The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – What The Critics Won’t Tell You

 

The Panthers have defeated the Eels, but From The Stands, I was proud of my team.

Spoiler alert – unlike some supporters, I will not be burning my jersey or giving up on our chances after that game.

I don’t care what people call me and I hate losing, but I applaud the effort and I trust Parra’s capacity to improve in attack. The only thing that I insist upon is that unlike us, the players cannot feel pleased with their effort. They need to be annoyed.

The Panthers deserve congratulations on winning the minor premiership. All hostilities aside, winning 13 games+ straight in any competition, let alone a tough and physical competition like the NRL, is worthy of due recognition. They are one of our rivals and praise is well deserved. 

Nonetheless, I have some questions.

If the Eels had 61% possession, 56 tackles in Penrith’s 20 and only  scored 3 tries, one from a kick and two with 10 seconds to go in each half, including one from a missed knock on in the tackle before the try was scored, what would be said about our attack?

What would be said about Moses?

But of course as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning, the big post-match take from the experts was the problems with Parra’s right side defence and the team’s attack.

It’s funny, I must have missed all the tries scored down our right by the Panthers and all those wasted opportunities Moses had in the 20. I must have watched a different game. 

Parra fans, please be better. Please don’t fall for Phil Gould’s delusional rantings, or the biased commentary of Michael Ennis on Fox. Support our team.

We played without our hooker and 5/8th. They are important players in any team’s attack. What team wouldn’t struggle in attack without such key players along with such limited possession?  The Panthers are definitely a different proposition in attack without Koroisau. Throw in a five day turn around against the Panthers 8 day break, and the task was challenging to begin with.

The King

Unfortunately, in this game Parra posed no threats in attack out of dummy half and this made it easy for a fresh Penrith team to rush up and their markers to chase hard. If the Eels play the Panthers in the first finals game, I hope the Riff chase hard from marker because Mahoney and Gutho will have a field day running straight through the middle just as they did before Reed went off against the Warriors.

Parra can get better. Indeed, they must be better. They have to make sure that they don’t let the Panthers, or any team, get down to the red zone early in the game because they will set up camp down there. I give credit when it is due, and if you let Cleary get down into your red zone, he will more often than not keep you there.

So, to the critics.

Commit these numbers to your memory. Their significance will become obvious shortly.

16-10

14-6

14-8

All I have heard about Parra is that they have no chance of winning a finals game because their attack is atrocious. The Eels defence was very good against the Panthers but apparently that is a minor factor when it comes to winning a big final or game against a top team.

Or is it?  

I agree that the Eels need to improve in attack, but what does that improvement need to be?  

How many tries do they need to score to have any chance to win?

Mitch Moses

Would Parra fans and the NRL experts be happy with scoring two tries a game and keeping their opposition to one or zero tries?

Obviously, recent games and the constant media observations answer that. Parra aren’t good enough. Moses is terrible and the outside backs are useless. The Eels can only score 2-3 tries maximum a game. The season is over.

We get it, it’s all we’ve heard.

But those numbers above – 16-10, 14-6 and 14-8 – are the scores from last year’s Preliminary finals and Grand Final. They highlight the absurdity of the commentators’ ramblings and the ease with which some “supporters” have fallen for it.

The Roosters scored a combined 4 tries in two finals games in 2019, yet they won.

Furthermore, they scored 2 tries in each of their last two games of the regular season, but won because each of their opponents could only cross the stripe once.

My point is obvious. Whilst Parra’s defence remains strong, their season is far from done and dusted.

Here’s another perspective that requires attention.

Since Rd 7, and in the 13 games up until at least the end of the regular season, the Eels spine will have played together in only 5 complete games.

Yet Parra has remained in the top four during this period, and with all of the spine back on the field, they can find 2-3 tries a game. 

 The Roosters have proven that a team can win a prelim or a grand final scoring two tries and defending well. In fact most often that is exactly the way finals games go.  

Reed Mahoney

The inclusion of Mahoney, Niukore and possibly Dylan Brown will make any return clash against the Panthers a different proposition. Give the Eels an extra day or two of preparation and something approaching 50-50 possession, and two – three tries will be more than likely.

