The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Sharkhunt At Bankwest Bay Edition

NRL Team List


The Eels posted a magnificent 16-12 victory on the Melbourne Storm in Round 2 in a result that sets the table for a massive early season push for the blue & gold. They didn’t escape last week unscarred though with Waqa Blake picking up a serious calf injury at training while Ryan Matterson is out with a concussion sustained from a heinous cheap shot at the hands, or elbow rather, of Felise Kaufusi. It leaves the Eels with a packed injury ward early in the season as they join Bryce Cartwright and Michael Oldfield on the sidelines for the time being.

Brad Arthur has no recourse but to roll with the punches as he looks to keep his team in top gear ahead of Saturday night’s clash against the Cronulla Sharks. Marata Niukore will hold down the fort at right centre after a brilliant showing against Justin Olam while new fan-favourite Isaiah Papali’i get the nod to start at left EDGE.

It leaves the Eels light on the bench though with Oregon Kaufusi the only recognised heavyweight middle ready to enter the fray via rotation. Keegan Hipgrave should see a significant rise in playing time in Round 3 while Will Smith, who played at lock in Round 2, could also feature in a modified interchange forward strategy. Ray Stone makes his first appearance in 2021 in the final slot from the bench.

How Arthur approaches his interchange strategy this week will be fascinating. It is likely that Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard will be called upon to play 60+ minutes to shore up the ruck. Shaun Lane too could figure as a bigger body in the middle by shifting to the ruck as Hipgrave enters the game. Cronulla brings plenty of beef to the middle with the likes of Braden Hamlin-Uele, Aaron Woods and Toby Rudolf so matching them there will be pivotal.

There is an outside chance the Eels are playing ducks and drakes with the team sheet with the idea of brining Haze Dunster into the backline in order to beef up the bench with Marata but ‘BA’ is traditionally a straight shooter in this aspect.

Either way, Saturday should be a cracker. The Sharks are always a tough match-up against the Eels and with a NSW Cup curtain raiser also booked in at Bankwest there is plenty of value to be had for the price of entry!


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


NSW Cup Team List


After a bye and a false start the Eels are finally ready to get their NSW Cup campaign underway, well at least 15 players are ready to play on Saturday. With the NRL squad drawing deep on its auxiliary talent pool, the NSW Cup team are the ones to suffer as coach Ryan Carr scrambles to find bodies to fill jerseys with. How he manages to do so will be interesting to see. Are there contract players racing the clock to be fit? Do they call upon Flegg players like Aitasi James or do they find some walk-on second tier depth?

Charbel Tasipale and Elie El Zakhem are the big winners out of the mad scramble to find playing talent. Both are promoted from the bench to the starting backrow and have a chance to play big minutes.

For all the delays to the start of their season, the young NSW Cup line-up for the Eels have a dream opportunity now as they play their season opener at Bankwest. Newtown are invariably a quality opponent in this grade but it should be a fair battle given that they too come into this match with a bye and a rescheduled game to their name.


1. Sean Russell

2. Solomone Naiduki

3. Will Penisini

4. Tim Lafai

5. Haze Dunster

6. Jordan Rankin ©

7. Jakob Arthur

8. David Hollis

9. Joey Lussick

10. Makahesi Makatoa

11. Elie El Zakhem

12. Charbel Tasipale

13. Kurt Dillon

14. Nathaniel Roache

15. Lalotoa Mata’afa

16. TBA

17. TBA


Jersey Flegg Team List


Dean Feeney has named an unchanged team from the roster that was meant to take on the Canberra Raiders last week. As with the NSW Cup team, we have very little to go on outside of early trial form so we really don’t have an idea of how this game will shake out.

This game was originally scheduled as part of a massive triple header at Bankwest but given the workload the stadium has endured, the Flegg has been moved to McCredie Park at Guildford. With three junior representative games at New Era and two senior games at Bankwest, it is unlikely that TCT will be able to cover this match but we will endeavour to try none the less!


1. Tevita Massima

2. Matt Komolafe

3. Sam Loizou

4. Jayden Skinner

5. Marli Townsend

6. Clayton Faulalo

7. Nick Tilburg

8. Aitasi James

9. Kyle Schneider

10. Jack Colovatti

11. Oliver Clements

12. Peni Tohi

13. Jayden Yates

14. Ethan Le Blanc

15. Mark Tepu-Smith

16. Valance Harris

17. David Tui

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Ken 70,

Hi people being from qld just asking how tall is aitisa james compared to oergon ,and is young mark tepu smith, any taller ,cheers


Ken, to be honest I’ve never thought to compare heights and don’t have stats. Tasi James is a powerful build but I’d suggest he is a different build to Oregon. Oregon is a bit leaner this year.

Michael Formosa

“Haze Dunster into the backline in order to beef up the bench with Marata” Is definitely the way I’ll go just to keep that punch off the bench.


