The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 3, 2021: Eels Defeat Sharks

Saturday 27th March, 2021

Bankwest Stadium

Attendance: 19,236



Eels 28 defeated Sharks 4

Eels Scorers:

Tries – B. Ferguson x 2, M. Sivo, R. Campbell-Gillard, R. Stone

Goals – C. Gutherson 3/5 conversions. C. Gutherson 1/1 penalty goals


With three wins from three outings, the Eels have made the best possible start to this year’s premiership. The composed and measured performance lays the platform for a formidable campaign as the season progresses.

For the majority of Saturday night’s game it was a grinding affair. Ultimately, the Sharks ran out of troops and just couldn’t hold on any longer. However, to say that the win was only achieved due to the Sharks injury toll would not do the Eels play any justice.

Mitch Moses

Indeed, the most impressive thing about this win was the manner in which Parra was able to maintain control of the reins after losing their general, Mitchell Moses. Would the Eels of recent past seasons hold such composure? It’s questionable.

Despite their own injury dramas, the Sharks refused to surrender, making Parra earn a hard fought victory. The Eels would have been pleased with that resistance. Little would have been learned from an opposition that meekly surrendered.

From a statistical perspective, the Eels just dominated.

Parra held the ball for 55% of the match. If you can get an even share of possession, or better, it’s a good foundation in any game.

Completions weren’t quite up to the standard of the previous week. The Eels completed 32 from 44 sets to record a rate of just on 75%. Brad Arthur would probably want the team to achieve better than that.

Time-wise, the Eels spent 47 and three quarter minutes in the Sharks half with nearly 24 of those minutes in the Sharks red zone.

Looking at Parra’s attack, 13 out of the 17 players cracked the 100 run metres mark. Mighty impressive indeed.

In total the Eels ran for 2081 metres against the Sharks 1264 metres. Just over one third of that (733 metres) was post contact.

Individually there were some noteworthy performances.

Clint Gutherson took hold of the game after Mitchell Moses succumbed to his head knock and ran for 272 metres, with 68 post contact metres. Throw in five tackle breaks and four goals, and it’s fair to say the skipper was in sublime form.


After being told late last year that he is no longer wanted by the Eels, Blake Ferguson gave the Eels bosses some food for thought. His power running registered 199 metres, including an impressive 92 post contact metres, 7 tackle breaks and 1 line break, along with 2 tries.

Performances like this might have the Eels recruitment and retention team reconsidering their position.

Others to shine on the attacking stats sheet included Reagan Campbell-Gillard with 154 run metres, Ray Stone with 144 run metres, and Oregon Kaufusi with 150 running metres. It was an absolutely exceptional effort from all the Eels players in attack and the tries scored by RCG and Stoney were rightly celebrated by their team mates.

Defensively the Eels were solid. Reed Mahoney led the team with 38 tackles, Nathan Brown with 30 tackles and Isaiah Papali’I with 29 tackles. 

From a team perspective, Parra completed 292 tackles, with 17 missed tackles and just one try conceded. In contrast, the Sharks missed 46 tackles and conceded five tries.

All looks well within the Eels ranks and especially when measured against the heavy injury toll some teams suffered during Round 3.

Mitchell Moses was the only Parra player in the casualty ward, having succumbed to a concussion.

Moses appears certain to be named for the Tigers clash on Easter Monday, and the potential return of Ryan Matterson will only strengthen the Eels.

After recording their first win of 2021, the Tigers will be pumped and ready.

Yours in Blue and Gold


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Everyone played well against Sharks,there was so much to like about our game.At times it seemed like we were going nowhere, unable to capitalize on great field position, but the reality is,I think the Sharks defended really well for most of the game.That is why they consistently make the finals without actually being contenders,they just never roll over. Next week we have Matto returning and so Hipgrave misses out,we also have Cartright available although probably needs a week or two in Reggies but then If nobody is injured then probably Stone drops out.We are certainly in a good position depth… Read more »


And gee,I forgot about Waqa returning, which means Marata to bench,then Stone drops out I guess,depending on Catrights form, some selection headaches,especially if Roache s form demands selection as well.


Some tough calls for BA to make. People missing out on selection despite doing their assignments. Happy days!


Sharks defended strongly and have been a mentally strong team for a long time, they’ve got a strong, experienced forward pack and a steadying hand in Chad Townsend. I hope that we look at the latter stages of this game and the 80 against Melbourne in the video review. We bashed both teams up the middle with and without the ball, there won’t be many that can match our middle rotation. I thought we were a bit guilty of playing too side to side for the first 55-60 minutes of this game. Once we stopped trying to go around them… Read more »


Maybe a bit guilty Ham, but one thing that I noticed was that there weren’t any wild miracle plays attempted. So even if there were the odd unearned shifts, there was no frustration with the Sharks holding firm.

John Eel

Good analysis Ham. The other point I would make is that our middles are hurting the opposition with their straight running and strong defence. If in fact the Sharks lose again next week it will be the third week in a row that teams have gone for back to back losses after playing the Eels. Guthos aerobic ability is simply outstanding. Reed is right up there with him as well. The other thing that I read this week somewhere is that the Eels are the first side to run more than 2,000 metres in a game this season. The Sharks… Read more »


Well spotted about the sides losing after playing Parra. There is a price to pay when matching up against the Eels pack.


Agree Colamc, the talk about the win being achieved due to Sharks injury toll doesn’t do Eels effort justice. We kept plugging away with some impressive go forward with 13 players running >100m. Consistency and playing tough have been the hallmarks of the the past 2 games.

Love a win against the Sharkies, they just don’t roll-over.


I’ve said this before but I picked the Sharks for the spoon, but only because of the noise around Morris. He’s a good coach and they would do well to leave him in charge.

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