The Cumberland Throw

Post Game Grades – Finals Week 1 vs Melbourne


Parramatta_Eels_logo.svg  Parramatta Eels 24

   Melbourne Storm 36


The Good:
Those first 20 minutes, man. Oh how sweet they were.

A terrific charge down, a loose try from Cyborg, swift defensive lines, a clearly rattled Melbourne Storm and then one of the best damn left to right shifts you ever did see for an incredible Eels team try. It was 12-0 and the chips were falling our way. We were engaged, locked on and taking it to our bogey team.

I was very careful not to actually think about having a week off at that point, not even whisper it. But what I was feeling and seeing felt good.

However, tellingly as an Eels fan, I didn’t want more of it. I wanted the game to end then and there.

Writing about it now in hindsight, I wonder how many Eels players felt the same. I wonder if any of the players felt a bit like me, not having a killer instinct to go on with it, not wanting to extract more blood and points from their opposition, but to instead pick up said chips and cash them in.

Maybe it was just me and my fear of perpetual Eels failure, but maybe we all need a bit more venom and a hunger, rather than waiting for the ball to bounce our way.

It’s nice to be playing in our first back-to-back Finals series since 2007, but I want to win some games, ruin some other teams’ plans and flip the script on all the people who say we can’t. Because right now, they’re being proven correct.

These Grades will be a literary journey of contradiction; I am incredibly proud of our efforts, but disappointed in the outcome all the same.

Little we can do now but gear up for Week 2.

The Bad:
Well, losing a Final was the main issue, but to break it down, it was a combination of injuries, horrific edge defence, poor options, frustrating penalties and fundamental errors.

I think the first serious shift in momentum came around the time Maika Sivo’s 2020 campaign was ended by a likely MCL injury. The subsequent backline shuffle actually held pretty firm, but was soon figured out and seized upon by the Storm before Blake Ferguson looked to have snapped his leg in half (apparently he might just be ok). At one stage, I also thought Andrew Davey was dead (also passed his HIA).

Our edge defence (particularly, but not exclusively in the vicinity of Waqa Blake) is flat out poor. Not poor for a Finals team, not poor for the team coming 3rd; it’s just poor. It’s pourous in fact; conceding all but one of Melbourne’s four pointers last night as they helped themselves to 36 points, a poor measure by any defensive standard.

We’re not going to win Premierships by simply trying hard, showing effort and commitment, blaming referee errors or ruing injuries. Whoever comes in next week (George Jennings or Haze Dunster, maybe Brad Takairangi you’d think) will need to play out of their skin against a Bunnies side still licking their lips from our last encounter, and the rest of the team will need to do the same.

The X-Factor:
I’m sorry, but I didn’t actually think the refereeing was that bad. Our edge defence was, however.

For what it’s worth, last night the Storm dominated possession (54 to 46%), won the penalty count (6 to 5), had less missed tackles (25 to 44) and my personal favourite stat running metres (2246 to 2025). The Eels had better completions (32/41 for 76% to 28/40 for 70%), less errors (9 to 16) and had a farcical scrum advantage (12 to 2).

Brad Arthur coached Eels teams are now 1 from 5 in Finals games, having never made it past Week 2 of the Finals. Melbourne, on the other hand, Melbourne are now unbeaten in their past 19 starts north of the border, have won 14 from their last 23 Finals games overall and are 7-0 against the Eels in those games.

Despite likely going in as underdogs, surely some pretty difficult questions will be asked if we don’t manage to get past South Sydney next week.

The MVP:
He’s been a little out of favour in the last few weeks, but I actually thought it was Shaun Lane’s best game of the year. Not only did he slice through for the final try of the game, his charge down on Cameron Smith and challenge on the ensuing bomb made our first try possible. His stat game (18 runs for 163 metres, a linebreak, 3 tackle breaks and 25 tackles) is also worthy of the Pool Room, particularly when you consider the occasion.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce that Shaun Bradley Lane is this week’s MVP.

I’m also reliably informed his middle name is not Bradley.

1- Clinton Gutherson (c)

Fullback, Parramatta Eels

Held unusually quiet with the ball (13 runs for 88m, 2 tackle breaks, 1 linebreak assist), I thought Clinton Gutherson was outstanding at the back, particularly in defence. He also started and finished one of the sweetest tries you ever did see.

I wish we had 13 more just like him; or at least 5 or 6, anyways.

