The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Round 17 at Warriors

 

Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 24

  New Zealand Warriors 18

 

The Good:
We bloody won, and despite the mockers, I actually didn’t think we looked all that bad doing it, either. I don’t want to sound like that Parra supporting mate you all try to avoid at work (“I mean, I just think we should just sign Cameron Smith and Jason Taumaulolo, right?”), but I think the Warriors deserve a lot of credit for how far they pushed us today; a couple of miracle tries don’t come off and I dare say the Eels never lose control of that game after going up 16-0.

I must also say, I absorbed the news of last week’s defeat with an ulcerating rage that gradually scabbed over into deadened cynicism. Having lost 2 of our last 3, the Eels had all the pressure facing a Warriors side who had been playing like they had nothing to lose, coming into the contest with victories in 4 of their last 5.

As such, the Eels needed to come out today and regain not only my confidence and some sort of premiership momentum, but also to save face in front of the rest of the NRL community.

Thankfully, the end of the story says we got the two competition points and now need to focus on nabbing another couple of victories to secure that all important (and dare I say, deserved) Top 4 spot.

Finally, I also dare say that if you can’t admit that first Warriors try was absolutely incredible, you might want to take off the Blue & Gold glasses and look again, or maybe admit you don’t actually like Rugby League.

I will now go back to cheering for the Warriors for the rest of 2020 as if they were my first born child.

Happy Fathers Day, Eels fans.

The Bad:
Yes, the Warriors 3 tries were pretty crazy, but I was very disappointed by our inability to stop the second try. The pundits will point at the Eels’ inability to consistently stay in the contest for 80 minutes, and 3 minutes to go in the first half is no time to clock off against a team like the Warriors (or any NRL team, for that matter).

Depending on its severity, the Reed Mahoney injury could also be a hammer blow to our chances; apparently said verdict comes tomorrow.

Also, I know we haven’t scored a lot of points recently, but have the Eels’ backs ever actually met? Someone teach them to call “mine!” already.

The X-Factor:
The Eels won all the stats today with more possession (52% to 48%), metres (2521 to 2189), completions (78% to 74%), penalties (8 to 3) and less missed tackles (38 to 34).

As Andrew Voss revealed in commentary, coming into today’s game, only the Cowboys had scored less points than the Eels since Round 9, so it was nice to see the number 24 in bright white lights next to our name on the scoreboard.

I may be old fashioned, but I also enjoyed the running battle between Nathan Brown and Jazz Tevaga all afternoon, both boys going at the other with the precision of a four year old playing Jenga. How good.

The MVP:
After how much I’ve hated him in recent weeks, Waqa Blake went closer than he should to nabbing this award. But in the fair dinkum department Clint Gutherson was the Eels’ best out there today, and is therefore once again crowned King of the MVP vote.

Well done, once again, Clinton.

http://www.starrpartners.com.au/office/starr-partners-auburn

1- Clinton Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

I thoroughly enjoyed the sort of mindset that led to Clint Gutherson firing a warning shot early in the game, kicking on the 3rd tackle leading to a Warriors line drop out and eventually the Eels’ first four pointer.

Although he later followed it up with a drop from the mid field scrum impacted my health like a long term nicotine addiction, Gutho’s involvement in Jai Field’s try was similarly a thing of beauty. In short, he is often involved in most of the good things the Eels do in attack, and other than being bamboozled by RTS (fair enough), he was once again a very solid defender for the Eels at the back.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Maika Sivo really needed a good game today; I wouldn’t have been able to hold back the tsunami of Eels fan criticism any longer. Thankfully for both he and the economic future of the tiny village of Momi, he somewhat bounced back into form this afternoon with no errors, no poor defensive reads, no dropped bombs, a couple of tackle breaks and a four pointer.

Like his centre partner, I would have liked a lot more involvement in running the ball (7 runs for 48 metres is actually pretty poor from the big man), but at least he didn’t stand out to me by making me completely furious.

Also, do you remember when he and Jennings first met? Earlier today, dropping the ball under the posts at Central Coast Stadium. Cute.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

There were some other parts to Jenko’s game today (6 runs for *clears throat* 37 metres, 16 tackles) but all you really need to know is two key moments, each occurring in the final 100 seconds or so.

1. Michael Jennings gave away a really unnecessary penalty to give the Warriors a full set of six attacking our line with a minute left.

2. Michael Jennings then combined with Maika Sivo for almost perfect defence to deny Peta Hiku from scoring a potential game tying try in the corner.

