The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2021 Episode 28: Instant Reaction As Eels Are Pipped In Gritty Battle Of The West

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With both teams each missing a star in the spine, just a solitary point separated the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers at full time in Round 16. Alas it was the Eels that found themselves on the wrong side of the 13-12 margin but in many ways it was a result that gives them plenty to build on.

Sixties and Forty20 jump in for an instant reaction podcast to diagnose where Parra tripped themselves up and how they managed to stick it to their Western Sydney rival in a hard fought battle from both sides.

It sets up a salivating return clash between the two teams in the last round of the regulation season. With that in mind, the boys cast their eyes forward and see what lies ahead for the Eels out of their bye and how they could tweak and tinker with their roster to get the most out of it. Sixties makes a bold call on the matter and speculates that a certain winger could find his way back into the fold.

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20 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2021 Episode 28: Instant Reaction As Eels Are Pipped In Gritty Battle Of The West

  1. Longfin Eel

    It was disappointing to lose that match, especially considering for the vast majority Parra looked most likely to kick on. Parra will take a lot from that game, especially the knowledge that they can mix with the best teams. Probably a few tweaks to how we play, but we are not far off.

  2. adz4parr

    We just had to find a way to win that game. Both sides were clunky in attack and both sides had significant stretches of time where they dominated field position. Goal kicking the difference though you can’t be too critical giving both Moses missed shots were difficult. Dumb errors hurt us. Simple drops from Haze and Lane. Matterson throwing a flick pass to no one when we had them on the ropes from a dropped kick. Paulo and Lane sleeping on Api when he was drifting across field. Mind you, their fans can point to 5 dumb things they did to keep us in the game but too. It was just one of those nights.

    I felt that we really had to be ahead at halftime. The tide was always going to turn on possession as soon as they started holding the ball and we just never got a good look at their line in that last 30 minutes when they were under fatigue.

    And in hindsight we should have tapped and played on. Would have had a field goal attempt in front before full-time which would have been far easier to land than that kick (which, despite social media rants, would have been 50/50 for every kicker in the comp given its distance from goal).

    Credit to Burton, he nailed both those field goal attempts and made the most of the opportunity he had. Dylan Brown could learn a lot from the way Burton found a way to work himself into the minutes that mattered despite being well contained for much of the night. I thought Dylan defended well, but that’s it.

    1. sixties

      Fair comments ADZ. I think that both teams can actually be credited for causing the clunkiness in the opposition attack.
      Dylan Brown is more than just a very good defender, his defensive decisions, and executions completely transform our right side defence. He is literally a difference maker and a try prevented is just as valuable as one scored.

  3. BDon

    Tks guys. Some nights after a game it takes a while to shut down but last night wasn’t a problem.Sure, plenty to mull over but the big picture was that I moved in the direction of having confidence we can compete at the top level, let’s build on that now.
    Penriths 2 tries came from Origin moments which we fumbled. A sudden 60 mtr break, unexpected so we were scrambling desperately, which we actually defended,great first effort,but a 6 Again unravelled us, second effort not so good.Then a move which looked like it was going nowhere got our tired defenders acting individually, dropping their energy and focus, and bang…6 points
    .With that first one, a quick play the ball 2/3 mtrs from our line would usually draw any number of rule fudges, usually let go unless blatant infringing. Lussick did nothing intentionally wrong, he initially did not try to tackle Koriosau.This happens regularly where the tackled player moves off the mark to play the ball quickly, the markers can become untidy. Koriasau milked a technicality, good luck to him I suppose.

    1. sixties

      BDon, missing the two points hurts, but evidence that the Eels can match the highly rated Panthers is a massive positive. Will there be selection tweaks?

  4. Shaun

    “You reckon we’d lost by fifty and not by one.” Quote of the season in regards to how some react to a loss.

    Gutho noted last year that the team needs to learn how to calm themselves when ahead and also in tight situations. Obviously the team still has some learnings here. Including Gutho.

    But sitting in the cold, light of morning as gutted as I was immediately after the game I’m feeling a bit better about it. It was blow for blow and all the separated the teams was the Panthers taking their moment. I hope we can look back on this game as when Parra realised they can match it with the top teams and what they need to do to win.

    1. sixties

      Shaun, some reactions have been stunning. Those of us feeling buoyed by that game aren’t accepting a loss or mediocrity. There were moments to address. Maybe team selections too. But that was not a mediocre game. It was a clash of what was obviously two closely matched teams and the evidence was in both the play and the scoreboard.