Of course, just putting players back on the field won’t be the only solution. The Eels attack must improve and players must do their job much better.

To that end, Moses needs to straighten our attack, that is his job. Maika needs to lift his workload, especially in taking the tough yards and he must get much quicker play the balls.

Finally our bench, particularly Kane Evans, needs to respect and repay the hard work done by our starting middles by simply holding the ball and getting quickly to marker without giving away ridiculous and lazy repeat sets.

Although I think Ray Stone and Marata coming on after 30 against Penrith would have made a big difference, the team must be able to cope with injuries. Good teams do. The starters held their own and Oregon was good, but Parra lacked any counter punch.

Get behind the team, Parra fans. Don’t fall for the commentary. Do your research and call it out for what it is – inaccurate, lazy, rubbish sensationalism.

History proves that preliminary finals and Grand finals are not won by scoring 4,5 or 6 tries, they are won by the stopping the opposition scoring more than two tries. The Eels are not that far away. That might make me delusional in Mr Gould’s mind, but so be it, he has as much right to an opinion as I do.

 I look forward to returning to the stands to cheer on our boys against the Broncos this Friday night.

The added bonus is that I won’t have to hear one word said by the commentators while watching.

Now that really is Parradise.

 

Shelley

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Dave

Nail, you have just been smited on the head. Well said, Shelley.

sixties

Yes Dave, yes.

June

Good article, my thought exactly. I think that’s what I like best about going to the games, you don’t have to listen to stupid biased commentators. At some stages on Friday night I thought Penrith were the only team on the field such was the commentary.

sixties

June, so often I have come home from watching matches and tuned into the replay, only to wonder what game they were watching. Furthermore, the camera rarely shows the defence line, which is a huge factor in how games are decided.

Shelley

It is almost as if they need something to criticise so they find it. It annoys me when the people saying it know full well what they saying is rubbish. How well did Cooper or Brad Fittler attack when they had 30% football coming from there 10 metre line. What they don’t realise is that it is turning people off. I would normally watch the different footy shows during the week, I have not for about 2 months. I don’t trust anything they say. It has become the boy who cried wolf. They could tell me today is Monday and… Read more »

Parra Pete

Terrific article Shelley. Great insight, and great summation. The easiest thing in the world to be is a knocker!!!! I hate knockers, especially when the effort from players is there.. The FOX commentators are annoying, especially Anasta, Roach…and Brandy Alexander…and I don’t enjoy a match called by Dan Ginnane – he OVER THE TOP!!!!..(was my birthday this week, turned 74..must be turning into a grumpy old bastard – they reckon it happens) “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them… Read more »

sixties

Absolutely Pete – always appreciate someone with your supporter pedigree contributing to our posts.

Shelley

The footy is far from over. Look at the Storm yesterday, the Cowboys walked through there defence. They will be better come finals and so will our boys. Imagine if we had played the cowboys and let those tries in.

Colin Hussey

As I cannot get to games these days, & do not have Pay Tv, I can only watch games on 9. Last two matches on 9 has been great for me as when the gobblidork mouth gets going, I press the silent key on the controller, talk about bliss. Don’t disagree with you post overall Shelley, I will be pleased to see Reed return, likely this week. As for Evans, I would not play him if I had a say, would have Hughes as a development player given the spot and have him set for next year. Likewise would not… Read more »

sixties

Hughes would be close Colin. When Marata is back, we can think more about Kane’s form.

Colin Hussey

Sixties, don’t like saying this but the way Kane is playing now it reminds me very much of how Tepai was playing for us last season more especially at the end when he took up space on the bench and hardly got on to the ground. While it may only be my thinking, and while Evans on his day can be VG, I do not see him as being good enough for us to go further into the finals, one would like to think he would love a premiership before departing but really its not is he good enough but… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Colin Hussey
Shelley

Marata is so important off the bench for us. I think we should limit Kane’s time on the field, possibly only use him when the game is under control. I am not sure throwing in a youngster at this point in the year is wise.

