Eels 35 defeated Raiders 10
Eels 46 defeated Broncos 6
What a fantastic last two matches from the Eels. After a disastrous outing against the Dragons, the Eels have piled on the points in their last two matches against the Raiders and Broncos.
The conditions in both games were poles apart with cool conditions in the Nation’s Capital and stifling hot conditions in Australia’s Top End.
These matches have demonstrated that the Eels can produce in trying conditions and are able to grind out a game in any condition. And let’s not omit beating the Storm game in torrential rain as well.
In both games, the Eels had 54% of possession and saw the Eels complete 35 of their sets. In the Canberra game, completions were 35 from 41 at 85% and against the Broncos was 35 sets from 44 at 80%.
It seems that the constant over this season is that if the Eels can maintain a completion rate over 80% then the 2 points will come their way.
Both games saw the Eels in enemy territory for over 44 minutes. To be specific, 44minutes 22secs against the Raiders and for the Broncos game it was a tick over 49mins.
Time spent in opposition 20 metre areas was just under 20mins against Canberra and 24 and a quarter minutes against the Broncos.
The score lines indicate that the Eels attack is humming along just fine. But I would say Brad Arthur was none too pleased with some of the attacking options the Eels put up. The Canberra game saw what they can do, especially in second half when the attack finally clicked after a torrid first half. But against the Broncos, especially in that middle part of the second half, some of the options just were a bit head scratching.
Can that be put down to the conditions and very tired thinking or just taking it a little too lightly and not showing enough respect for the opposition? Something B.A. would have thought about and watched on his flight back from Darwin.
Both games again saw similarities in our attacking figures. Metres gained in both games saw the Eels make 2341 metres and 2395 metres respectively. Post Contact Metres also were close with 543 against the Raiders and 578 against the Broncos.
In the running metres against the Raiders, Blake Ferguson heading the list with 178 running metres and shout outs to RCG (163), Papali’i (149), N. Brown (139) from our forwards and Gutherson (141) and Sivo (109) from our backs.
Against the Broncos, Sivo topped the count with 196 running metres with his wing partner Blake Ferguson with 182 metres. Our backs ate up the run metres. Gutherson again scored highly with 171 running metres, Tommy Opacic with 108 and Dylan Brown with 125 metres.
Our forwards played their part in tough conditions. Oregan Kaufusi topped the forwards with 136 run metres off the bench and Isaiah Papali’I 129 running metres.
In total the Eels running metres against the Broncos was 1789 metres against the Broncos 1150 running metres. Massive effort.
Heat maps for our running and hit ups show a bit of a difference in the style and flow of the game.
This map shows the game against the Raiders.
We need to play our game from our own end to grind out a victory. The first half would be a great contributor to this as the game was manly played in the middle third of the field. The Eels really needed to grind out territory against the Raiders.
Whereas the map below shows our game against the Broncos.
The Eels just had a magnificent roll on all game. This would be a very pleasing graphic to the coaching staff. Nothing more really needs to be said in relation to this. Just a dominant display from the Eels.
Heat Map vs Raiders
Heat Map vs Broncos
One stat I really liked against the Broncos was the 5 line drop outs. This showed the level of pressure that the Eels exerted on the Broncos defence.
In looking at the effectiveness of the Eels attack and points scored, let’s not forget that there are two sides to a game of footy. The points differential gained from these two matches was as much about the few points conceded as the total scored.
Against the Raiders, the Eels made 337 tackles with 25 missed and 11 ineffective. Giving us tackle effective rate of 90.3%. Against the Broncos was 290 tackles made, 28 missed and 18 ineffective with a effective rate of 86.3%.
Top tacklers against the Raiders was Reed Mahoney with 53 tackles and 2 misses. Helped by Shaun Lane with 43, Nathan Brown with 39 and Papali’i with 37.
Against the Broncos, Mahoney was again top tackler with 41 tackles.
The last two games have seen the Eels put on a clinic against their opposition. In no means has it been an 80 minute performance and aspects of the game can be picked and scrutinised, but no doubt Brad Arthur will be very happy with the progress of his team.
I have been very critical with the addition of Bryce Cartwright. But I am happy to be proven wrong if he continues the form he showed last night.
Bryce’s game now needs to be a hard running edge runner instead of the ball player he once was. His attack looked great last night when he just ran the ball. Doing that is putting the defence in two minds as they are waiting for him to throw a silly offload or just crab across field.
The way that Brad Arthur has transformed his game will no doubt see Bryce become a fan favourite – though probably not as popular as Isaiah Papali’i.
Yours in Blue and Gold