2- Maika Sivo

Left Wing, Parramatta Eels

Although there were some high moments (a thousand tries against the Cowboys at Bankwest Stadium, for example), I suspect Season 2020 wasn’t exactly what Maika Sivo imagined it would be, nor last night’s injury what he asked for on his birthday.

Here’s hoping he’s back in 2021 faster, bigger, fitter and stronger than ever.

3- Michael Jennings

Left Centre, Parramatta Eels

Other than one defensive misread (by the whole right edge, not just Jenko), it was a stellar all round game from the veteran. Michael Jennings ran 8 times for an incredible 109 metres, had a linebreak, a team high 4 tackle breaks and 16 tackles.

Did anyone else notice that MJ’s first half head strapping didn’t actually cover the cut on his nose?

4- Waqa Blake

Right Centre, Parramatta Eels

Waqa Blake might actually be a winger, because I’ll tell you this right now, despite all his energy and the collective best efforts of the coaching staff and men either side of him, the man cannot defend as a centre at present. To say he is a turnstile does not take into account that turnstiles occasionally offer resistance, or prohibit unticketed patrons from entering. Waqa Blake is more akin to a defensive green light.

And no, the top knot did not help (7 for 47m, 5 tackles, 3 missed). Like that old Eels football in sitting in our backyard, I want to love what I best remember of Waqa Blake so damn much, but all I feel right now is let down.

5- Blake Ferguson

Right Wing, Parramatta Eels

Good on Fergo for not screwing up that Reed Mahoney grubber, and some good attacking stats (6 runs for 66 metres, 3 tackle breaks and a try). However, judging by my overzealous reaction, I enjoyed his untimely fumbled catch about as much as he enjoyed his knee injury. It’s too simplistic to say either Waqa or Fergo is at fault for the out of control defensive bushfire which is our right edge; they have both shown they are capable of putting together robust defence in the past. But, assuming Fergo is fit, these two animosity targets need to find a way to recapture their very best form next week more than ever.

6- Dylan Brown

Five Eighth, Parramatta Eels

Although a little rusty (ugh, that kick in the attacking half on the fourth tackle, the forward pass to Waqa) Dylan Brown will be much better for the run, and it looks like his body held up pretty well. Even now I prefer we risked him in last night’s loss if it means he’s got a game under his belt going into next week’s do or die clash with the Bunnies.

7- Mitchell Moses

Halfback, Parramatta Eels

Sure he missed some tackles (missing 7, making 21) and defends on that troublesome right edge, but Mitchell Moses was good with the ball last night with 7 runs (70m), a line break, a try assist, 2 tackle breaks, over 400 kicking metres and a perfect 4 from 4 with the boot. Despite being a magnet for the lazy critic’s comments, his attacking organisation wasn’t the problem for the Eels last night. Personally, I would like to see him holster the attacking bomb for a kick to the corner approach, however.

8- Reg Campbell Gillard

Prop, Parramatta Eels

Once again, the two pillars of our prop rotation were excellent, with RCG powering through 14 runs for 133m, 2 tackle breaks and 20 tackles. The biggest issue we have with our 8 and 10 is what to do when they’re off the field; it has very little to do with the time that they’re on.


Sorry, I know it’s unorthodox, but I’ve decided to take a leaf out of the Melbourne Storm playbook, and put a stop on any momentum you were feeling in Post Game Grades by calling a halt to play.

It’s ok, it’s only a cramp.


9- Reed Mahoney

Hooker, Parramatta Eels

Tasked with opposing the greatest hooker to ever play the game, Reed Mahoney played one of the best games of his young career. It wasn’t just a crisp passing game (95 passes), his 6 darts (48m, 1 tackle break) or his usually sublime defence (42 tackles). I mean, that was nice and all.

I’ll also defend the shepherd call on him too, as the Storm defence was so far offside he had little choice but to run to his right. No problems there.

But that little grubber kick for Fergo to score in the corner and allow Moses to tie it up at 18 a piece?

Any excuse to use this GIF again.

10- Junior Paulo

Prop, Parramatta Eels

A mountain among men. In the stats department, Junior Paulo has been credited with 13 runs, 100m, 2 offloads, 2 tackle breaks and 30 tackles. But it’s more so this Instagram post that highlights his contribution to the Blue & Gold, both last night and going forward:

Heck yeah, Junior.

11- Shaun Lane

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

Shot through the heart, you’re tall Shaun Lane. You give love a bad name.

12- Ryan Matterson

Second Row, Parramatta Eels

A good solid game from the young man with 11 runs for 99m, 2 offloads, 3 tackle breaks and 45 tackles. I know there’s plenty more to come, but he’s already been one of our best in 2020.

