The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Friday Night Rodeo Edition

NRL Team List


Let’s go! Team List Tuesday has finally arrived. Footy is BACK.

Brad Arthur dropped a massive revelation in the trial against Penrith when he switched the side of the field that Dylan Brown, Mitchell Moses, Shaun Lane and Ryan Matterson play on. That looks to be the end of the bombshells though with today’s team sheet reading as expected.

Fresh off a massive individual campaign that saw him barely pipped for the Dally M medal Clinton Gutherson will captain a team that should have learned a great deal from the wild journey that was last year. Tom Opacic is the sole new face among the starting roster after winning the vacant left centre role with rest of the backline and the forward pack featuring incumbents from 2020. This is all well within calculations mind you given most of the roster speculation focused on how the interchange bench would shake out.

Speaking of the bench, with Marata Niukore serving a suspension carrying over from last year and Bryce Cartwright fracturing his jaw in a training mishap opportunities have sprung anew for other players to impress in their absence. Oregon Kaufusi and Isaiah Papali’i both impressed throughout the preseason and rightfully claim their places on the bench – almost inarguably first picked. For Will Smith and Keegan Hipgrave though this represents a massive chance to shake up the depth charts.

For Parramatta the clash on Friday is less of a question about the personnel and more about seeing exactly what the team learned from last year and how prepared they are for the new rules in 2021. Can their attack find greater consistency? Can they exploit the new ruck interpretations? How will the right edge hold up defensively? As with every season launch there are so many unknowns but that is half the fun of Round 1 isn’t it?

As for the Brisbane Broncos, I don’t really know what to make of them. They were putrid in 2020 and while it is difficult to see them making a big jump this year, you can’t discount their ability to get up for any particular game. Kevin Walters had a halfback controversy right up until TLT with neither of Brodie Croft and Tom Dearden locking up the #7 through the trials. Croft however has earned the nod and will lead a relatively young backline that features the likes of Tesi Niu, Xavier Coates and Herbie Farnworth. Brisbane will also be without their best player and star prop forward with Payne Haas serving a suspension following a torrid offseason.

A win on Friday isn’t a must for the Eels but given the nature of their draw, every win they can bank in the first half of the season might prove crucial given how difficult their run home is. On top of that, early momentum is always a great thing to have and getting Parramatta rolling as they head into a home opener against the Melbourne Storm in Round 2 sounds pretty fine by my ears!


1. Clinton Gutherson ©
2. Maika Sivo
3. Tom Opacic
4. Waqa Blake
5. Blake Ferguson
6. Dylan Brown
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Junior Paulo
11. Shaun Lane
12. Ryan Matterson
13. Nathan Brown
14. Oregon Kaufusi
15. Isaiah Papali’i
16. Keegan Hipgrave
17. Will Smith
18. Haze Dunster
19. Joey Lussick
20. Jordan Rankin
21. Dave Hollis


NSW Cup Team List




Jersey Flegg Team List



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15 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – Friday Night Rodeo Edition

  1. Eggman

    Well this is it I guess, no time for excuses.Smith and Hipgrave just need to do thier jobs.We should be too strong for Broncos who really only need to try,and that would be an improvement on last year. Parra by 12+

  2. Colin Hussey

    Friday night is pretty much crunch time for the eels. They will be up against a side that likely wants revenge for their last game against the eels, sealed pretty much the spoon for them, they have some good forwards who need to be watched and targeted the question though is which team will be the best with the new rules?

    Eels handled the Riff not greatly overall considering the loss against them, forget the trial game that the mules had but think it was against the cows, and mules came back at them in the 2nd half.

    A win is crucial and one that is not too loose, rather a strong and determined one.

    1. sixties

      I’ll be happy with two points to start the year Col. The Broncos in the first round will probably be tougher than playing them in the last round.

      1. Colin Hussey

        I’m with you there sixties, I think the game will be tougher than many think, not having seen the mules against the cows in their trial they came back strong in the second half by all accounts & I think they ended up winning.

        Why I say they have to be strong and determined, especially those in critical positions.

        I think I will breath a bit better when Stone and Marata are available in round 2.

  3. Zero58

    That is pretty good team on paper. Will Smith was all class in the trials but Lussick might come in over Smith.
    Heading south for the game and I think the first half will be very tight. After that if there are no upsets with injuries I think Parra will be runaway winners at the end.
    That Penrith trial was a good one for the team.
    Parra’s attack depends much on MM and if he is going well it’s Parra all the way.
    I don’t believe defence will be a problem. More than likely breaches. I believe the Bronks forwards lack good leg speed except for one or two.
    The Eels by 18.
    How important will be goal kicking.

    1. sixties

      Zero, I like your confidence. Smith had a very good preseason on top of a good finish to 2020 for him. No surprise with his selection.

  4. Dday

    No surprise Tuesday – let’s hope there is the occasional Tuesday surprise this year!
    Kaufusi and papali’l we’re lock-ins. Hipgrave make sense ATM with Matata out. Will smith deserves the utility spot – he been very good when given an opportunity and covers a lot of positions including Reed. Stones injury didn’t help him with lussick behind these guys IMO.
    Bring it on

  5. Ray

    Hey sixties, do u think we are a bit light on front rowers, I feel we’re one short, going on that Hughes and Hollis aren’t ready yett,what would u do if either Paulo or Rcg went down?

    1. sixties

      I think we are one short Ray. Marata would probably get the gig to start, or Papali’i. I’d reckon they’d even look at shifting Lane during the game to middle. But once we start talking about shifting players, you know you’re light on.

  6. matthew sweeney

    the player i think will stand up for broncs is Herbie, I expect him to improve markedly. i hope brad gives oregon and will smith enuff time so they can show there wares. i think we need this win more for the confidence than for the 2 points. thx 40

  7. matthew sweeney

    oh, and hipgrave needs to lay it on the line and rip and tear, that’s wat we need from him, because we already have reserves who could do just an average job

  8. Milo

    Here we go again, no excused for me this year, albeit injuries can hinder anyone’s season.
    Parra need to be consistent in the main areas….tackle efficiency, kick and chase, ruck attack and define, and of course limit penalties and six again. It’s simple be patient!
    Will we win? I 100% confident nope, as Broncos have a lot to prove.

  9. The rev aka snedden

    Good side to start the year not a great side. Sixties i don’t like the look of our bench look’s small. Papali’i is not a big prop by any stretch of the imagination no kane Evans but I’m sure his got a big motor. Smith is a good choice for back up to reedy. Let’s hope smith get’s more then 10 minutes. Eels can’t take this Broncos side lightly if we do we will loose.

    I’m looking for big game’s from Ferguson n sivo. If they don’t perform then happy to part ways.

    Eels 26 Broncos 12

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