The Cumberland Throw

Whisky Musings – Round 16: Journey To Self Re-Discovery

Round 16 Drink Of Choice – Coke Zero & Bundy



It is difficult to write a long-form blog when you bear witness to a result like that of Thursday night. When every single aspect of the team and its gameplan goes catastrophically wrong not only is it singularly unpleasant to write about as a fan, it is also quite difficult to finagle any lessons or talking points of value. The frustrations felt in Parramatta’s anaemic losses to the Sea Eagles and Dragons in 2020 paled to the embarrassment and perhaps even sheer apathy felt by fans during the course of the events in Round 16. Sixties and I spoke about the 38-0 loss at length in this week’s review podcast so check that out. Shameless as it may be, if the audio format is more to your pace be sure to drop the track a like and subscribe to us on Soundcloud to move the needle over there.

Instead of doubling down on examining where it all went wrong on a night where everything was off-kilter we will step back, just as the Eels will need to do this week, and take a look at the big picture. Parramatta have four weeks to figure things out. Four weeks to cleanse their minds of all the nagging doubts and negativity that has bogged them down to one degree or another over the last two months. The real challenge here though is to find a means of doing this within the COVID-19 bubble. Players and coaches simply do not have access to the usual means and avenues to extricate themselves from the situation that the Eels find themselves in and that is a problem.

The manner in which Parramatta lost to South Sydney on Thursday night was essentially the manifestation of every possible nightmare scenario. The wholesale erosion of our then competition leading defence, the magnification of our offensive miscues and a long-term injury to the one player that was threatening the Rabbitohs in Dylan Brown.

Sidebar, how on Earth did he make that long range cover tackle on Campbell Graham running on essentially one leg? His grit and competitive drive are out of this world. 

The entire comedy of errors was so far removed from who the Parramatta Eels know themselves to be and that is why they need to take any opportunity they can to take a step back this week.

The imposing figure of team that built punishing victories on the back of sustained and uncompromising violence of collisions has to be rediscovered. The spark of a brotherhood that dominated the second half of any given game due to a single-minded dedication to their game-plan, defensive structures and fitness needs to rekindled. Our willingness to attack a team with speed, power and a determination to win each contest needs to be more than a tantalising glimpse each week.

This is a challenge that faces every player and coach on the roster but obviously some will shoulder more of the burden than others and perhaps none more so than Mitchell Moses. While he is hampered by the lingering effects of a lower leg injury of his own, with Brown sidelined for the rest of the regulation season at a minimum, Moses has find a way to adapt his play-style to exert a greater influence over the team in light of his own current limitations.

Mitchell has to keep the Eels on time in the coming weeks. Keep his men grinding away at the game-plan and galvanising his troops in the face of adversity. While the Eels are capable of beautiful sweeping attacking movements he needs to keep it foremost in his mind that we need to prioritise winning the cardinal direction of North-South before venturing East and West.

This week represents perhaps their best chance to cycle the power buttons and reset mentally given that they are armed with a 10-day turnaround before they face the irrepressible New Zealand Warriors. At some point, every man, woman or child from all walks of life has to face down their own self-doubts and inner demons to better themselves. That time is now for the Parramatta Eels as they best the beast that they have created in their own minds.

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Colin Hussey

With MM literally hamstrung and not at his best, the question of who is to be his halves partner has been raised ad nauseum around the traps, & while I have had my thoughts as to the overall team and their performances of late, if Mitch is having his problems in running, also the shorter kicks, whoever is going to replace DB needs to be both a good runner and ball kicker. So who is that to be? The more obvious candidates are those who are pretty much familiar with the #6 spot, or the 7 spot, along with having… Read more »


Field is a running half, it would be like having Norman back in the team

Salty Pete

It will be hard to replace DB’s competitive desire. Not sure Field is the man but I think he’s the only choice at this stage.

Soren Lorenson

Finagle? 👏

Achilles' Eel

I once knew a Finn named Nagle. The bastard ate me out of home and ran off with my wife.


This next month will show if this team and coach have the necessary grit and football smarts to give hope for the future. If they fail surely a new and fresh direction has to be taken.Thursday night is not acceptable anymore.


I’d be going with Salmon. Takes the line on and solid defender. Not sure you could have Moses and Field in the side together.

Salty Pete

Anonymous, I’m a Salmon fan, and if he’d had more games under his belt and been allowed to develop I’d agree. But he hasn’t. I think BA will go with Field because he has to. He’s the only player with some preparation having played games. I do share your concern about having two smaller halves. Time will tell.

Colin Hussey

If you go to the eels team page and look for Field and his Profile, it shows he has played 3 games for the eels this year in the top grade rounds 8, 9 & 10, scored a try in his first match with wins in 8 & 9 loss against manly in his last & was in the 7 position in the 3 games. kicking metres in the 3 games are 71, 217 & 72

He substituted for Moses while he was out injured.


I agree about Field. But this will be a six or seven week fill-in so Salmon will be good to go after 1 or 2 games.

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