Marata lined up against Dugan is probably another fair call. Dugan is a power runner. Marata up against someone like a James Roberts would probably be a massive challenge.


Sixties you’re probably sick of answering questions about Sam Hughes but???


But what..?
Been done to death mate.


Yeah, can’t really provide any help there.


The selections are consistent with BA’s form to pick and stick. Marata selection at centre makes sense particularly given how well he went last week in shoring up the edge defense – unfortunately it’s not the time to gamble with Haze or Will. Papalii in for Matterson is no surprise but it reduces the impact of the bench and the bench rotation – agree Juz and Reg likely to play more mins. Pleased to see Stone onto the bench – hope he gets some minutes to show what he offers. Look forward to playing the Sharkies – a long time… Read more »


It’s a big game as a follow up to last week. Big indicator of our headspace.


Still A good side,I don’t mind the bench.although smaller all 3 forwards have heaps of energy in both A and D. We sure do have some good depth with Cartright due back and also Hollis waiting in the wings.Good times.Parra by heaps.


I’ll nominate a 6 point margin Eggman. Happy to get the wins playing tight footy at this time of year.


Hey sixties , do u think we are a bit light in depth overall, 2 forwards , definitely one centre, understand Cartwright, old field, Hughes, matto , and now Blake , albeit short term injuries…. pretty sure we have three spots available BA is a taking a risk!!


I do believe that we are light on, as our roster number is effectively 27 with Jenko ruled out, but that’s not necessarily BAs call. Thankfully players are due to return from injured list soon.


I can’t wait to watch 2 games on the same day!!!!!!!!! No big surprises really with the team list, especially after Marata rocked it so well in the centres, although I do think he will be happy if he doesn’t have to square off against Justin Olam ever again. I know the sharks have been another “bogey” team for us in recent times but if we play at 75% of the intensity as we did last week we should be OK, but I am also hoping the team recognizes that if they take that attitude into the game it’s a… Read more »


The attitude we play with will be a big measure of where we are at. As you say, if they aim for lower intensity, that’s a path to failure.

John Eel

Forty you have got to feel for the players in NSW cup and Jersey Flegg. They must feel that they are destined to never play again. Here’s hoping that all changes on the weekend. Given the pounding Bankwest took on the weekend I am a little surprised that the NSW Cup game is still being played there. It is testament to the design and upkeep of the stadium. Our injury list seems to be getting longer. Will be happy to see a few of those on the list get back on the field. It will be a real test of… Read more »


Well said John. The Sharks are going ok. I think that John Morris deserves more respect. I tipped them for the spoon based on the speculation around the coach, but he’s doing a good job ignoring it.

!0 Year Member

Let’s hope Stoney has exorcised the clangers from his game.


He had a terrific preseason. I’m hoping he’s exorcised his bad luck with injuries.

Longfin Eel

Not quite sure what BA will do with the forward rotation here. I really can’t see Kaufusi/Stone/Hipgrave replacing Paulo/RCG/Brown. That could be a recipe for disaster. Some options though with Papali’i and Niukore if they can get someone to cover for their starting positions. Maybe that’s where Will Smith comes in?


It’s a real worry, our lack of depth


Ray, I think I should re-phrase my earlier response. There’s a lack of numbers, which creates lack of depth in certain positions. The overall forward depth is strong. Throw Marata, Cartwright, Matto back in to the pack and some players are unlucky to miss out.

Big roy

Lack of depth ????? V souths in semi our DEPTH was davey and evans , thankfully theyre gone , so now papalili cartwright,marata,stone, oregan and hollis emerging , lussic and roache , youve lost me ray


Hey Roy have a look at our reserve grade team good young talent but not ready yet we got two injuries both forwards, and couple of backs , look at our bench this week, only my opinion!

Big roy

Fair enough mate , im just suggesting the depth is there to back up the nrl side but agree numbers not good enough to support the cc kids , like you i would like some more hardhead forwards at least


I reckon that the capacity for some players to play either middle or edge will be the solution.


Can you shed some light on why Sam Hughes is not listed in any grade and not mentioned in the injury ward.


I’m guessing it’s some kind of personal issue. He’s a young bloke so they’ll be looking after his welfare. Again, just a guess. I have no inside knowledge.

Mr controversy aka rev

Sixties breaking news.
Melbourne have a new sponsor WWE. Storms CEO n WWE CEO Vincent Kennedy McMahon had a zoom meeting to confirm the worst kept secret in the NRL.


Look out. Rev’s firing up.


Tough game this one, Cronulla always niggle / unsettle us and this will be no different. Its another cliche but we need to be ‘on’ again for this and be as consistent as last week….it is a shame we have a few injuries and players not available! We are being tested early.


They will play that sort of game Milo, but that’s where our headspace will factor. Composure, patience, sticking to the processes and game plan.

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