      1. Shaun

        Yep. Plenty to work on but as BA said his aim is the play the best footy at the end of the season. I think he is still considering a few things and that is showing in team selections and bench rotation.

  5. Trapped in the 1970’s

    Thanks lads, that helped. Disappointed with the result as I had been confident of a win, but certainly not too far off getting the chocolates and plenty of positives to take away from that game.

    I had hoped that Fergo would be named in the team as I thought another big body would be more than handy, even allowing for the possible negatives around his game. I do hope that Fergo does come good as Dunster was manhandled all game and there’s a strong chance of a reoccurrence against the top sides.

    Apart from the players you’d mentioned in your 1-2-3, I thought that the defense of DBrown and Opacic was outstanding. Hats off also to Joey Lussick who has been more than solid.

    I don’t have a Shaun Lane voodoo doll that many others seem to possess. I agree he can occasionally be lazy in defense but Jnr I thought could have done more trying to stop that try as well. A dropped ball by Lane seems to get highlighted much more than others. Frustrating that he did lose control of the ball from that Moses inside pass, but for me not nearly as frustrating as Opacic’s second effort to put To’o into touch on the 5th tackle and concede a penalty when he was clearly tackled. Plenty of other examples that don’t seem to get the same scrutiny when Lane isn’t involved.

    There’s plenty of football to be played in season 2021 and the eels certainly remain in the mix.

    1. sixties

      Trapped, I don’t think that Lane will be dropped. But it wasn’t one of his best. I agree that Junior was also guilty in that moment when API scored.
      There were positives and negatives in our errors. Gutho’s error with the intercept was costly. We had suffocated the Riff in that first half then that allowed them to breather.
      Other errors brought out our resilience. That said, who would want to be put under pressure when you don’t need to be? Counterpoint – you have to expect to be under pressure as errors will occur.
      Does that all read confusing? We could have won but we didn’t. We are a serious chance of competing for the title, but will we?
      i think we can all recognise the positives and the negatives, but those supporters who took nothing but negatives must have watched a different game to me.

  6. John Eel

    Your comments regarding Ennis reflect what was said by Gould and Matt someone on 9.

    Gould waxed lyrical endlessly about the Eels working the ball out of their end without passing.

    His analysis was that the Eels forwards would be gassed making them vulnerable in the second half. That didn’t happen, they won by a field goal.

    On Phil Rothfield he says whatever the player managers tell him to say

    On Tom Opacic my condolences to Tom and his family for their loss yesterday. It was a brave effort for Tom to come out and compete.

    Getting back to the commentary team I am not even sure that they were aware that the Eels were out on the field last night. All their commentary was about the Panthers.

    1. Sixties

      In the scheme of things, the commentators shouldn’t matter. However, it’s infuriating and there are those who let their opinions get shaped by the so-called experts. Ultimately, if the Eels can get the job done, those opinions will be made to look foolish.

    2. BDon

      Phil had a rant about the last penalty, but then the replay clearly showed Martin taking a step to his right and impeding Waqa. Cleary doubled down and accused Waqa of taking a dive, sorry Ivan, watch it again , your player had no momentum towards the ball to join the play, he just intentionally obstructed. Phil then tried the angle that Waqa wouldn’t have reached the contest, well look again Phil, he was a stride and a leap away, enough to get the decision.

  7. SneakyEel

    We really need Fergo back in we are really missing he’s carries from our red zone. I think Dunster needs another pre season to add 10kg to his frame imo. Lane was horrible as well I’d be putting Makatoa or Hipgrave in.

  8. John Eel

    This morning I am travelling from Sydney to the Central Coast by train.

    I did something I rarely do these days. I purchased the DT with the express purpose to read about Mitch’s forthcoming debut as a SOO player. This story is important to me.

    I was extremely disappointed to learn that there was no mention of this positive moment in a players career. Instead all of the rugby league stories were negative stories about players misbehaving and blowout score lines.

    I get that these journos have to report all the news good or bad. However can’t they find a little bit of time in their busy schedules to write a positive story to promote the game that provides them with a very comfortable life style.

    I was talking to my son yesterday who lives in Perth. He was complaining about not being able to find stories that analysed the SOO. When he said it I just thought to myself it is because you live in an AFL State

    After this morning though I am beginning to agree with him.

    1. sixties

      Interesting observation ?John’s. I put it down to many NRL journos being nothing more than gossip writers. They are more interested in the scandals, the squabbles, the backstabbing, the contract sagas, the private lives blah, blah, blah. Yeah, the fans like to know about their favourite players but the game is literally secondary to many of these types.

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