The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – March 16, 2021: Let’s Enjoy The Ride

Round one done. Two Points in the bank.

That was our expectation. All good, right?

Apparently not.

Plenty has been written and spoken about how the win was achieved.

Footy is a really simple game especially early in the season, even for those of us watching From The Stands. If you hold the ball and have consistent go forward you give yourself a very good chance to win. We can sometimes overcomplicate a very simple game.

My reaction isn’t too different to others.

I was very annoyed with the first half and I was pleased with the comeback. But that is not what I want to focus on.

I am always a proud supporter but sometimes the negativity and gossip perpetuated by the media about our club gets overbearing.

However,  to hear the vocal support for our team being picked up by the Fox broadcast as they started to come back was outstanding. The Parra chant came through loud and clear. The support for the Eels north of the border has always been strong. They do a fantastic job of creating a home away from home for our team.

Unlike many we were lucky enough to attend most games at Bankwest last year but I cannot wait until this Thursday and a proper home crowd.

The Storm are yet to play us at Bankwest with a big crowd. I especially look forward to the blue and gold army welcoming Big Nelson onto the field. Don’t forget his disrespect people.

And so to the positives from Round 1.

Welcome back Marata

Even without Marata our bench did a really good job. At the start of last year our interchange players were a strength. However the bench actually became a real weakness as the year progressed.

Last Friday both Oregon and Papali’i made a genuine difference. With the addition of Niukore the punch will stay strong even when our starting middles are rested.

The second half game management, especially in the closing minutes, was also an improvement. I really liked Moses’ kick to the in goal when the game was on the line. It showed a calm thinking process and if that can continue to be developed over the season and become more evident throughout games it will be very good for us.

We face a big test this week.

My mantra for this year is to enjoy the ride, turn out with thousands of supporters at Bankwest each home game and enjoy supporting our boys.

Hard as it may be I will ignore the journalists, or gossip columnists, not write about them anymore – though I know there were many who agreed with my takes last year. I will give their click bait journalism no more oxygen.

From the stands it’s simple for me in 2021 – support the team and offer constructive logical criticism.

Most importantly enjoy being back at packed grounds. Bankwest, when near full, offers such an advantage to our team.

Bring on Thursday and bring on the Storm. I hope the crowd is at 75% capacity. Let’s help the boys in this one and get the season rolling.


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Colin Hussey

Great short post Shelley, lets all enjoy the game and that includes those at the stadium, those playing, those at home watching on the box and maybe some tuned in to an old radio.

However those who need to ensure the game is enjoyable for all, are those on the field, they are playing for the supporters but more so playing for themselves and their team mates, they are playing for their background staff as well. The more they enjoy their commitment and playing to plan the stronger they will be and become going forward.


Trust in the process!


So right Colin. I only know what I can see from the outside but they look like a group of men who enjoy playing for the club and want to win- this sometimes creates more pressure and I think as a fan group we need to allow them to build and get better.


The journos and gossip columnists are one thing but the rot from many fans since kick off has been quite alarming.They are already sacking the coach and half the team.I just knew we would win on friday even at 16 nil I just knew,we hold the ball we win,but I still checked in to various supporters sites at half time for a laugh because I knew it would be hilarious and there was much egg on faces after the game. I think it will be a good year ,sure there will be losses but we have such an exciting team… Read more »


It was an awful first half. I even tweeted so at half time, but said the game was salvageable. They hadn’t trained to play like that. It’s very frustrating to see how they prepare and then to watch them stray from it.
But it was funny to see the reactions of some – half a game of footy into the season and BA’s head is called for. Incredible!


Some of the overreactions on some fan sites is so predictable that I actually think they are doing it for a laugh because if they genuinely judge people in their lives so quickly and illogically they will be forever chopping and changing to their detriment. Social media has some strengths but the irrational judgmental society it is helping to create is very dangerous. The journalists have made it somewhat easy to ignore them. You could almost picture a meeting being held in January in media offices outlining who is off contract at Parra and what weeks they will write articles… Read more »

Summons and grahams

Mate theres a huge difference between a supporter and a follower your obviously a supporter 👍


There has been some rediculous calls as a result of performance but I’m probably middle of the road here. The fans and journalists are usually pretty good judges and their expertise has been honed over many years of watching the game. If that first half performance was completely different to their intended tactics then hard questions should asked. Not the drop balls, which are unfortunate, I’m talking about the frenetic sideways movement without first capitalising on field position, the unstructured plays without purpose resulting in hurried under pressure bombs with no particular strategy of net gain. If they have moved… Read more »


Hi Shelley. Getting back to the support heard on the broadcast, I was at Suncorp and what a show they put on up there! I took along my daughter who had never been to a game and she was very impressed with the pre game entertainment, as was I. Fireworks for probably 5 minutes with the stadium lights off and laser lights shining through the smoke. It really was impressive. Although the announcer was horribly biased, which you’d expect, he really had the crowd pumped. Just before kick off, I turned to look behind me and all I could see… Read more »


Good to hear Grunta – the Eels support base must have given the team a lift last week


The support was wonderful to hear on TV it really was. Well done to all there


look, anyone can see that we were a bit rusty in that first half, but that’s one excusing our defensive structures especially out wide, where we continually get caught short either rushing up, or not sliding at the appropriate time. Its been a problem for a while and it again showed it up on numerous occasions on both flanks.