4- Waqa Blake

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

In Post Game Grades, last week I may or may not have referred to Waqa Blake as a “defensive vaccine”, but thankfully I thought he looked like a completely different defensive player out there today (17 tackles, 1 miss). What’s more, Willy Waqa was infinitely more involved in attack too, running 13 times for 104 metres, 1 tackle break and a timely try with 15 to go. More games like this, thanks Mr Blake.

5- Blake Ferguson

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Speaking of try scoring Blakes, let it be known that the no-try monkey is finally off Blake Ferguson’s back. Picking up the spoils of a clever little grubber from Moses, Fergo was able to turn on the afterburners and race away from RTS, scoring his first official four pointer of Season 2020.

Fergo’s try only added to an already peach of an afternoon with 20 runs for a monstrous 200 running metres, 3 offloads, 2 tackle breaks and a pretty good defensive afternoon (all things considered, I thought the Warriors’ final try was actually defended quite well).

Finally, as they enjoyed the hilarity of Maika and Mike’s collision in the first half, Fergo and Gutho evidently thought it best to subsequently run into each other whilst catching a Warriors’ kick, each dropping to the turf like Woody and Buzz when Andy enters the room. Thankfully disaster was avoided for a second time in an afternoon.

I know the bubble complicates things at the moment, but maybe BA could do a meet and greet or something at training, reintroducing his back 5 to one another?

6- Jai Field

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

It’s tough to replace internet sensation Dylan Brown, but Jai Field nonetheless fit right into the 6 jersey today not by playing like his predecessor, but by playing like Jai Field; a live wire, tackle breaking speed machine. Other than being asked to make more than his fair share of tackles (23, 5 misses), Field of Dreams scored another one of those tries that only he could score. If he keeps this sort of play up, I’ll continue to sleep soundly at night.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Followers of the @EelsTCT twitter account will know I have been (not-so) subtlety advocating for Mitchell Moses to once again reengage the defensive line with his running game. I am very much a firm believer in the idea that if a halfback isn’t willing to run into the line, his passing game won’t make a dent against modern day NRL defences. Thankfully, The Prince of Egypt seemed willing to do just that today, running a wonderful 9 times into the teeth of the Warriors defence. Mitch also had 2 pretty great try assists, kicked for 752 metres, and knocked over 4 of his 5 attempts at goal.

Side notes: Mitch also made a great take of a mistimed Harris-Tevita chip early in the second half. Also, this isn’t an indictment of Moses, but I don’t understand the point of bombing the ball if the rest of the team merely ambles up in chase. It’s time to iron out these little wrinkles, Parra.

8- Reg Campbell Gillard

Prop, Parramatta Eels

With 16 runs for 143 metres and 24 tackles, RCG done good. Maybe our most consistent performer of 2020, Reg flat out refuses to be the issue for the Parramatta Eels.

I know this really is more of a Blake Ferguson comment but:

9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Injury aside, I thought The Nambour Terrier was outstanding today with great service from the ruck, probing runs in attack and some great defence. The Reed to Gutho to Field try was a nice pay day for Reed’s energetic running game on display, keeping the Warriors markers honest and giving our runners options behind the ruck. In addition, Reed’s long wide passes were once back to their pin point best.

With the Eels cupboard already bare when it comes to hooking options, any possible injury to Reed Mahoney will be about as well received as life advice from Sam Newman. Here’s hoping for the best.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Absolutely ferocious in defence, and about three handfuls worth of trouble in attack, Junior Paulo was epic today, with 17 runs, 163 running metres, 1 offload, 5 tackle breaks and 28 bruising tackles. Once again demonstrating a brilliant pair of hands and an unusually clean pair of heels for someone who weighs more than a houseboat, Big Junez is involved in a lot of good things for the Eels, particularly when you apply a per-kg ratio.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

Shaun “Once Were Warriors” Lane played a game of football today, and did a pretty good job of it. Lane ran 11 times for 75 metres, threw a terrific cut out pass for the Eels first try, had 3 tackle breaks, and made 34 tackles. Thank you.

12- Ryan Matterson

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

Although his stats look very, very good (17 runs for 147m, a massive 6 tackle breaks and 42 tackles), Ryan Matterson’s first half hustle off the ball was partly responsible for the Warriors second try (if you don’t believe me, go back and watch the last 10 minutes of the first half). Outside of said lapses, it was all gravy for the man my password is currently based on, playing a huge part in repeatedly putting the Eels in a position to win the game.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Nathan Brown is a bad man. As a couple of people on Twitter remarked, he’s the sort of guy you love to have on your team and absolutely despise if he’s in opposition colours. He’s the sort of guy who will take your mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again.

