The Cumberland Throw

From The Stands – May 17, 2021: Time For Commonsense

Magic Round drew big crowds to Suncorp Stadium and left everyone in attendance, and the thousands watching from home, with plenty of opinions and no reluctance to express them. There is so much I could say about watching the games over the weekend, but let’s begin with the positive.

From the stands I really enjoyed watching our game against the Warriors for one simple reason. That game showcased the best of what rugby league is about.

At its heart, Rugby League is a community sport that is loved by generations of families. The passion and tribalism for your team often gets passed from one generation to the next.  And that passion was on display for the debut of Jake Arthur.

Jake Arthur

Like many supporters I was nervous for Jakob, his family, our club and our team. I should not have been because it was obvious from the reaction of our players to Jakob scoring his first try that they were always going to do everything they could to make this day memorable for Jakob and his family of generational Eels supporters.

I hope those people running our game at NRL headquarters watched everyone’s reaction to Jakob scoring and realised that they do not own our sport, the community does.

Administrators have a responsibility to protect our sport but they also have a responsibility to listen and bring all stakeholders together. I don’t pretend that is easy but if they don’t think they can do that then they should not be in the position they are. Our sport is definitely a business but it is also a community organisation which relies upon the passion of its people. 

As a mum of a kid who plays junior league I certainly support the heavy punishment of illegal, deliberate and dangerous play. I supported every straight send off over the weekend but some of the overreactions with the sin bins were ridiculous and decided the results in games. That is not okay and as was noted numerous times over the weekend, some decisions displayed very little common sense.

From the stands my view is that the crackdown had very little to do with protecting our players and more to do with a few powerful and influential people. That might be totally untrue and unfair but that is my view and the view of most of the parents that I talked to at junior footy on Saturday morning.

When you take on the position to lead an organisation that is loved by generations of people you need to bring those people along and listen to them.

Sending out an email  or putting out a media release is not working together, just as speaking to selective favourable journos to get your message across will only widen the divisions.

What did the crackdown achieve?

It made the referees villains. This is hardly going to encourage a young person to become a referee. It created memes out of some of our best players such as Tedesco, and it created a further gap between the participants in our game and its leadership.

For any rule to truly work, we need to get everyone on the same page. From the stands what I saw was not leadership and will only turn people away from our sport, not bring them together.

On Sunday, in Parra’s game, our club came together. The administrators, the players, the coaches and the supporters. Hopefully those in the commission and those working at NRL headquarters reflect on why everyone was so happy when Jakob scored. Hopefully in the coming weeks egos are put aside and common sense is applied. I am not sure that I believe that will  be the case but I will be very happy to be proven wrong.

So we now turn to this week, and what an opportune time to showcase the great rivalry between the Eels and Manly.

When my Eels play a game, I normally want us to both play well and win.

Last year’s clash

However, against Manly that goes out the window. I don’t really care how well we play on Sunday, I simply want us to win.

You cannot artificially create rivalries and passion. I am sure more learned people can explain the detailed history of our clubs and why the rivalry exists but for me it is simple.

For as long as I can recall I have disliked Manly. Everyone in my family looks forward to this game and wants a win. Over the years the fortunes of both clubs have changed but that passion and distinct dislike for each other has remained.

Passionate, loyal, dedicated fans for both teams will turn up on Sunday in their thousands to cheer on their players. I only hope the officials and administrators allow the players to decide the game.

As much as I respect referees, my family and I do not want to make the combined 5 hour round trip on Sunday to watch the officials. We want to watch the next chapter in the rivalry between Parra and Manly written.

Let’s hope for everyone’s sake some common sense is applied, not just for our game this weekend but for everyone involved in the great game of Rugby League.



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Gil Carter

Well said Shelley, our Manly rivalry goes back to 1947, when we both were admitted to the Premiership. Then the infamous defeat in the ’76 GF. After scoring more tries than them, they won on scrum penalties & Nifty Nev’s cluster F. Then our revenge in 82 & 83. While I respect them, I always wanna cream them!!


Me too. Whenever we have won a game with a ‘lucky’ call against most other teams I have felt a little sorry for them. Not Manly, in truth it actually makes the victory a little sweeter. I don’t hate any team but Manly does come close. I guess once a Western Sydney girl always a Western Sydney girl.

Mr controversy aka rev

U must have hate for manly n dogs n Penrith shell i know i do can’t stand our rivals

Mr controversy aka rev

Gil like brad Arthur say’s in the behind the scenes YouTube video they have none to very little respect for us n to me it’s a 2 way street.

Mr controversy aka rev

By speeding the game up there’s going to be more fatigue,” Finch said on former NRL player Denan Kemp’s Bloke In A Bar podcast. “With more fatigue comes errors. That’s in terms of with the ball, that’s in terms of missed tackles, that’s in terms of tackles that can go wrong or poor technique that can create high tackles. Now the crazy thing about this is, he (V’landys) wants to nullify it, so he’s going to sin bin people and send people off. Guess what that’s going to create? More fatigue. There’s going to be less people on the field.… Read more »


Yesterday Vlandy’s said the six again has been great because it has created more fatigue but in a later interview he said that there is no evidence that the new rules are resulting in players using more energy and becoming tired. Does he not realise you can only get more fatigued as a result of using more energy? if you really listen carefully to him he is a walking and talking contradiction. The problem is he talks so fast and constantly deviates between topics that it is hard for anyone to keep him on topic and ask him to clarify… Read more »


Shelley, he is by no means perfect but by gee he is yards ahead of anyone else who would dare occupy his position.
if it wasn’t for the fact the comp got up and running last year I would still be at the funny farm. And we both know who was almost solely responsible for rescuing the competition last year!


Don’t mistake PVL’s response last year as being a sign of a competent long term administrator. Sometimes those that win the war aren’t best placed to win the peace.

Mr controversy aka rev

I think ypu are so wrong what about John Quayle n ken Arthurson. Vlandy’s is a fool in a high powered job. His roll is to get results simple if he doesn’t then him n abdo are out the door. Simple really.


I acknowledge what he did, but I would say the players, coaches, physio’s, trainers etc and all their families who lived in the bubble played just as much of a part. Not to mention the fans who donated their memberships or the sponsors, leagues club who continued to support the clubs, despite the temporary closure of business. He did his job, just as every other person did and for that he does deserve credit but no in my opinion he was not solely responsible for saving rugby league. His mates in the media created the narrative around him and I… Read more »

Last edited 2 hours ago by Shelley
Mr controversy aka rev

The difference between Parramatta n manly is that Parramatta aren’t a 1 men band. Every one knows that manly are a piss poor team with out Tommy turbo. Still will be looking at a Eels win at Bankwest stadium

Gil Carter

I’m tipping by a decent margin Rev. & the Rabbits the week after. Despite only 1 loss, we have no real respect. That pisses me off, & I reckon the playing group as well.


I think it’s good that the “Talking Heads” keep referring to a 2 horse race between MLB and Riff! I’m quite happy to stay out of the headlights in the hope it’s helping to keep everyone grounded and focused.

But it pisses me off too!


The game will won and lost in the forwards. If we stay in the middle corridor, play with patience and hold the ball we win. Turn over cheap ball in our end, we invite Tommy into the game.
Seriously just look at the two packs, the difference in experience, skill and fitness level is huge. I am looking forward to the game but surprisingly feel very confident.

Mr controversy aka rev

I wstch tje behind the scenes YouTube video of parra vs manly at Bankwest stadium i think we can do a job on manly. Nervous no excited yes

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