The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2021 Episode 3: Instant Reaction – Eels 28 def. Dragons 6 in NRL Trial

 

The Tip Sheet is also available on Spotify and iTunes!

Can you tell that we just got our first senior footy of the year? Barely minutes after the Parramatta Eels recorded an impressive 28-6 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons in their first NRL trial of 2021, Forty20 and Sixties jumped online to drop the latest edition of The Tip Sheet.

There was no way they were waiting until tomorrow damn it!

With the game fresh in their memories, the boys breakdown who and what impressed in a game that had plenty of future significance for the blue & gold. Among those that garnered praise were Isaiah Papali’i and Haze Dunster – both of whom had big expectations placed on them after strong showings in the preseason. Facing their first litmus test they looked a cut above their opposition and in Papali’i’s case, truly dominant on both sides of the ball.

Encouragingly, plenty of young men stepped up to the plate tonight as well. Will Penisini thrust himself into the competition at centre on the back of several dynamic carries and a try. Not to be outdone, Tom Opacic scored the Eels’ opening points on a sizzling angled run and defended strongly throughout his tenure on the field.

Jakob Arthur, David Hollis, Charbel Tasipale, Caleb Tohi and more all feature in a lengthy discussion of the game as Forty20 and Sixties run the magnifying glass over the first genuine senior footy these young prospects have seen in nearly a year.

Tonight’s victory wasn’t the only one posted by the Eels this week as the Harold Matthews and SG Ball kickstarted their seasons with triumphs over the North Sydney Bears. The duo detail how Parramatta prevailed in truly torrid conditions out at Macquarie University on Saturday, with the Harold Matthews in particular starring despite the challenging weather. Unfortunately the Tarsha Gale were unable to overcome the Newcastle Knights and instead now look to the St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 3 in order to post their first win of the year.

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Colin Hussey

Looked forward to watching the game, biggest disappointment was the shortened game time, 11 minutes off, the commentators wondered what was the reason and came in to say that both coaches made the call, as they probably had seen what they wanted, except perhaps for the Draggers coaches who had seen enough by then. While Dunster did not score I thought he had a solid half and not afraid to go inside with his runs also his defence was excellent. Penisini and Opacic were both excellent in the centres and those three players put the other 2-5 on notice for… Read more »

sixties

If we take that as mostly a depth trial, and an early measure of the preseason, there’s plenty to like about it. The confirmation of Papali’i and Opacic getting Round 1 starts appears closer too.

Grunta

Enjoyed that.
Good quality footy.

sixties

Players did a good job executing the game plan.

Matthew Sweeney

Yes I agree, some stream of conciuos thoughts, I was surprised that Arthur was able to mitigate a poor kick by running down that Cody guy , it was a turn and chase effort and while Cody was put out of stride by a failed tackle it was impressive after all Cody showed whippet like speed in the nrl last year. Similar effort was made by that winger of ours down the left side. Rankin impressed with his smart play and ability to be on the ball. Penisi has a splash of class, and a kotoni Staggs like dynamism about… Read more »

sixties

Great reply Matthew and appreciated.
A big take from your observations is some competition for places. That’s a healthy direction to head.

Matthew Sweeney

Thanks Sixties and yes we are i. a good position. As long as us fans don’t put any undue pressure on the squad as if they were responsible for the fact we have not won a GF since 86

Ken 70

Good to listen to fellas Good young players to look forward to ,do like the look the Fijian winger good size and agility, cheers guys,

sixties

Solomone is a unit. I reckon he’ll start in Canterbury Cup.
The young players acquitted themselves well

Rowdy

Naidruki? I thought he was good too. But i saw more from the other big African fella Kumalife who showed a great leap to nearly score and tremendous anticipation to be where the ball was going both in defence and attack. His running down of the fleetfooted Saints attacker on his flank was impressive..

sixties

Matt did very well Rowdy. He’s always read the game well in pathways, just seems to get the job done whenever he’s put in a try scoring situation too.