I mean, sure, today it got a little out of hand, but for an Eels fan it was for all the right reasons; 21 runs for 178 metres, a team high 7 tackle busts, an offload, 44 tackles and a starring role in Jazz Tevaga’s nightmares tonight.

I have this feeling that we’re going to pay for a Nathan Brown brain explosion eventually, but that day was not today, folks.

 

14- Ray Stone

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Charged with being our new hooker for the next 2-100 weeks, Ray Stone will be no doubt getting in some serious passing practice this week. Neither perfect or horrific in his game today, Stoney had 3 runs for 25 metres, and once again made some huge tackles on unsuspecting Warriors forwards.

It was National Jersey Day on Friday, and you may not realise is that Ray Stone is a passionate ambassador for organ donation, insisting that all the internals of his victims are given to needy recipients.

15- Marata Niukore

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

After his spot was admirably deputised by Andrew Davey last week, Marata Niukore returned today with a very solid 5 run, 53 metre stint before coming from the field with suspected broken ribs. He looked very good before going down, so I’d really appreciate it if you could give us some good news on the injury front, Crash.

16- Kane Evans

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Early in the second half, Kane Evans single-handedly destroyed the Eels momentum by passing the ball further forward than an NFL quarterback, but in some ways redeemed himself with a strong 15 metre charge minutes later. It was 8 runs for 66 metres and 18 tackles against his future club today, and I don’t blame him for not roping in that tricky bouncing ball (although it would have surely opened up the floodgates and saved me a near heart attack for the proceeding 50 minutes).

17- Oregon Kaufusi

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Despite the car crash on the scoreboard, I thought Oregon Kaufusi was far from being the problem against the Bunnies last week. Today, the Hill Bulls junior only got 8 minutes of game time (1 runs for 13 metres, 4 tackles), apparently the result of him feeling a little crook pre-game. Still, I don’t remember the last time he let me or the team down. Huge fan.

In order to maintain our grip on the Top 4, we now need to win 2 of our 3 remaining games.

With that in mind, next week we take on the old foe, the table topping Penrith Panthers in the Battle of the West. Although we will rightfully go in as underdogs, I feel much better about our chances knowing that we haven’t completely lost the ability to pile on points and shut out opposition attacking waves; at least for the most part.

Either way, it shouldn’t really have a big bearing on our Finals hopes, but will be a good litmus test nonetheless.

 

Whatever happens, I’ll see you then, sports fans.

Go you Eels,

Mitch

 

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

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Rob

Love it. Love that we won and love the post-game grades! 😀 yay for us!

Shaun

Great game and keeps Parra at a 100% win record at Central Coast Stadium (one of the most beautiful footy grounds around). You know, I don’t care if the Eels scrape in by a couple of points as long as they keep winning.

Wilhelmina

Yep, winning puts a smile on my face. I would like to avoid a heart attack during the game though, so a win by at least 8 would be nice for a change!

Shaun

Yes, a little more buffer would be nice.

Paul

Although Reed got injured, I thought this was his best game in a long while. His defence was solid as usual but his attack stepped up to a level we haven’t seen this year. Multiple times he jumped out of dummy half to engage the markers to get our forwards pumping through the middle. He also took the line on for Fields try. Out of curiosity, who do you see filling his role Mitch? It seems likely Raymond will start but surely he cant play 80. Looking though our squad its either Davies (Injured?), Will Smith (Please not) or Schneider… Read more »

Parra fanatic

I’d give Schneider a crack

Davies been injured and nothing special at training
Will Smith has been training at full back So i hope it’s not him.
I think I’d put a schneider on the bench and give him game time.
He has a similar game to Mahoney and we don’t loose that much.
Without a d cent hooker we won’t go into the finals and succeed.
His 20yo now and would be a better choice than stone.
Stone is great in defence but lacks the class a hooker offers. His service isn’t great and doesn’t kick at all.

Last edited 2 days ago by Parra fanatic
Anonymous

Based on what ???? How have you formed that opinion , certainly not on any form , hes average in 20,s .

