker out injured, reshuffling of the backline…..getting ahead, letting them back in and boom….nothing but respect for the boys, they are doing the blue and gold jersey proud. This team is special. Their own style and strengths. go you mighty eels.


Honestly if we just chucked Junez in the halves next week he wouldn’t be out of place. What a win.

Trouser Eel

Great read Mitch. With the standard of your gradings work, I don’t think your wife could even consider going elsewhere.


Pretty tough on Waqa there. Think that Whitehead bust was Matterson’s misread


from memory waqa turned out not in like he should have , actually did 360 ,It WAS waqas tackle and matto must have Been a little gassed from the amount of work hed done unlike waqa , it was waqas tackle mate !!! He misreads a bit ,


Waqa was on Crocker. Whitehead was Matto’s. Sorry mate


Yep numbering ups fine but you also have to read situation and turn right way not pirouette.right call mitch !!


Matto still trying to get across was the error. You nailed it. If Waqa had gone in on Whitehead and he slipped the ball to Crocker that leaves a 2 on 1 on Ferguson. Then the complaint would be why didn’t Waqa stay on his man.
Anyway all hail King Gutho


What a win and dare I say it, very professional. Leasons learnt from the week before?

Josh Papali said during the week said that the Eels pack were the form pack in the comp, after last night I’d have to agree.

Keep up the great work “the Cumberland throw”, love ya work


Gee what a nerve racking game! The great thing about this year is we are winning games that we would normally lose. The Canberra, Penrith and Manly games are all ones we would normally have fallen apart and lost in so it’s great to see some added steel to get the result. The bad is obviously Mitch’s injury and also what’s doing with Waqa’s defence? Was his defence this poor at Penrith? Who does everyone think will get to partner Dylan in the halves? I’m thinking Salmon should get a shot. He is a good ball runner and was playing… Read more »

One Putt Pete

A big congratulations to the Blue and Gold team. A gutsy win and a great team effort. Sorry to the The Prince but it opens an opportunity for others to shine. A great game report Mitch. Cannot wait for our next game


Good luck Mitch with sorting out the forwards each week, they’re looking a likely bunch in many ways. Smashing Horsburgh twice was telling us something. Oregon Kaufusi is also starting to make a statement. Ricky also made a statement about luck deserting his team, geez what game was he watching?

Brian Gurney

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks without the Prince. Provided everyone continues to do their jobs, we should be fine, and we might see the rise of D.Brown’s more creative play we witnessed in the lower grades.

Most of the forwards are receiving their deserved platitudes, but I think Niukore deserves a special mention. His improvement in bending the line and making post contact metres has improved massively this year. Last year, I didn’t notice him so much when he was on or off the field. This year, I am really looking forward to his runs.


Alvaro and taka are both past it im afraid and fergo approaching them rapidly , 2020 sees him out for me , next wave needed 2021 .


Actually think hes better than i originally thought , worth chance , think tct boys might have got me .Dont mind getting it wrong if it benefits B&G


Might add to that 3 great juniors only season and bit away ,all backs .


Some fans had the game and season written off at halftime with Moses gone but great heart showed by team. My biggest concern is final bench spot, alvaro and terapo not up to the task, is there anyone else
Another great grading Mitch


Kane Evans should hold that final spot over polar and Peni once he’s cleared from injury.

Big Derek

Great game, watching it with my adult daughter who spent probably 10 Minutes behind the lounge peeking around the corner like she was 10 years old again. The jump and yelling when Gutho smashed the field goal seemed similar to getting the bike she always wanted. The negative out of the game , apart from the Prince of Egypt injury, was the so evident spectacle of tries being scored down the right edge. Probably close to 80% of scores come down that side, how to fix it is the conundrum that needs to be solved. Great game with contributions from… Read more »

Michael Formosa

Great win!

Parra definitely looking like a different team this year compared to anything else we have had since probably 2001.

We are still making hard on ourselves, if Fergo takes that intercept against Manly, Moses kicks that field goal against Penrith and if Lane does drop the ball or Waqa Blake makes that tackle in last night game my heart would be in much better shape lol
But at least we are learning to play in high pressure situation.


Great read as usual Mitch and am very impressed with our team across the park with the possible exception of the right side defence. You’re right our middle forwards are really playing well and that was definitely RCG’s best game in our colours. Oregon is getting better each week too, loving his development. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Junior playing in the 7 jersey next week and kicking goals – what a player. I’d love to see Salmon getting an extended run in 1st grade but just don’t think BA rates him anymore.

Parramatta Tragic

Great read as usual. Only grade I would reconsider is Paulo getting an A+ rather than an A. I don’t know what more he could have done. We need to pick someone to replace MM that can get in front of Taumololo and Smith or Salmon are not those people. Tough decision but I’ll back BA’s judgement as long it’s not Smith or Salmon 🙂


I fear for Maika Siva, they don’t treat us well at the judiciary. The right side combination is a real problem, other teams target that area with great success. How would D. Brown go switched to that side , he would provide some stiffer defence and maybe shake up the attacking options. Fergo and Blake are not being involved enough.

paul taylor

Fantastic write up Mitch. Spot on. Dont know what to make of BLAKE. In pre season, I often said to the boys that he was the guy I think could be our x factor. His defence is average and is not reading it all. I know coming from a shoulder reconstruction would play on your mind but he is not reading the lines and shoulder is not even getting near the players. He is quality and he will come good. Our pack is going very well with RCG and JUNIOR making great inroads. One coming off the back fence ,… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

Good grades Mitch. So the big question everyone is asking who partners Dylan Brown in the half’s 🤔 IMO let’s balance the pros and cons of this situation. Will Smith pros = his played in the half n has a kicking Game of sorts. Cons has more dumb plays in him the a peni terepo drop ball session. Rankin. pros = Experience. Cons hasn’t been at the club long enough to know the way we play. Jai field. Pros = Fast can play 5/8 n kick goals. Cons to small n could be a big difference in defence the difference… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by The rev aka Snedden

Great result by our team, albeit the last few mins of normal time were concerning. Gusty win and even better of Ricky…he may need a new overhead screen. Some defence reads out wide need attention and i am sure they will be onto this; the Cows are not going to be easy and would have new confidence their great win.


Everyone is very congratulatory, why not…..after losing Moses most honest people thought we were cooked. I accept the refereeing was diabolical BUT We started well and when it didn’t go our way we slackened off…..I have a self anointed rule that we restrict the opposition to no more than 2 tries….which theoretically means if we score more than 12 pts we win. At 24-12 I thought great, even though I was very uncomfortable with the try that Pappa scored to bring it to 6 all. We needed to defend that 12 pts for 6 minutes. No one read the Williams… Read more »


Accurate synopsis Mitch. And a truly gutsy win.
Whilst Fergo’s stat sheet reads well, those meters must also be measured on his sideline to sideline runs! He is playing terrible this season, in run return and his defense with Waqa Blake, is AWEFUL! How many points have we leaked on that side?

Jpe Briffa

Hi Mitch Gutho is unreal and i’m so glad he is playing for us,by the by he is an A+ all day every day


Fantastic win….now who to play MM spot, I’d actually put Rankin in that position, big body, can defend and kick, and I’d leave Taka on the bench if need be.

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