Colin Hussey

I understand your concern regarding Hughes, but this could be the best time for him to have a chance in the top grade, he does not have to have big minutes as its often been the case with our coach who brings young players up for short stints, would prefer to see them on the paddock for longer though. I don’t believe that Kane can offer us anything for this year, he’s had his chances and never been consistent enough to claim a permanent spot. Says a lot when nothing came out of the eels camp regarding his going to… Read more »

Milo

Thanks Shelley, interesting points, I have not burned my jersey as the new state laws enacted prevent this now as we apparently have Koala’s in my area on the coast. And I do not mean Caramello Bears. Sorry that was tongue in cheek. You have raised some good points; I do not listen to any commentary anymore, I watch the game muted. It is good. Look I have been critical of our attack for a while as to me its flat footed and was when DB was there; we seem to be flat footed when running the ball; our forward… Read more »

sixties

One of my concerns over the last few weeks Milo is seeing bodies in motion in attack and different angles at training, but not in matches. I’m excusing Friday due to the defensive load. I also believe we saw more of what we needed early against the Warriors. It’s partly Moses and where he runs, partly Gutho or Moses or whoever should be calling the plays, and partly the runners in not hitting holes as they should. Case in point, Davey hit holes almost as soon as he was injected but unfortunately wasn’t fed the ball. That’s something that needs… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Overall I believe the team went ok, and from the point of watching on the box, the riff scored 2 tries near the end of each half that were the killers, were the players especially with the try all but at the sound of the siren just wanting off the field and had a lapse in concentration?? That lapse putting the riff out to a 2 try lead would have impacted them, but I don’t believe the team gave up though.

Milo

Agreed mate, against Warriors.Spot on about the angles and motion; we had it earlier in the season and also Davey to me has done v well.

Shelley

We need to get offloads happening. But not forced like Kane. Offloads once we dominate the middle. That requires us to stay in the middle long enough. In my view we have been shifting just to shift. I liked the first 30 against the Warriors. Play like that in attack and defend like we did against the Panthers and we have a big chance.
The referee appointments will have a huge say come the finals. They should not but they will. The huge difference in the use and interpretation of the six again is an absolute lottery.

Milo

Shelley agreed; when Paulo and RCG have the ball one of them should have players inside etc. let alone the out the back play at times; we seem to be one out too often.We need players in motion to limit the 3-4 tacklers; otherwise we have little in my view. We also do not seem to be a great night team….

BDon

Food for thought Shelley, 3 tries and 80 minutes of energy in defence and a Grand Final could be yours.
While Penrith made a couple more errors than us, Sutton and Cleary were never going to offer us any momentum change, so our errors (once again) were real disrupters. Interestingly, we defended most of them but weight of possession was never going to make that work out well.

Shelley

Apart from the short kick behind the line the Panthers showed us everything and we could defend it. I would be worried if I was a Panthers supporter. That is assuming that in the finals the officiating is somewhat balanced.
We know we can defend there structures, can they defend ours?

JonBoy

Well said Shelley, possibly your best From the Stands for the year to date! Don’t crucify me for this, but I have historically always thought highly of Gus’ reading of a game and I still think he has many positive attributes which should be used to enhance the game. He also has the odd brain explosions with some ideas. However, I think this year in particular, his bias has risen to the surface much more noticeably with his ramblings and insatiable appetite to praise his beloved Panthers. I reckon there’s a fair chunk of self indulgence at play and he… Read more »

Shelley

I have no doubt that Phil Gould knows his footy and knows 1000 times more as compared with me. I hate his agendas and his inability to admit that he has bias. It is no surprise that Nine and Fox are burning money and therefore they need exposure. They have gone with the ‘any exposure and coverage is good’ . Gould and Buzz Rothfield etc they create and scream from the rooftops and create the news and stories instead of commentating on the action. It frustrates me, there is enough good in the game but they wont report or comment… Read more »

Milo

Brown was probably ordering the team sandwiches / subway after the game; who knows what he said but Gould loves the theatre Shelley we all know it and he is big on bull-dust. I saw through him yrs ago with his spin and waffle.
Parra will show through their actions we hope in the next two weeks.
Gould has many stories in the closet from Penrith and kept his old allegiances there for a while.
What is interesting is Griffin is stubborn too and will not back down, good on him I say.