It seems I fell in love with a beautiful stranger.

13- Nathan Brown

Lock, Parramatta Eels

Another week, another game from Nathan Brown so ferocious it mad me check under my bed for monsters. This week it was 17 runs (113 metres), one line break assist, 1 try assist, a try, and 38 tackles from Cyborg, and I hope it takes it to his former team next week.


14- Will Smith

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Slippery and elusive, you’d think Will Smith should have done enough to get another contract with the Eels in 2021; more a utility player with an improved defensive resolve (0 missed tackles again last night), the Fresh Prince has been able to reinvent himself in 2020.

15 – Andrew Davey 

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Continuing to show us just what we’ll miss if/when he departs for the Sea Eagles next year, last night it was a case of Farmer Wants a Mr Fix It for AD as he played everywhere from edge to centre and for the briefest of periods, wing.

Despite only having 3 hitups (25m), Andrew Davey’s versatility and 13 tackles were invaluable last night.

16 – Kane Evans

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

To some extent it is expected, but our go forward stalls considerably when Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell Gillard go to the bench. Yes, there’s a case to be made that injuries played a role in our momentum stalling at about the same time, but let’s just say I’ve more than come to terms with Kane Evans departing for the Warriors come 2021. Nice guy, a tonne of talent, but it has never really happened consistently for him in the Blue & Gold.

If you want a snippet of what I’m talking about, watch his efforts on Melbourne’s second try. In a word it was lazy.

17- Marata Niukore

Interchange, Parramatta Eels

Why, what did you yell out when we got six again 5 metres out and Marata Niukore kicked the ball straight to Ryan Papenhuyzen? Let’s just say I’m glad my kids weren’t around.

Elsewhere it was 11 runs for 91 metres, and 20 tackles; but the stat next to his name that will echo beyond Week 1 of the Finals is the one that reads ‘On Report’; I’d be very surprised to see him line up against the Bunnies.

I know the winner of the Knights/Bunnies game hasn’t been decided yet, but it’d be crazy to think Newcastle will be anything but a speedbump for South Sydney this afternoon.

As such, it’s onto next week, steely gazed, bodies bruised but heads held high.

I’ll be doing my best sitting in the stands for what I’m confident will not be our final clash of 2020.

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

Go you Eels,



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

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Perhaps there should be rating for the coaching staff and I think I saw a little tiny snippet there where that hot potato may be in the agenda. On paper we have a team as good as anyone in the NRL. The two year extension to Brad (probably one of the nicest blokes around) was an abysmal decision.

Brett Allen

I didn’t, and still don’t, have a problem with the extension for two reasons. Firstly, the club’s financial situation is solid enough that it can absorb two years worth of coaching salary without too much grief, and secondly, at the time of the extension it felt like the team was really about to do something special, and then it didn’t happen. Now you could say that they jumped the gun, and with hindsight, you’d be right, but I’m content, given the first reason, that the club was just trying to eliminate any chance of instability by extending earlier than they… Read more »


I applaud our effort. But the storm were always one play ahead. Quicker at the ruck, better with the offloads, better kicking game.
I would just like once to see a game where our kicks are finding the ground in space. Frustrates me soo much that our kicks always find the man. Enough with penchant for high floaters find some f**ken open ground please Moses.
Oh and someone’s needs to bring back the biff and pop Munster on the nose. Grub of the highest level


I thought the Grub Of the Highest Level (GOHL) award goes to C Smith?

The rev aka Snedden

You say better with the offload I begg the differ. We beat them in that department 14\10 in our favour.
Moses kicked well I thought even his bomb’s had pap Under pressure.


Their offloads were more effective than ours for 60 minutes of the game.
Don’t remember seeing Pap under that much pressure. If the chase can’t get to Pap what’s the point. Change it up, it’s no use their back 3 getting the ball on the full eveytime, we needed to take them out of the play at the start of the set not allow them to make easy yards


Great in patches and terrible in others was the story of last night. Our edge defence was again appalling and Moses kicking straight to the back 3 was like Groundhog Day. Whatever happened to the nice long kicks in behind the wingers to pin them in the corner?
Also did anyone else see Muster pelt his mouth guard into the crowd? Didn’t one of the Burgess bro’s get suspended for a drink bottle into the crowd?

