The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Flint Michigan Megabowl Edition

NRL Team List

 

The spirit of Jackie Moon will guide the Parramatta Eels for the remainder of the regulation season this year as they push to secure a 4th placed finish. Given the benign draws of the three teams placed above them, 4th place is by far the most likely scenario for Brad Arthur and the Eels and should be treated as the realistic goal for the final two rounds of the regulation season.

Naturally, that means taking care of business against the Brisbane Broncos this week in the prime time slot on Friday night in a game that shapes up as something similar to Semi-Pro’s Flint Michigan Mega Bowl. A victory this week keeps the Canberra Raiders at arm’s length and puts Parramatta’s hands on the coveted Top 4 finish.

The Eels were fully in their element when these two teams met earlier this year to relaunch the 2020 season and Parramatta’s ability to recapture the blueprint of that 34-6 victory in Round 3 will define how successful their postseason push will be in the coming weeks. Junior Paulo was devastating as a bulldozer and a play-maker while the rest of the forward pack bullied the Broncos into submission. Most importantly however was the fact that the Eels showed the patience and desire to build their way into the game and stormed home to the blowout score line in the second half after doing the hard work earlier.

While the Blue & Gold have teased the idea that they might have turned the corner a number of times throughout their downturn of form, their defensive effort against the rampant Panthers in Round 18 was the first time they truly resembled a competition heavyweight in some form for months. Battling against a torrid possession rate and a red-hot offensive outfit in the Panthers, the Eels defended grimly up until the death in a hugely encouraging team performance on that particular side of the ball.

I am not expecting a similarly exhaustive defensive effort this week, if only because possession rates should normalise, but the the reignition of that defensive spark ahead of the finals is extremely significant. In that vein, now is the time for the Eels to find the diametrically opposing catalyst and turn the smouldering flames of their attack into a roaring inferno.

Mitchell Moses might be hampered by a calf-strain but Parramatta have to find a way to game-plan around that limiting factor. Clinton Gutherson’s play-making ability will be crucial here and so too is the return of Reed Mahoney this week. Gutherson has been a victim of the Eels straying too far sideways in recent weeks, restricting his options down either edge. Conversely, Mahoney made promising strides forwards before his injury against the New Zealand Warriors, making dangerous inroads through the ruck and injecting life into Parramatta’s offence.

Not only do Parramatta have to find the delicate balance between these three men, the forwards need to return to their bruising best and take a stranglehold on the ascendancy through the ruck. It seems like a lot to do in just two weeks but that is the reality facing the Eels. Unfortunately, they will have to do that without the services of Raymond Stone who returns to the injured list with another knock to his thumb. Will Smith will handle the utility duties from the bench in light of Stone’s absence after showing his coach plenty of heart and hustle last Friday night. Stone joins Marata Niukore (and if a miracle occurs, perhaps Dylan Brown) as a likely reinforcement for Week 1 of the finals while Parramatta also welcome back quality depth options this week in George Jennings and Daniel Alvaro.

 

Parramatta Eels Brisbane Broncos
1 Clinton Gutherson 1 Darius Boyd
2 Maika Sivo 2 Corey Oates
3 Michael Jennings 3 Kotoni Staggs
4 Waqa Blake 4 Herbie Farnworth
5 Blake Ferguson 5 Richard Kennar
6 Jai Field 6 Tyson Gamble
7 Mitchell Moses 7 Tom Dearden
8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8 Joe Ofahengaue
9 Reed Mahoney 9 Isaac Luke
10 Junior Paulo 10 Ben Te’o
11 Shaun Lane 11 David Fifita
12 Ryan Matterson 12 Alex Glenn
13 Nathan Brown 13 Patrick Carrigan
14 Will Smith 14 Cory Paix
15 Andrew Davey 15 Jamil Hopoate
16 Kane Evans 16 Xavier Coates
17 Oregon Kaufusi 17 Ethan Bullemor
18 Haze Dunster 18 Kobe Hetherington
19 Stefano Utoikamanu 19 Pride Petterson-Robati
20 George Jennings 20 Sean O’Sullivan
21 Daniel Alvaro 21 Jesse Arthars