June

Quite a few years ago in our wooden spoon years the Eels beat the Roosters who had been playing really well and no one rated us a chance to beat them. My son and I were walking out of Parra Stadium and Gould walked beside us, my son said to Gould gee that was a surprise and Gould replied “ oh I knew you’d be the Roosters tonight”. That just proved to me what a two faced person he was. I’ve never liked him since he coached Panthers and I was at the races when the Panthers and Gould were… Read more »

sixties

I reckon you’ve nailed Gus 2020 JonBoy.

jack herd

Could not have written it better myself. The anti-parra bias in the media is so obvious. There are some more rumblings in media around the drop in form coming from our forwards..notably our two front rowers with a dropping in output from the first 8 rounds. It is not physically possible to do the numbers they were doing at the start of the season. If I was the coaching staff, I would take a siege mentality within the group. Us against the world type mentality. Challenged the forward pack to prove any doubters wrong. I see a big few weeks… Read more »

Shelley

This time two years ago we had collected the wooden spoon, had no money and an uncertain future. We had an old playing roster, that was unbalanced. We have turned it around, have recruited well and if we can stay in the four we have made improvements each year. It took him 7 years to get the Panthers from bottom of the table to be up in the top four. In truth Cleary had to undo some of his overspending to recruit what they needed to make the top 4. He hates the supporter base that Parra has. It does… Read more »

Shelley

In losing that game we have given us the chance to play Penrith week 1 and avoid travelling to Brisbane to face the Storm. Nice prize I would say. Take care of the next two weeks and I feel we will be the ones laughing at the end of the week 1 finals.

jack herd

I agree with you here. Our best chance would be to beat panthers in week 1 of the finals. The other two outfits are too professional and too seasoned. What I love was seeing the boys huddled up in the sheds after. They know whats at stake, and they know what they need to do. It was telling that Nathan Brown was doing most of the talking. Everything is in our hands now. Take care of Brisbane and Tigers and it is a different ball game.

Rocket

I had to watch the game without audio as the speakers gave out on the only TV available.
It put a different perspective on the game as I formed my own opinion while watching. I think I could watch all our games televised without
audio now.
Some of the six again calls received by Penrith were unwarranted when compared to some we didn’t receive for the same tackles.
I’ll watch again tomorrow to see what the commentary was.

Shelley

That referee, Sutton has far too much say in games. Sometimes it goes for you sometimes against. I know Parra fans don’t like Ben Cummins, after that finals games in Melbourne, but at least with him you know what he will do. He allows more wrestle and therefore you can prepare for it. Sutton decides how he thinks the games should be played, he is inconsistent with his interpretations within games and from week to week he is so unpredictable. He gets flustered in games and loses his cool. With him in the middle it is an absolute lottery. Give… Read more »

TolElelts

Hi, thanks for a very nice and articulate breakdown of the game. However, I prefer if BA is ore vocal of the issues we are having with the refs. I know he might don’t want to use it as a reason when a game is lost but as you have said Cleary had planted a seed with Sutton on the Raiders and reap it with us.

Kramerica

That was a fantastic article and a joy to read Shelley. I’m baffled by some of the garbage (and that’s being nice) I’m reading elsewhere lately and your piece was a breath of fresh air.
We’re sitting 4th and I’m thoroughly loving the ride. Anything is very much still possible 🙂
Thanks again and all the best to you, sixties, Mitch and the gang 🙂

Shelley

If you can not handle up and downs or emotional erratic supporters you really should follow a different team. Like you I embrace the ride.

sixties

Cheers for dropping by mate.

Salty Pete

We still can’t avoid the fact that we now have the second worst attacking record in the League. After BA came out and blamed it on losing Brown and Mahoney, he’s finally lost me. This has been happening for months. I agree with most experts in that it comes down to Moses. The opposition knows this, you stop Moses you stop Parra.