Last edited 7 months ago by Clive

Watched from the stands. Good team support from the fans. It’s incredible the different era guernseys that were on show. The result was very disappointing but I say this they tried, really tried. You know the Storm are absolute giants when it comes to these games. They still spook the referee. How else can you explain getting nine tackle sets and the best Parra can get is seven. It makes a real difference in putting points on the board. The Storm have learned to manipulate this rule to their advantage. Six more always on the first – really!! The first… Read more »


Terrific comments Zero. And that six again after one tackle is no advantage when it is obviously a calculated offence. The offside, hold down is made the ref screams out 6 again as the team battles to get off the line. Tackle 2 becomes tackle one and territorially the team is no better off and momentum is slowed – which is obviously the intent. Old rule – penalty and concede metres. New rule, one extra tackle but no territory and defence set.


They should consider a penalty on the first or the ref should allow play to continue and award an advantage on three. I wonder if Sivo is suffering from second year syndrome. He has not risen to the same heights as last year. He does not possess the same mental maturity of Dylan Brown who has got even better this year. Mr Sixties its been a great year. Sad if it so quickly disappears. The players can do it but they can’t fix the RHS. They have to change it. Is too late? Well it might be but would it… Read more »

Achilles' Eel

I thought Parra was deserving of a few late six-again calls when the Storm was clearly tiring and making a mess of the ruck – but not to be. There was also an eight point try that was missed. Brenko Lee took almost as long to tackle Shaun Lane as Suliasi Vunivalu took to overcome his cramp complaint.

Achilles' Eel

A further positive to pin one’s hopes on moving forward is that the team did cross the Storm line six times (including the two disallowed tries) with little more than forty percent of the ball.

Interestingly, all the losing teams this weekend managed to post at least twenty points on the opposition. Make of that what you will.

Brett Allen

That was not worthy of an 8 point try, it was late yes, but he barely touched him. I would be outraged if that was awarded against us.

Achilles' Eel

I wouldn’t.

Brett Allen

I was there at the game and it happened right in front of the Eels fan section, and no one, literally no one even mentioned it, and it happened right in front of us.

Achilles' Eel

I guess the television camera must have been outside in the car park and the people in my household were complaining about the reception.

Brett Allen

Trying really hard is not enough, 100% effort should be a given. Trying your hardest is not something to be congratulated on, it should be expected. It is expected. Effort alone is not enough. The Storm & the Roosters aren’t the clubs they are just because they try hard, the difference is they have a plan and they execute it with military precision. We have no identifiable offensive or defensive plan to execute. After 7 years is it too much to expect BA to have implemented a system that we can identify, that we can rely on ? I don’t… Read more »


Thanks Brett. I was there and saw the effort. BA cannot do the tackles or catch the ball or do the passing and the kicking for them. These are well trained professionals who know the what and how. They train to do the things you rightly demand but for some reason once on the field some who we all know about fail with their execution. Why? They panic or don’t talk or are simply not good enough. Changes – yes! To the team not the coach. Should the coach fail to make changes then he should answer to his employer.… Read more »

Brett Allen

I disagree, the raw footy talent is there. We have a top 4 calibre roster. Sure, we can tinker around the edges a bit, and we will, but the core is there. Moses, Gutho, Junior, the Browns, RCG, Niukore, Mahoney, Lane. Matterson, Sivo, Blake, Evans, Davey, that’s as good a core group as any in the league, you then add in quality vets like Jenko, Gower, Fergo & Taka, youngsters like Kaufusi & Utoikamanu and solid backups like Will Smith & Jai Field. That’s a fantastic roster, well constructed, nicely balanced with no real weaknesses and salary cap prudent. Imagine… Read more »


And we now sing from the same song sheet !


100% Brett

Brett Allen

Not officially Mitch, but you know as well as I do it feels inevitable. You know as well as I do we’ve reached our ceiling under BA. You can sense it just as I can. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bloke, he has brought respectability back to our once floundering club, but I no longer have confidence he can elevate us any further. Come Saturday night I’ll be sitting on my couch yelling and screaming at the TV, but I’ll be resigned to the fact that we are going to lose to a Souths team with huge momentum… Read more »

Trouser Eel

Ahhhh. That’s the good stuff. Thanks for posting this Mitch.
I liked the momentum shift. (In your piece, not the game)
We had a 10 minute lapse in defence and Melbourne put on 3 tries. We only lost by 2 tries, with players out injured.
That could have been any one’s game. Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the anvil.


Good analogy Trouser Eel, but I do recall us having an extended period as the hammer for the fist 28 minutes. It was a simple dumb mistake that caused the momentum shift, role reversal I thought.