 

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Brett Allen

I am still flabbergasted that anyone thinks we defended were against the Panthers.
Talk about living in unreality

Brett Allen

Tell me how we defended well Forty ? Because I’ve put this question to 60’s and all I get is that I’m being negative. Yeah OK, we scrambled well on our own line & in our own 20, but what about the other 80m ? To be a great defensive team you’ve gotta defend the full 100 x 69, not just when it gets desperate. If we had defended in midfield better maybe we wouldn’t have had to scramble like mad dogs on our own line for so much of the game and then could’ve fired something approximating a decent… Read more »

Brett Allen

Everyone is quoting tackle efficiency like that actually means something, but what that doesn’t illustrate is tackle effectiveness, which ya a much better illustration of defence. How many times did their middles pull through tackles, get their shoulders through, land in their front, get a quick PTB, then get a roll on ? Time and time again is the answer. Don’t blame the ref, we didn’t earn the right to slow the ruck down because our first contact was poor most of the time. How many times has did they break our first tackle attempts ? Again, you guys are… Read more »

Anonymous

It appears Bretts comments re The Eels Defensive effort vrs Penrith are somewhat supported by Colmac’s commentsin his “Stats That Matter”.

Anonymous

How so? He asks the questions about the defence then answers with time in possession as a major factor.

Glenn

40/20 I consider your threat poor form, this is a fan site and an outlet for supporters like Brett to vent their feelings and he makes some valid points. Perhaps what upsets him most is BA saying, not once, but several times that’s its a easy fix. That nothing appears to have changed to the way we’re playing makes me think BA has NFI and its deja vu for yet another year.

Salty Pete

40/20 it’s not like the CT to get sensitive. Brett is merely venting his frustration. I have said before, this team and coach have probably achieved their potential. We can either accept it, which I have, or call for the Head of BA and a few of the players. The fact that the Club have signed BA for a potential 9 year term either indicates that they don’t consider a premiership the ultimate goal for this team, or believe that BA is the man to achieve this goal. Time will tell, but after 8 years, we are deep into the… Read more »

Milo

Glenn I agree re: BA comments; I was glad he said this but the proof will be in the scoreline. We are playing two attacking teams in the next two games; if we do not complete well we will need to defend big time, and the Broncs have nothing to lose and gain either way.

Brett Allen

Yeah, as you know Glenn I’ve been an ardent supporter of Brad’s for his whole tenure, because I believed he deserved every chance to show he could take us to the promised land. Unfortunately I no longer believe we can get better under him.
I’m extremely grateful for what he has done for us, but the sample size is now big enough I believe.
It’s time

Gustarny

Brett doesn’t your head really hurt when you continually bang it against the wall.Seriously mate yes we can and should be playing better but 13 and 5 is a great season let it unfold and if we do go out in straight sets I’d expect that changes be made to certain areas of the coaching staff for 2021.

Brett Allen

Yes we’ve had a great season, but I’m no longer seeing improvement, and more importantly I’m not seeing improvement in our attention to detail. For example, against the Panthers we were on the last, and as we’re playing the ball Nathan Brown decides at the last possible second to run up beside the PTB and stand there to impede the kick pressure. But in doing so he ran in the passing lane from Stone to Moses. Stone, a part time DH at best, had to stop and pass around Brownie with predictable results. The pass went behind Moses, so he… Read more »

Fathead

Talking about regression Brett, it’s just such a surprise to see you taking this stance. You are usually so pro BA even in the face of the slow death that we have been seeing for years. It’s like a light has been turned on and you are now seeing ! Whilst I respect what the boys on TCT are saying, I must agree with you here. We have lost the ability to manage the little things, the attention to details. I’ll leave it there lest I go on another BA rant !