Shelley

There are 7 teams in the competition with worse for ( attack- this is clearly shown on the NRL ladder) and we are fourth best in defence- 28pts behind first.
Not denying our attack needs to get better- but that can be worked on, poor defence at this point is something that cannot be fixed.
If we cannot score points against the Broncos/ Tigers I will be concerned.

Salty Pete

Shelley, the ladder is a measure for the season, but to quote Fox stats… “since Round 9 Parramatta have gone from averaging 25 points per game (2nd) to only 13.8 points (15th) and now sit worst in terms of line breaks and 13th in terms of tackle busts.” I am actually not trying to be too critical and as I’ve said before, this is a good team, and Moses is a very talented player. I’m just not sure it is enough, and I’m not sure BA is the coach to be able to fine-tune this process. And for him to… Read more »

Shelley

So if we follow this logic if we beat the Broncos by a lot this week then we don’t have an attack problem. You either look at the entire season or you don’t. Fox have used the stats that suit there agenda and that is what my post is about, trying to create a story by being selective and making our truths that are not reflective.

Salty Pete

But Shelley, we do have a problem. And that is the point. We have only played the top sides once. We have had more home games than most. Irrespective of how we all may use statistics, we have a problem. I know some sectors of the press, have an agenda, but let’s not forget, most of the press, were singing our praises earlier in the comp based on our performances. I think it is naive to think that we are now being victimized by all the press. There is only one reason why we are coming under scrutiny, and that… Read more »

sixties

There was an analysis done by an independent site which assessed Manly as having the toughest draw and the Eels second toughest. We only received one extra home game to what we could have expected – one – and that was against the Roosters during the COVID central venues period and it was a designated Roosters home game. It’s been teams like the Storm and the Warriors who’ve had a true disadvantage with grounds. We lost that extra game, so hardly an advantage. Salty, nobody has their head in the sand that the attack doesn’t need to improve, but there… Read more »

Salty Pete

Sixties, your reply is all I love about the CT – a thoughtful thinking fan’s site with an underlying respectful loyalty for the team. That said, was that Independent Site run by your Mum??? Lol! Anyways, I hope you are all right about the team. At the moment, I have them as the 6th best team in the comp – last year they were 5th. I actually think they have gone backwards irrespective of where they are on the ladder. But I could be wrong. I have been wrong many times before – just ask my wife!

Brett Allen

Any objective view of the season it is clear that we are a long way off the pace. Yes we are 4th, but as teams have scouted us, our game plan has become easier to defend, and what’s worse we don’t seem to know how to adjust on the fly.
Based on current form we are at best I think the 6th best team in the league, and current form is all that matters at this stage of the season. What we did in June & July is now irrelevant.

Rowdy

Excellent Shelley.

You absolutely nailed it girl!

sixties

👍 👍 👍

Fathead

I’ll be there supporting as usual but we can’t just lump the opinions of Gus and others as agenda bias. These blokes KNOW their football and whilst Gus may have an agenda, others don’t and they are ALL writing off the Eels. If the team crashes and burns in this final series then the torch just has to be turned on the coaching staff. I truly believe we have the team to win but good players are looking second rate and the question has to be asked why. Forget excuses because if you go looking for them, you will find… Read more »

sixties

But the team will be playing finals footy Fathead! And you want to dump them as they are at the point of probably producing a regular finals contending team. 🤔🤔🤔

Brett Allen

But they are no longer improving 60’s, the vast majority of the team are still young enough that they should be still improving, that’s what you’re not willing to recognise. I asked you on another thread if you think that the team is improving, and your silence said it all, because there is no way you can say with a straight face we are improving. Not a single player has made significant improvement this season, other than improvement that comes with maturity. Not s single players game has been elevated due to BA’s coaching this season. The best you could… Read more »

Rowdy

How long did you give that dope Kearney? Fathead. What about Brian Smith, who had already coached teams in England and Sydney to losing GF’s? I was disappointed too, but was willing to keep giving him chances to show me he had acquired the knowledge and experience to go one better. 2005 was the icing on the cake so he had to go. I believe the coach who did the best with what he had was Daniel Anderson, whom I believed would have got us that elusive Premiership if they’d given him a couple more years to build HIS team.… Read more »

Brett Allen

All that is true Rowdy, which is why I’ve supported BA up until now, I believed he deserved every opportunity to show that he could make us better, but the only improvement has come from upgrades in talent. No player under his watch has made unexpected improvement in their game due to coaching.