Parra, forced their, Storm’s errors through committed, relentless defensive pressure and sadly, we Parra forced our own also through lack of patience with the footy.

One Put Pete

Good grades Mitch. A valiant effort by the team but again we forgot to play for 80 minutes. Our RHS is more like a revolving door that admits all comers. Also the Storm are so good at the niggle, almost anything to put you off your game. It could be C Smiths laughing at the refs decision or passing the ball around your body when it’s our penalty and we want to play on quickly.


Why do I feel better off without Sivo and maybe even fergo . Sivo is one dimensional in attack, and Fergo has so many errors. Maybe Blake who cant defend, on the wing and Jennings to the other wing may close up some of those deficiencies.


Maybe Sivo not being available next week and throughout the offseason will do us good for that very reason Mitch? There is an old accepted view of 2nd year syndrome that could be quite applicable concerning observations about Sivo and Dylan. In the second season of an impressive performance of a rookie, The things that worked the year before no longer work as well because they’ve been found out in D and worked out to halt their attack. The good’ns don’t seem to miss a beat.


What a tremendous start to the game. Aggressive defence, shifting the ball and moving the Storm around, so dominant. So the Eels can mix it with the best but 80 mins seems a bridge too far. There were some tremendous performances from Gutherson, Reed, Lane, Paulo, NBrown, Jennings and Gillard (agree with your B+ grades Mitch). Part of the patchiness is because of poor edge defence, players 1-17 do not perform. Disappointing. The vulnerability down both edges but particularly Waqa|Fergo has been and ongoing issue for many weeks – Einstein’s definition of madness is “doing the same thing over and… Read more »


Surely big Laneo with that MVP performance has earnt himself a nickname.

Has to be Woodley. Surely.


Shaun Lane, Reed Mahoney, toss the coin. Both could probably not find much more in the personal contribution stakes. Rambling random takes. We get 3 on 2 or 2 on 1’s put on us like it’s a normal thing, and when we get the numbers right, someone is a step behind the tempo and half gaps open up. The second half just slipped away via our defence plus 2 turning points – a Moses/Munster 6 again (3rd tackle?) and Fergo’s fumble. Tries from both, but the Moses call was diabolical.Munster tried to push Moses off with almost a punch to… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

What a Game by our boy’s. Proud as punch 👏👏 Did anyone else think that Jenko n Ferguson is a much better wing Centre combo ? That First half well First 20 was just awesome to watch. That Gutherson try was what we are capable of if we put it together. Try of the year for mine. This team proved that when the going gets tough then we will do what ever it takes to fight our way back. Lane stand up n be proud keep playing like that n we will be ok. Big Andrew Davey please stay Brad… Read more »

The rev aka Snedden

For us to loose by 12 to the Storm girl’s with so much possession in there favour was great if that was any other team that would have been to much to fight back.

Salty Pete

Mitch, great report. All Parra fans should applaud the boys last night. They went up there to win. The Storm are formidable opponents in these games, and without dissecting the game (Mitch has done that in style). We simply weren’t good enough. All fans can ask is that the team did their best, and given the current team, that they did. I believe this team is 90% a premiership winning team. Just a few tweaks needed. W. Blake is not learning. I would have blooded Salmon at centre months ago and let him combine with D Brown and play Jennings… Read more »


Haha great call on the momentum stopper Mitch. 🤣🤣🤣
Hopefully a forced change will see Waqa pushed to the wing and try something different on the right edge. Taka deserves a chance. He certainly can’t do any worse than the status quo.

Big Derek

What is it with the referees unwilling to penalise the Storm for basic ongoing infringements. Asofa Solamona rolling thE ball between his legs at the play the ball, then moving forward to impede the marker Kaufusi breaking early from almost every scrum to stop any overs outside. Deliberately offside at every defensive set inside their own 20. When under pressure , moving to the ref to discuss/question something to get a further 15/20 seconds to reset. Tackling to hurt/injure players rather than stop the play, latest is pulling the player back over own legs as a fulcrum Why no action… Read more »

greg okladnikov

It felt like we were in the contest against the Storm for 70-75 minutes….but in the key moments, we made key errors….., a dropped ball, Fergo’s knock on, 3 or 4 bad defensive reads on the edges ( which has been a season long issue) ….and kicks from Moses that seem to be the same high mdifield kick that goes straight to the opposition.It feels like its pre meditated as opposed to reading the play. Reed showed the value of reacting to the defence and creating variety with the kicks. If we can hold our edges, and some variety /… Read more »