Colin Hussey

One of them Naidruki is Fijian if I understand it rightly.

sixties

Naiduki.

BDon

Early coffee and toast, great rap fellas. Watched the stream, good first up game. Couldn’t help but think our spine held things together and laid a platform for a decent performance across the park, and never faltered after Rankin came on. He was hitting MOM level in Super League, good to see recruitment working. Will Smith was totally professional. Whatever forced Papali’i’s move from Warriors looks good for the Eels.

sixties

Cheers mate. Rankin has now had about 8 – 9 months of training with the Eels as he was actually a mid season recruit in 2020. He’s a very good trainer and looked experienced/professional out there. And Papa – looks the goods on the training track, and very good first up run last night.

Micky D's

Love the podcast appreciate the time that 40 and Sixties put into it very informative.

Papalili was excellent. He could come onto the edge pushing Lane into the middle throughout games. Lussick was solid.

A few of the younger forwards were great & how cool is Jake Arthur

Last edited 7 days ago by Micky D's
Offside

My biggest take away of the game is we will have a strong reserve grade side

sixties

I want strong back ups too offside. But it’s the age of those back ups that is the major take away.

Higgsy

Blacker from stg , what a mug thug this idiot is , headshots all night 2 after ball passed , this moron allready on 3 game suspension but sadly dosent apply to trials , especially went after the kids , complete piece of rubbish .going to be well known at judiciary , allready put one in a coma with cheap headshot and obviously hasnt learnt a thing , MORON .

sixties

Credit to our fellas for not reacting to the rubbish – and young Jake was a recipient of one of those shots but he didn’t show any reaction – very mature.

John Eel

Higgsy can I steal your term “mug thug”.

I would like to use it to describe to my Tiger friend what I think of some of his players

Higgsy

Its yours mate

Rowdy

Haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the podcast yet, but. The is plenty of justified praise and acknowledgement of 95% of our named team to take the field. I would make mention of a few who have not gone without some mention who I believe played out of their skin. First, Dave Hollis looks to be a clone of David Klemmer at the same age and development. When he took the first hit-up early in the first half he was hit by a wall of 4 Saints forwards but continued to fight for post contact metres, 3 rucks later… Read more »

Anonymous

When rankin went in after 50 min the hard work had been done , he got an opposition on the ropes out of reserves , one minute you want the club developing juniors then you dont , the reggies is a about developing the future not propping up past, anyway thats your take on it .

John Eel

I agree with Rowdy on this one. Whilst I to want the club developing juniors. But what I really want is the club to have the backup quality to replace injured players in critical positions

If you go back to 2020 we had nobody to replace our injured halves, we had our best middles playing big minutes.

I am excited about the development of Jakob Arthur and no doubt he is a talented player. But right now if I am looking for a quality experienced player to cover for an injury in the halves Rankin is your man

Colin Hussey

John, agree with what you say, especially with Rankin. I don’t see him as the primary half but, in what I saw of him in the trial he showed his experience and provided a top option for goal kicking, he muffed the first attempt but his sideline kicks following were spot on and with short time precision.

No doubt his SL time has given him some extra bits of abilities, if one of our halves go down, and providing he continues that form in CC he should provide us with a VG option.

Higgsy

To both col and john eel this negativity and blocking of pathways is the reason why theres been a constant stream of clubs poaching so many of our good juniors over countless seasons , dont give them a go and they go , so much for junior development , by the way will smith well in front for backup spot ,

sixties

Higgsy, I agree with the importance of hanging on to this group of young players. Also, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. What does that mean in terms of the development. As far as I’m concerned, if there are young players who have thrived in an NRL preseason, and handled the open age trial match against some NRL hard heads, then we should strongly consider putting them in Canterbury Cup this year. Because if that’s the stage of development that they’re up to, don’t hold them back. We are already seeing the flow on effect of promoting young players… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by sixties
John Eel

Sixties I would agree with your point about Will Smith. I can still see those two tries he scored in 2018? off an inside pass from MM.