Rowdy

Brett, I have seen individual player improvement a little differently mate. Gutho came as a fish out of water centre reject from Manly and was played on the wing just to get him into the starting side. His improvement has been incredible where he is now one of the best fullbacks in the game. Moses after being told he could look elswhere with Corey Norman toward the end of 2018, knuckled down and learnt to be a playmaker controlling the side and has done other things he didn’t think he needed to do like put on some muscle. Dylan Brown… Read more »

Brett Allen

But Gutho was always going to improve, BA has said that himself, but even Gutho has stagnated in some areas. His kicking game, particularly under pressure is poor, and yes modern fullbacks have to have that string to their bow. Mitch Moses has regressed this season. I had him pegged as the Blues halfback, now he is at best Freddie’s 4th choice behind Cleary, Pearce & Adam Reynolds. Dylan Brown is in just his 2nd season, it is far too early to be talking about improvement in him. Nathan Brown certainly has improved, and I’ll give BA credit for that,… Read more »

Sherrie

Well said I watch now with no sound at all

sixties

👍 👍 👍

Gary

Looking at 2021. What juniors may come into contention? How has Hughes,Hollis and Kyle developed? Do we have any other guys who could be a suprise debutant?

sixties

Hughes and Schneider are in the bubble, so not getting any footy apart from training. Hollis playing in the 20s local comp. I’m expecting a group of about eight 20s players to do the preseason and some of them will get Dev contracts for 2021.

Achilles' Eel

You’ve named three of them. Could the others be Sam, Sean, Jake, Viliame and Tasi?

DDay

Good article Shelley, some really interesting observations. I was impressed by the Eels effort, the defence and scramble was immense & defence is key to the end of season as you highlighted.
I did feel the eels kick chase was missing & gave Cleary too much room.
I couldn’t understand how we ended with so little ball (40%) when our retention was so high – I just kept thinking it would even up.

Shelley

I agree about kick chase. Obviously fatigue could be an excuse but our kick chase has been very inconsistent lately. There have been times that it looks like miscommunication or worse – poor effort. My guess is people trying to solve the problems themselves leading to uncertainty. All this negative press will have one of two outcomes, it could create a seige mentality, all in together or create doubt. The players leadership group must steer this team, I think that is what Nathan Brown was doing post game, but again I am guessing and really just hoping that is what… Read more »

Rowdy

I agree with all of that Shelley, and am actually inspired by the Leadership shown by Nathan Brown post game in the sheds, and they clearly all bought in. Nathan appeared to be reminding his teammates of all the positives of that effort they all put in together before the hype turned to dismay because of the score. I thought, why am I surprised by NB taking the ball up in the sheds? He does it all day long on the paddock, You could see he is highly respected by his teammates.That was a Churchillian moment me. Best speech I… Read more »

DDay

Some more good points Shelley – here’s hoping 2016 & 2019 are the model – Nathan Brown’s call to arms gives hope.

The Media’s superficial peices set the discussion std so low.

There’s been positive signs of increased intensity against the warriors and Riff, now a couple of games to build confidence.

Northcoasteel

Thank you so much!!! Like a breath of fresh air!!! I am so sick and tired of all the negative ‘drop this one, we don’t score enough tries, we let too many tries in, Brad Arthur should be sacked’ blahhhdefu#$in blah!! Are these people for real??? We are sitting inside the top 4, 2 rounds to go before the finals start. EXACTLY where historically teams that win the comp win from. Top 4. Anyone would think the way these muppets are carrying on that it was 2018 again!! I can’t wait for finals to begin, Melbourne look beatable. Penrith will… Read more »

Anonymous

Well said

Anonymous

Hope Andrew Johns isn’t getting paid for coaching Moses,getting money for nothing.

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