Adam M

As an Eels fan for 40 plus years I am genuinely dissappointed and also pleased. We have come a long way and we have improved, particularly in defence. However, we cannot match the top 3 teams. We seem to be lacking in a few key areas, plus we don’t have the killer instinct and discipline to win grand finals. I feel we are 2 or 3 players short. We need another one or two aggressive props who can maintain the rage when Jnr and RCG come off. I also feel that some players aren’t really putting in and would rather… Read more »

Big Derek

A massive thought bubble, what would we give to have Jarryd Hayne playing right singer in this line up. Would give us the X factor that is lacking in big games, such a wasted talent, let down by his manager , the NRL under Todd Greenberg and his own ego. A dream I know .

Gianni Giusti

Exactly and is still only 32.look at jenko the other night one of our best at 32.

Last edited 7 months ago by Gianni Giusti

I ran into Jarryd at Kmart a few weeks ago he no longer has the shape of an elite rugby league player.

Brett Allen

I bet he could still bring the magic though


Rumours on social media that Moses busted his shoulder pretty bad and won’t play again this year. Someone on another site claims it was reported on MMM. Anyone else heard this?


Just watched the last ten minutes again mate he wasn’t shying away from contact and was throwing 20 metre passes so I call B S.

Brett Allen

It was just a stinger


Well Mitch, I know just your opinion and a bit of fun mate, but. My mother used to say, “Roggy, if you can’t say something nice. don’t say anything at all”. So I will say this about your grades mate. I agree wholeheartedly about your MVP. I thought Shaun Lane stood out in a pack of forwards who dominated the middle for the periods when we did have the ball.
This is Rowdy, not Anymousness.

Last edited 7 months ago by Anonymous
Parramatta Tragic

Hard truth?
Kane Evans way too lazy and I would drop him and put in Hughes without a second thought. Coaches don’t seem to be able to fix Waqa Blake, Blake Ferguson or Sivo’s defence so we can a shuffle with both wingers already out and put Waqa on wing and bring in the bloke we specifically brought in from England to be a back up centre Jordan Rankin. The coaches clearly cannot fix our RHS defence, if not fixed by Saturday night then sack them all immediately.


Hahah yes – how nice is it to read something that is the truth instead of the bleating about the referees and how big bad Storm players didn’t play by the rules. Damn we can make excuses can’t we ?

Brett Allen



Rankin is a half or fullback played on the wing for the tigers and tried hard but was a massive liability

!0 Year Member

I personally like what we showed in this game under great adversity. Shuffling the back line is no easy thing. Expecting Davey, as a rookie, to do something like an Aurbo is just not fair. He did well. I personally felt, like in the roosters game this year when Sivo scored. We expended so much energy when we scored without appreciating there was a long way to go. We should temper things until the final whistle then expunge all the energy you want as the game is not won until then.


Fair grades as always. I’ve become beyond conceded that certain issues remain unsolved and we are still we now face a likely 2nd round knockout. Bench rotation 1 of either junior ref or Browny need to start from the bench after the 1st 20 mins we have no grunt this has been a issue all season. The defensive issues remain unsolved As a whole our defense is good the problem is we have such a glaring weakness it’s inevitable it will be exposed. How have we got this far without fixing these issues? Imagine if we fixed them how far… Read more »

Brett Allen

That’s the problem. BA either hasn’t addressed the problem, (unlikely), or he simply does not know how to fix the problem (much more likely). In any event it tells us his time has to be up, short of a GF appearance.


The problem is he will receive a leave pass because we have a couple of injuries.
They are therefore adopting the mantra if Sivo and such and such had played it would have been a different story.
We are absolutely light years from the big 3 or 4 teams.
This must be recognised- NO MORE EXCUSES !!!

Brett Allen

Yes, but at the same time complaining about how poorly Sivo has been playing !!!!

greg okladnikov

Could a possible solution to the centre / winger edge defence be calling in a great defensive centre and having them teach defence in that position – all the commentators say its the hardest position to defend in, and a specialised position. Why not approach someone who actually played in that position at least at origin level – Cooper/ Gasnier / ET./ Lyon…maybe they can offer the solution?

Brett Allen

Kidwell was a centre

Colin Hussey

Be also played in the forwards Brett, primarily 2nd row, also he was not a bad defensive player, but also one dimensional along with a degree of selfish play.

Age as an issue Muggleton did a VG job with defensive coaching with the teams. As a choice I would be having a look at Jim Dymock for assistant coach and would be ideal with defence and attacking plays.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x