Parra fanatic

If you watched any footy or know anything about it. It’s clear the kid has potential. If you think stone is a better hooker then that’s your opinion. Stone brings slot of grunt in defence but lacks the skill to be a hooker for 80min. Yes he will do a job bit we need someone who has the smarts in that position. You obviously like to hide behind anonymous post and like to bag kids coming through the club. At the end of the day your opinion and mine doesn’t matter Ba will prob go with will smith. Each to… Read more »

Ray higgs

Anonymous no different to peoples pen name is it ????? Still anonymous isnt it

Eel for life

Anon
How do you form your opinion.
Have you watched any training this year with the NRL squad.
To say he is ordinary or average in 20s is clearly an exaggeration
He is a good player and has been a standout in the junior ranks for years.
People in the game with knowledge have formed that opinion as his representative honours state otherwise.

Anonymous

💩 comment mate
Good player. Prob lacked confidence since doing his shoulder.
Had allot of pressure on him coming through
I think he has allot to offer and still young.
Herd he has been standout at training with Nrl squad this year.
He will get his opportunity Whether it’s this year or next.

Last edited 1 day ago by Anonymous
sixties

I’m a Schneider fan, have been all the way through. His service through pathways has been first class. But this is a huge match, just before finals. I’d suggest that there is no chance of him earning selection. I’d also suggest the same likelihood about Davies. Both have paid the price of no footy due to COVID. The removal of lower grades this year means that neither had the chance to play footy – and that was vital in the development of both. Davies was learning dummy half, and Schneider was needing to prove that he’d overcome injuries and could… Read more »

Jonny boy

And we wonder why clubs like the roosters are ahead of us even in development. Yes they have had some injuries this year Buy players have been given opportunities. Take for instance Freddy lussik. The roosters went through 4 hookers before he got his opportunity He is 20yo and wasn’t in the top 30 nor was he a development player But when needed and called upon has been used the last 2 games I don’t think he is a great dummy half with no representation honours. But that’s the difference between Trent Robinson and BA. Robinson threw him in and… Read more »

greg okladnikov

Another close game…..but another win against a team that has been in good form and playing for a spot in the finals. The Panthers only beat them by 6 points 2 weeks ago, and its their only loss in the last month. An important win for us…especially for confidence and belief. Our scramble in defence was there again and when the pressure was on we didn’t buckle . I think just need to keep doing what worked for the first 30mins….direct play…dummy half running, halves going straight….once we go sidewards as the first play, we seem to lose our way… Read more »

sixties

Spot on Greg. That first 30 minutes should be a strong reminder for the team about what works.

Wilhelmina

We looked really switched on early, and if Fergie had managed to pick up the ball and drop it over the line, or Evans had managed to grab it in the in-goal, it would’ve been a different game. A freakish try flipped the momentum back their way, and from then, it was a dog fight. Given how out of form we’ve been, and how in form they’ve been, I’m overall happy. Disturbed by the lack of communication in taking those bombs – they can’t claim it was too noisy to hear a call. Thank goodness Blake turned up with his… Read more »

BDon

W…it was a cheap trick shot. Tevaga thinks holding the jersey(with a clenched fist) and pushing hard and sudden into Brown’s chin isn’t a punch.Brown wasn’t infringing, the tackle had hardly been completed. From memory he did it twice, again after Nathan reacted. And strike me down, he does it again later in a flare up, standing up,but this time glances the neck. Like JWH with his elbows, Tevaga has a little habit he might now adjust.

jack herd

We always knew it was going to be a tough match so really happy to come away with the 2 points. That first 30 minutes was back to what we knew best, high intensity, back to back efforts from RCG, JP, Brown and playing off the front foot. That allowed gutho and moses to start picking a part tired defenders and running a muck. At 16-0 down, another try would have put them out of their misery but with a blink of an eye, we were back to 16-12. This is the second time (vs the dogs) we have had… Read more »

Anonymous

That blink was a 12 point turnaround where kane misses a certain 6pointer and gives 7 tackle set as result they go up other end to score

JonBoy

Like many here, I’ll take the two but fair dinkum, it’d be nice to sit back comfortably in my chair, instead of having to sit on the front edge of my seat “jigging” with my legs nervously for every win. Mitch, I am surprised by your MVP. During and straight after full time I was trying to read your mind and I was sure I could hear you whispering Junior’s name, but damned if I heard Waqa coming from your brain? Jury is still out for me on Waqa…theres no doubt he has potential but I hope he can find… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Was Waga’s game yesterday the best since his arrival, if so that is the minimum requirement from him in the future. For me the win was another all but 80 odd minutes of nervousness. Even though the first try was early and perhaps set the game up for the eels, then field showing his speed was great as was fergus’s breaking his duck egg good to see, there is still a lot missing and a lot more of the shoulder tape needed for the season ahead if the eels are to go higher. In BA’s presser he says the following… Read more »

