The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands (Lounge) – Becoming A Team

We cannot win this premiership without Moses, but we will not win it if we are a one person team.

As such, the upcoming rounds will probably be the making of our Parramatta Eels.

Questions were asked, answered and finally asked again after a classic encounter against the Raiders on Saturday night.

We have heard about and watched our team mature, but from my perspective they really demonstrated a willingness to work together, and to get through the difficulties of what was once again the outstanding match of the round.

For the players, there was the challenge of losing a key team member but staying focussed as an individual with their own role.

Mitch Moses

The most pleasing thing for me to see from this game was the familiarity with our attacking structures once Moses left the field. Sure we changed our attacking focus but we shifted to a structure, down the middle, that we have used so well this year.

This team knows how they want to play, and how and when they want to shift the ball. So while our kicking game won’t be the same, or our movement across the park probably won’t be as crisp, I trust they will stay united and play as a team. That desire and commitment will take them a long way.

To see young players such as Oregon, Marata and Dylan Brown step up and into a different game role over the past few games and succeed is wonderful. To see the other players have confidence in them was even better!

They give them the ball, and trust them to do their job doesn’t just happen. That trust is earned over the off season on the training field, and when players are able to step up and do what they practise under pressure.

In extra time Oregon had two runs in some sets. It was not that the others were being lazy, Oregon was making fantastic metres and getting quick play the balls. The others trusted him to hold the ball and hence they gave it to him.

Mr 3:16, Ray Stone

When young forwards like Oregon, Marata and Ray Stone play so well you know that they are fit, driven and disciplined. Add the coaching and the opportunity to train everyday with quality, experienced forwards like Paulo, Campbell-Gillard, Matterson, Nathan Brown and Lane, and you have the perfect opportunity to improve – and improve is exactly what Oregon, Stone and Marata are doing.

Still, all of this talent, experience and effort might not have been enough on the night without the leadership of our captain, Clint Gutherson.

When Moses went off Gutherson stepped up, but it is what he did not do that most impressed me. He did not take the role of others, demand the ball or over play his hand. He maintained support, he backed up, kicked a little more when needed and he organised our defence. By stepping up, by guiding but not dominating, he demonstrated great leadership.

Finally, what a pleasure it was to beat the Raiders. They got the calls, they got the bounce and we got the injuries. These things normally happen when we play the Raiders. But this time we could deal with the obstacles and overcome them.

The next few weeks will be tough without Moses. At times we will look clunky but I look forward to watching our team, either at the ground or home, deal with the issues as they arise and work as a team. They may not win every game but I have no doubt they will turn up, work together and stay united. The transformation is this club and team is not complete but it is so very welcomed by us all.


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Shelley i have followed this club since 1947 and yep i can honestly say i was at the first game they ever played , 5 months old but still yelled out “get them onside “ . Theres been 4 inspirational leaders at this club, 60,s the mayor mr ken thornett , 70,s ray higgs ( my favourite till now ) 80,s mr ray price no question , NOW 2020 , THE KING mr gutherson and he is the KING and the best of the best in our history and i dont care if anyone else agrees or not , ive… Read more »


Higgsy, I was always a fan of Ray Higgs – just so tough and uncompromising as a leader, and Ray Price – he demanded the best from the other players and he provided the ultimate role model in his own play. I also rated Edge for his composure in guiding a young team. Now Gutho is just the perfect bloke for the job with this team. You can see that the other players enjoy training and playing with him, and he earns their respect with his deeds. I remember BA talking with Forty and me at a Ken Thornett Medal… Read more »

Colin Hussey

sixties, I believe we have had a fair number of quality leaders over the years, and I am very much glad to have seen a team such as the eels blessed in that regard, even though under most of them, there was no mug or shield to hold up at seasons end. In many cases though, the leaders are often just seen as part of the team, and for me, during our 4 premiership wins while hard to dismiss a couple of players in Sterlo and Bert, I put Steve Edge & Mick Cronin as true leaders of the team.… Read more »


I read recently that it was Kieran Foran who recommended to BA that he chase Gutho although I’m sure BA would have been aware from his time as Manlys assistant coach.
True his energy is amazing and its obvious he is well liked and supported by his team. Its my opinion that his leadership is developing nicely with his potential in this role being enormous. He could very well go down as one of our greatest leaders although in my mind no one could ever replace The Mayor or Mr Perpetual Motion.
Ray Higgs left for Manly. Enough said.


Theres a story why he left mate ,didnt want to , treated poorly . Enough said .


Its not that he left Higgsy. Its where he went mate. As Eels supporters its in our DNA to hate Manly and I’m too old to change. Lol.


Gazzamatta, it is worth noting that Ray Higgs was forced out by Terry Fearnley the coach in the GF against Saints. Higgs, after being told at halftime to let Rod Reddy punch, headbutt, gouge and head-high our forwards and not retaliate was a passionate man that knew we had a pack easily the equal of the Saints pack when it came to the tough stuff. Albeit, water under the bridge now. But I believe we would have won that first GF if Higgs and the boys were given their head. Sadly I believe Higgs took out his frustration on the… Read more »


Ray Higgs gave his soul for Parra….he was never the same when he left for Manly. Fearnley was a quite and likeable guy, softly spoken but quiet inflexible.
He gave the Queenslanders in the National sides he coached an unfair time…..If it was a matter of keeping Higgs or Fearnley…..I would have always taken Higgs.
Saying that other have said he was a bastard of a man…..who knows ??


Who would I be to argue- not that I want too. Gutherson is already a good leader and he has the ability to become even better.
He is my sons favourite player and he certainly has a good role model. Work hard, get back up when you enter a setback and always look forward.
Add to that his talent and we have the best type of leader this young team needs

Last edited 1 month ago by Shelley
Colin D Hussey

Didn’t see the game, but am glad to see Ray Stone’s name mentioned in a couple of positive posts and reports.

Who replaces MM? the big question of the week, & for me perhaps a good choice would be to give young Jai Field a shot, puts two enthusiastic and young players together with another oldie in Reed, some good speed and agility in the halves/ruck area. If it does not work that well, option Matto to 5/8 or Taka off bench.


I don’t know but they just need to make tackles, kick well and shift the ball. Gutherson, Brown and the middle forwards will take care of the rest.


This is a good roster in many ways Shelley. There just seems to be a good balance of capabilities, including leadership. We have improved so much mentally, and we’ll get the additional boost of the confidence from success. Love that our middle is holding up, we have cover and scramble…and a few things to fix, right flank defence and lapses into error( we’ll always make errors but there are too many). Oh, and the front office is going good.


Agree the magic word is balanced. Many of our forwards have more ball skills then most backs in some other teams.
I hoped but really cannot believe how quickly we have made change both in and off the field.
It is so pleasing

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