Brett Allen

As I have said on numerous occasions I believed that BA deserved every opportunity to show he could elevate the team to genuine contenders, and for the first 8 rounds this season it looked like we were building towards that this season. Then we had a bit of a midseason lull, but that’s not unusual, it’s damn near impossible to stay up for the whole season, so OK, the team was collecting wins, we were top 2. Everything’s all good. But the problem is that we haven’t built to anything, Our season is sliding out the back door and we… Read more »

Salty Pete

There are great coaches and there are good coaches. BA is a good coach. Unfortunately it’s not enough to win a premiership. If we were 2 even 3 years into his tenure, no worries, let him have his head, but after 8??? Bring me his head!!

Milo

HI Brett, I see these issues too and also the refereeing, and while I try not to get worked up about both I do; hence why i try and not comment on a match until at least 24 hours after. I find myself more frustrated these days than when i was 16…..maybe because when I was 16 we won our last comp. Seriously, I have deliberately not watched any football shows post Covid, fox and nine and feel better for it. Parra in my view too have hit some type of flatness / less energy but I saw some good… Read more »

Colin Hussey

I have pretty much put last weeks game behind me, however in saying that, a few shorts of the game have popped up that highlight the two main areas that are cause for concern, and they do not relate to the actual overall performance of the eels especially in defence, although the two areas do actually reflect on the defence. The two areas are the tries at half time and full time. No doubt to me that in both of those tries, the eels were looking for a break and basically were looking at that and dropped in concentration which… Read more »

Eggman

Opinion is fine but just say it once and move on mate.It’s enough that I have to put up with all the negativity and pessimism from guys who have little to no idea about the game over in the other room.Despite the talk early we are really the Underdog here, every other team in the 8 has at least one SOO rep in the spine and in Roosters case possibly 3 not to mention across the rest of the roster.We are doing pretty damn good when you actually pull your head in from the unreality.This is real D and G… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

Eggman I’m trying to enjoy the ride but the only ride we are doing is a slippery dip .

Scoring 2 points in 2 Games is not a good ride I Wana be on. It’s so hard to watch my team fumble n bumble there way around the footy field. Tell me what has changed since Rd 8 because if ppl Wana be on this ride then I want off it.

Eggman

That’s about the time we lost Moses, maybe that was the catalyst for the form slump? Who knows. Since then we have been basically without at least one of our starting halves or hooker.How do the other teams look without say Keary, Smith, Cook or Reynolds etc? What I do believe is that if we can see the issues, and the likes of Sterlo etc can see the issues then sure as hell the Coach and players can see them and will be doing all they can to fix things.Against Warriors Reed came out and played a different game, more… Read more »

Brett Allen

Eggman you’ve never repeated an opinion before ?
What you really mean is you don’t like my opinion so go away.

Zero58

Brett. I understand your frustration and if we forget stats and numbers and concentrate on weight of possession Penrith had enough to fill the scoreboard. The simple fact is they scored their first try seconds from the end of the first half. If you go back watch that try I thought Waqa Blake could have been obstructed by a defender that left Ferguson isolated. The third and last try was about 23 seconds to go, second half. So with all that possession and territory Penrith got a try from a kick and two tries with seconds running down on the… Read more »

Brett Allen

But why did they have such a possession & field position advantage ? The answer is that our upfield & midfield defence was soft as butter. 57 missed tackles, the vast majority of which were high up the park, which allowed the Panthers to march downfield virtually without resistance. We compound that problem by trying to slow down the ruck, hence the flood of 6 again’s. The Panthers middles pulled through tackles like they playing against an U’20’s team, shrugging off our first contact far too easily, far too often. They scored their first try after 39 minutes & 50… Read more »

Poppa

Harsh Brett, but I cannot really fault any of the arguments you have made, especially the point of our upfield defence…..I like you don’t understand why?