BDon

Yes Mitch, never any doubting Gutho’s effort. Our defensive formation just looked so much better, even without analysing why. Our numbering up and scramble was there, why does it come and go? Focus, concentration,instruction??? (Apols to sixties, you’ve explained that 10 times).That elusive killer punch has escaped us in many games, I thought we had passed the test of Tevaga returning to the field and Warriors lifting, but in the blink of an eye… The big take for me was that we learned, and acted, from last week. I feel better about the Panthers game now. The last no-try. Gutho… Read more »

Longfin Eel

I honestly thought we were going to fold once NZ started getting a roll on with those 2 quick tries. Luckily we hung in there to record the win. A much better performance from all players, but still something to work on. This was much needed to boost confidence for next week’s game. You know I really can’t understand why the media is still death-riding the Eels. We are sitting 3rd and have toughed out some close wins that we could easily have lost if not for determination in defence. We are never going to blitz an opposition off the… Read more »

DDay

On-point summary Mitch – happy for the win against a good opposition team – 2 tries there were indefensible.
Warriors suckered us in with their chaotic attack but our scrambling defence worked well. A much improved game in attack from the eels.
Some silly mistakes coming out of our end made the game closer than it should have been.
Approach the Riff test next week with much more confidence.

Prometheus

Your assessment of S Lane is about 24 letters to high in the alphabet. He is easily the weak link in our forwards. Has the ferocity and intimidation of a cotton ball. Bludges in the centres.

Wilhelmina

You know, it sounds awfully like you’ve formed an opinion and are just going to keep repeating it every week, despite any evidence to the contrary. He created a try with a really good pass. He broke three tackles. His job a lot of the time is to hit the line in close on a short ball, so that the defenders know they have to cover him on later plays, when the intention is to throw the ball wider. I did notice him looking gassed toward the end of the match, but he played the full 80. Give some credit… Read more »

Prometheus

Unfortunately Wilhelmina your footy nous can’t quite grasp my critique of S.Lane. Best of luck with your future endeavours.

Wilhelmina

Seriously? I’ve given you evidence to support my opinion that he wasn’t terrrible. You just keep repeating yourself. Back it up dude (ie put up or shut up).

Prometheus

DUDE ! Thanks for your witty response. Some people are cluey about footballers some are not. I am sure you will improve in the future.

Wilhelmina

Yeah, that’s what I thought. You don’t have any evidence. Just insults about my alleged lack of intelligence, which aren’t making you look any smarter.

Don’t worry, I won’t bother engaging with your posts again, as there’s clearly no point.

Poppa

I think Wilhelmina gave it to you Prometheus, not even points…..a TKO

Belinda

Fantastic game Parra. Really hope Reed doesn’t have any serious damage. By the way, I agree with you about Oregon Kaufusi. I don’t think he knows the meaning of letting his team down

Parra Pete

I thought the win was better than the team has been given credit for. The Warriors three tries had a huge amount of luck involved…and the Eels, with the same amount of luck, could have had another three…(Fergo, Evans and Reed) – two at least easily convertible. Not taking anything away from the Warriors – the tries were spectacular – but arsey. Add another 18 (couldabeenpoints) to the Eels tally, and take 18 off Warriors and the result doesn’t look too bad…(I am an eternal optimist, and take EVERY win in a TOUGH competition for what they are)…

The rev aka Snedden

Sorry but how can you say reed was A- 🤔 really anyhow the 1st 20 minutes maybe but not after that. Should have B-. Mahoney needs to dart from dummy half more n bring in the defence like the Field try. I’m sick of Parra having Dummy half’s who only pass n make 50+ tackles a Game we need a runner from dummy half. Aaron Raper. His Game n Brad Drew another great Dummy half. In the case of the overall performance of the team. Nothing to right home about. Yeah we won but there was tries left on the… Read more »

Poppa

I’m not sure Rev, Mahoney can only do what he is physically capable of….. I agree re Aaron Raper and Brad Drew…..but we may as well say Kenny and Thornett as well……we can reminisce but we can only play with what we have and we can only control the controllable.
When you say Moses needs to play smarter, I suspect your saying he is playing dumb…..I think he is also playing injured.

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