BA has a good record for easing juniors into NRL. I will trust his judgment

sixties

Well said John.

Colin Hussey

Higgsy. I don’t see anything in John, or my post that says or indicates anything that is relational in blocking pathways or individual players at all. If one looks at the players that are likely to go higher in any side, they are ones that all of them in general have to start at a young age and work their way up through their own abilities and usually with help from the club and other players above them, its why there are a lot of players training with the NRL team as well as the NRL contracted players, even in… Read more »

Higgsy

No surprises there , thankfully its not in your hands col .🦕

Colin Hussey

visa versa

BDon

Just a random question, am I off beam in thinking Marata is up near 108/110 kgs for this year? 100% his agility won’t suffer, looking forward to see him ripping in.

sixties

BDon, I was able to catch up with Marata at the jun reps jersey presentation but I didn’t think to question him on his playing weight. He could be a little heavier, but he simply looks to be in the best physical condition of his career so far.

Micky D's

Watching the Tigers trial & Utoikamanu was very very good. Too late now but the Eels had many years to keep him here Sure he may be on good coin @ the tigers but I don’t think its anything over 200 – 300k Parra should have kept him We’re still probably paying for Alvaro who would have been on similar coin. Another good forward who we’ve let go. Aloiai, Twal and Matto the others but we saw how good matto had become. I like ba, but I’ll have to say, he is reluctant on giving too many younger guys a… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Micky D's
Colin Hussey

Micky, there were some issues that his family had with Utoikamanu staying at the eels, the club tried to keep him but the tigs offer was too good to pass up, the tigs tried hard to get him to play with them last year but the eels would not release him. The big problem though is that other clubs are very much aware of the quality in our jnr ranks and each year pay them more than the eels can afford, often its in overs that also have a fair failure rate. Manly now support one of the Blacktown teams… Read more »

John Eel

Once we went down the path of being a development club it was always going to be that other clubs would be looking at the players coming through The Eels need to be able to identify early the positions they need to fill, the character that they want in a player and most of all the skill set. That is not always easy. You often don’t know how players are going to turn out. Not always the most talented players turn out the best. Sometimes good character and motivation overcome a lack of god given talent It does not matter… Read more »

Colin Hussey

John, good post, and agree with what you are saying, & I do think our club is getting a lot better at identifying players, both imports and the juniors.

Augers well for the future.

sixties

John, I’ve lost count of the talented juniors that get to a level or two below NRL, or even get to do a preseason, and they can’t do it. Full time footy is a different beast, requiring a dedication that many don’t expect or can’t handle. This is despite the prep work that goes into them to have them ready for that step up. Of the ones that fall at that hurdle at Parra, I’m struggling to think of any that have made NRL elsewhere. I’m not talking about blokes like Twal who has adjusted well to training and got… Read more »

Micky D's

Guys, I’m still a major BA fan and sometimes we all like to see those Juniors come through. Utoki isn’t guaranteed anything, but seeing how well Papalili is doing sometimes we have to trust in the process. I know who I’d prefer at the moment…

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sixties

Nice perspective Micky Ds.

sixties

Micky, I wanted the Eels to keep Stefano and there’s a whole lot of reasons that people keep suggesting for his departure, most of which are inaccurate.That said it’s the past. As for Aloiai and Twal, I had no problems with their departure. Who would they be pushing out of the top grade? We had 3 middle forwards in the Origin squad. They would want more coin than we would pay for bench forwards. Lafai is on second tier, and we have a host of 18-21 year old local juniors in the squad or training with the squad over Christmas.… Read more »

Micky D's

Fair comments Sixties. It’s great to hear some well educated opinions and it helps fans understand the process in which the good clubs operate

sixties

Cheers Micky. The club isn’t perfect but they are definitely heading in a better direction. Actually, a fair comment might be that the only club that gets it absolutely right is the premiers. Maybe 😬

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