For mine it’s a real problem that teams exploit and will continue to do so . The rain may save us this week, but it needs to be addressed or we’ll be with the also rans pretty quickly


I get frustrated with the tries coming out wide. I don’t know the real reason but it must be fixed.

John Eel

I look forward to the game at Bankwest tomorrow night. Like you Shelley I am very impressed with our bench this year. What I am not impressed with is sitting here drinking my coffee and reading how 5 of our starting 13 are not signed for next year. The issue in most of the cases comes back to something I have been discussing for many seasons now. That is the practice of clubs, Eels included, of signing players with options in the players favour. This practice works only for the players and gives the club no security. Players and their… Read more »


JE, re Papali’i, he’s 22, strong bodied, and his background indicates mental strength. I’m backing him, but Storm forwards will be half way across the ruck in a blink, they know Junior and RCG are best on their back early and Papa will have to deal with this too. Will be a real test.

John Eel

BDon agree with your comments and I have a very good feeling about Papali’i. I think he will turn out to be an astute recruitment

Colin Hussey

John, good post and I am not that fussed with the PO options either, but OTOH the club also has the same with CO, Hipgrave has that tagged on him, RCG has both, CO & PO & Dylan Brown a PO for 2023. I would much prefer to see the players generally signed for 3 years if they are quality players, but those that are pretty much unknowns but have good reports on them such as Papali’i are worth longer option signings. Tomorrow night will be a revealing night as to how good we are, do we come out hard… Read more »

John Eel

Colin clearly the Storm will come out hard and try to put a score on early. That is what they did against the Bunnies and that is what they will attempt against us. We have to be resolute in defence and error free early.

Also on contracts, with a club option the club has it’s destiny in it’s own hands in that instance.

When it is a player option it is the player and his manager who has the control with the club taking 100% of the risk

The players come and go. The club is there for ever.


Hi John,
Like you I do not like the player or club option. It actually creates an environment rife for gossip. At least if they are off contract everyone knows and can plan accordingly.

John Eel

Shelley you are right about the planning. If I can give you an example. The players in question have an option on 2022. However they have presumably been taking offers since the end of the 2020 season Where does that leave the Eels. They have to honour a contract that runs until 2022. As you say they can’t go out now and recruit replacements for 2022 because they have to wait until the player and his manager tell them that they are no longer interested in playing for the club. This is an insane position for the club to be… Read more »

Colin Hussey

John, BA has said today and also yesterday that Matto wanted to be at this club and play for this club, as far as he is concerned he is wanting to stay and play with the eels. The aspect that was quite noticeable though was BA answered the questions in what I would call his annoying response to the questions and suggestions regarding Matto. From where I sit I have a feeling that he wants to stay but those who are involved as his manager are causing the issue to be blown out of proportion. A fair amount of the… Read more »

John Eel

Colin you are right this is all very unsettling

Summons and grahams

Honestly shelley i dont know why any of us bother with journos , some guy just decides he wants to be a sports journo and instantly overnight he knows more than anyone whos played the sport at an elite level and any and all coaches past or present , they pry deride and publicly humiliate athletes who have the courage have a go and put in the hard yards based on their self proclaimed superior knowledge , some even pass plagiarism as journalism exposing their laziness and any real understanding of sport and sportsman ,it’s actually disgusting some of the… Read more »

John Eel

I have been saying for years player options are a curse

In the DT this morning “The Broncos will look to scrap player option clauses to avoid the salary cap mess that left Brisbane financially crippled “

This has happened as a result of them being unable to retain Fifita.

We must follow suit

Colin Hussey

John, I agree re the player options, but what about with the Club option? I cannot see players wanting the PO dropped and not the CO left in place, which I think is a fair call really. There is also an MO or mutual option but how in heck would that work? one side wants the player to stay, the other wants him to go?? You would remember the good Ol days when players had minimal contract money but there was bonus payments through the win – lose -draw payments, next to nothing for loss some more for draw and… Read more »

John Eel

Colin you haven’t lost any of your shop steward instincts. For me what is important is a well managed club. Players will continue to do well out of the NRL If you look at clubs like Roosters and Storm they are well managed successful clubs and as a result they continue to attract good players on unders. That should be the Eels goal. On the incremental payments over the length of the contract my understanding was that the NRL put a limit on the increments to protect the clubs from destroying themselves with poor financial management. Essentially stopping back ended… Read more »

Colin Hussey

Mate, the work I had to do to get certain jerks out of trouble was incredible, my predecessor was a long time rep, and did nothing for the men, always kept things in house, if the bosses said no, which was usually 98% of time, it was dropped, and nothing changed. I took the opposite course and hand meetings, and presented the problem if I was confronted with a stalemate or refusal to discuss the issue, I said OK will put the issue through Head Office and they can deal with it. With that, I got better responses and they… Read more »

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