Saturday 1st May, 2021
EELS 32 defeat BULLDOGS 10
Half time: Eels 16 – 0
Tries: C. Gutherson x 2, M. Sivo x 2, S.Lane, M. Niukore
Goals: M. Moses 4 from 6
This wasn’t one of the great games from the Eels, but they still got the job done to overpower the struggling team from Belmore.
In what seems to be a recurring theme against sides they should beat easily, errors and poor attitude cost the Eels territory and game pressure.
An example of this is Dylan Brown, who I believe needs to show a bit more patience at times and not over play his hand. Once he can control that, his game will sky rocket.
The Eels had 53% possession for the game with a not so great 70% completion rate. The 30 from 43 sets would have had Brad Arthur a little concerned with still a bit to work on.
Parramatta dominated field time with 47:55 minutes inside the Canterbury half and 20:08 minutes in the Bulldogs red zone.
Total Metres Gained from the Eels was 2477 metres to the Bulldogs 2005 metres.
The Eels ran for a total of 1817 running metres against the Bulldogs 1356 running metres.
Clint Gutherson led the way with 250 run metres with 95 post contact metres. He was given a well deserved rest from the coach. Other high running performances came from Blake Ferguson with 169 run metres, Isaiah Papali’i with 177 run metres, Maika Sivo, 120 run metres and Regan Campbell-Gillard with 155 running metres.
In a pleasing effort, the Eels backline 1 through to 5 all ran over 100 metres each. For our forwards, we have the aforementioned RCG and Papa, but a strong return to top grade for Ryan Matterson who ran for 114 metres and Oregon Kaufusi with 118 metres after starting the game. Junior Paulo just keeps up his almighty form with 111 running metres.
Not a bad heat map considering the Eels weren’t great with completions, plus a lot of kick return metres from kick offs would put a bias towards their own end. This map shows they did the hard work to get into positions to let the back line sing.
Ample set starts all over the park gave the Eels the opportunity to add points on the board. Plenty of set starts in Bulldog territory afforded the Eels great opportunity to apply pressure.
Defensively the Eels made 354 tackles with 20 missed tackles and 15 ineffective tackles. That sees us with a 91% tackle efficiency rating.
Reed Mahoney tops the tackle count with 48 tackles and 1 miss. Isaiah Papali’i made 45 tackles with zero misses. He has already won buy of the year status.
Ryan Matterson with a solid 39 tackles in his return and also Dylan Brown with 29 tackles with the Dogs running a bit of traffic at him.
The Eels made 15 errors in this match, conceded 5 penalties and 5 set restarts.
As previously stated, the Eels need to be patient and respect their opposition. They have demonstrated what can be achieved by that in games this year, but it’s when they take on the struggling teams that they start to slack off in that department.
Teams like the Storm and Roosters have shown the way in this area for many seasons now and it’s time that the Eels started to adopt this philosophy. I expect to see that this week against the Roosters.
The Roosters are depleted, battered, bruised but Parra cannot afford to go into this match thinking they will be easier to beat than at full strength. The Eels need to show 80 minutes of concentrated footy and put a big name like the Roosters to the wall to keep building their Premiership credentials.
Stats Player of the Week:
Thought I would bring this old favourite back. Looking at the games numbers, this week’s worthy winner goes to Isaiah Papali’i.
Isaiah’s numbers for the match are outstanding. 177 run metres, 70 Post Contact Metres, 3 offloads, a line break assist, 1 Try Assist, 4 Tackle breaks, 45 tackles. Outstanding effort.
Isaiah’s Runs – Heat Map
Yours in Blue and Gold,