Zero58

Brett. Hi. The only team that really flogged Parra was Souths in that period. Penrith gained an advantage down the middle on the back of dubious repeat sets and the number of times they got 10 tackles really hurt. They took full advantage of it but, Brett that is as far as they got. With the amount of possession they had and with Parra under the pump with scrambling defence Penrith got what, one try with seconds to go in the first half. Think about – they had enough ball and field position to be at least ahead by 24… Read more »

sixties

Spot on Zero. I’m sick of people saying that Penrith bombed opportunities. If the situation was reversed it would be said that Parra had that much possession and could only score when and how they did. The Riff didn’t score because the last ditch defence kept finding something to put pressure on the catch, the pass, the carry. Look at the Dogs/Souths game and what happens with possession swings. The Dogs put on 20 in the early part of the first half on the back of dominant possession. Souths got some possession and scored, but they weren’t good enough to… Read more »

Brett Allen

The problem is we could beat the Broncos by 60 and it won’t mean squat

The rev aka Snedden

After watching last week n ppl keep on telling me that we defended with purpose is just rubbish. I watched sterlo during the week n I think his spot on with a few things. He stated that Moses needs to run direct instead of sideline to sideline looking for holes. He also said we have to stop running one out with our forward’s we are easy targets. Didn’t agree with him about will smith going to 5\8 . He Brad Arthur should use him as a backup hooker which he is looking at doing. Another thing he was talking about… Read more »

Salty Pete

Without going into the details….. We are the 6 best side out of 16. I’m content with that. How do we get better? I have no idea.

Glenn

Actually Will Smith impressed me last week. One can only hope 2014 doesn’t rear its ugly head this time round.

Laraby

People keep saying how Moses is hampered by a calf strain, stop making excuse alot of other players have niggling injuries yet still do their job, Moses unfortunately is not. BA needs to show he is serious and drop players that are not performing, such as Wanga who contributes alot to our poor defense with his running in and bad reads, drop him and move Fergo to centre and give Dunster a go. They keep saying take accountability well it isjust that but unfortunately with the team most of it is only words, action speaks louder than words and the… Read more »

Poppa

have you ever had a calf or achillies injury laraby?…..it doesn’t let you stretch out. My guess for Moses form is that BA decided to play him as a general and not as a runner…..Gee I wonder why Cronk played with a broken shoulder in last years grand final?….In saying that it hasn’t worked but also think that his bombs which he has been roundly been critiqued for were and would be a lot better than what ever Moses replacement would have been able to do? Think about that one Laraby and then ask yourself what you in your daily… Read more »

Big Derek

As most have described , we are going through a poor stretch and it is being magnified by injuries in the spine. BA has rescued the club from the pits of despair and I believe deserves to continue. What is a mess is the structure in attack of a very talented line up. It’s nothing more than frustrating to see the manner in which the attack is formed and it’s so easy to read that if you have a seat high in the stands, you can view the opposition set themselves for the inevitable next tackle. At a minimum there’s… Read more »

Anonymous

I hope you are right about our finals chance Big Derek. Steve Murphy is the only assistant to still be with BA. Kidwell was 2018 and Carr is new. Every head coach has the final and biggest say in appointments and in a team’s attack and defence. Are you suggesting the fault lies with Murphy or Brad Arthur?

Last edited 9 hours ago by Anonymous
Colin Hussey

Kidwell is still with the eels, he sits to the left of BA in commentary boxes. Also he is seen in one of very recent training days photo lists.

BDon

The better half thinks I get too analytical at times, wanting to know the reason behind everything. So I don’t mind the thought line being crunched in this blog. We had 3 big issues for mine – a soft, leaky middle, poor formation/numbering up in red zone and an error count more like a double bogey most games.The middle has improved with recruiting of big, agile forwards of higher competence. The red zone defence remains dodgy, and I don’t know how we hit the lead in defence stats at one stage. The errors trouble me as we seem to magnify… Read more »

sixties

I’m trusting your last line is tongue planted firmly in cheek.

BDon

i sort of run out of energy with long posts sixties. If I had to expand that I comment it would be along the lines that I didn’t need to hear Brett’s repeat comments and I’m not a sack the coach advocate, but most of his posts throw in an observation or two that provoke thought, particularly as he is pointing to ‘the detail’, something that interests me. Outsiders think Rugby League is a crass game but they have no idea of the complexity and detail to be mastered to reach the elite level. TCT, for example has educated me… Read more »

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