The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – NRL Round 3, 2022: Eels Defeat Storm

NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP ROUND 3

SATURDAY MARCH 26, 2022

EELS 28 defeated STORM 24

AAMI PARK

Crowd: 15,691

 

What a sensational game of rugby league!

The game’s momentum swung from one team to the other. Try for try. Hit for hit. It was brilliant to watch and truly edge of the seat stuff.

Last week’s villain turned this week’s hero when Ray Stone stayed alive after the field goal from Mitch Moses hit the upright.

Mr 3:16 came through with that unbelievable try, but in the process he injured his ACL which means that this was his final game in Eels colours. But what a way to go out!

I was critical of Ray Stone and his brain snap last week, but this week he demonstrated a genuinely high footy IQ. When he stayed in the moment, from positioning himself correctly on the kick through to the chase, the Eels were the beneficiary. It’s rare for any team to get the two points in Melbourne and he provided the critical play.

And let’s not underplay his earlier try when he chased the kick and immediately knew that the ball was still alive after the deflection.

When Parra led 24 – 18 with moments to go, an ill directed move from the Eels going left instead of right to Mitchell Moses for the easy one pointer nearly back fired on the Eels.

You can never ever write off the Storm and they used that opportunity to charge up the field and score. They never shy away from golden point and were fresh off an extra time victory over Souths in Round 2.

But as they say, the rest is history and Ray Stone captured the win for the Eels.

However, as much as the accolades for the victory are well deserved, we still need to look at some of the areas in which the Eels are lacking.

Again, the missed tackle count crept near 50, and it was only the tremendous scramble which kept the Storm from scoring.

And its catching practice for Waqa Blake this week after a few dropped bombs gave Storm excellent field position and extra sets.

No doubt teams will have seen this and will be bombing Waqa’s way over the next few weeks.


The Key Numbers

The Eels played with a 48% share of possession and completed at 80% (28 sets from 35).

Of the 43:37 minutes in Storm territory, 13:49 minutes was spent in the Storm’s red zone.

The Eels advanced the ball 2102 metres, including 1439 running metres.

Reg

Our forwards led the charge with the whole starting pack, excluding Mahoney, cracking the 100 metre mark. Leading the way was RCG with 175 running metres followed by Papali’i with 160 run metres and Junior Paulo with 156 run metres.

Clint Gutherson topped the backs with 159 run metres.

The Eels found 12 offloads and made 4 line breaks.

Parra’s defence was again concerning but the scramble was great.

The tally of 364 tackles was countered by 48 missed tackles and 23 ineffective tackles. The tackle effectiveness of 83.6% is dropping lower each weekend and this cannot be ignored.

Once the defence tightens up, the Eels will have greater energy and better field position for their attack. And of course there will be increased confidence about defending points.

Nathan Brown led the tackle count with 46 tackles (6 misses). Reed Mahoney chimed in with 44 tackles (6 misses) and Isaiah Papali’i made 43 tackles (4 misses).

As far as discipline is concerned, the Eels give away 5 penalties and 3 set restarts. Errors came in at 12.

 

Strange Stat Of The Week

It’s not unusual for Brad Arthur to only use three of the four bench players. If the game is unfolding in a way that doesn’t suit certain changes, he doesn’t stick rigidly to any pre-match plans. Like a player being able to play what’s in front of him, he adjusts his use of the bench.

So, the strange stat from this match is not that BA didn’t use Wiremu Greig, it’s that Arthur made only 5 interchanges. Furthermore, his late introduction of Ray Stone worked well as Stone brought the hustle and energy when it was needed most.

In contrast, the Storm used all 9 interchanges and their full bench.

 

Stat Player of the Week

Dylan

Once again it’s impossible to go past Dylan Brown for the player of the week gong.

Dylan played a superb hand in the Eels win. Long may he continue this rich vein of form.

His numbers included 89 running metres from 10 runs, 34 post contact metres, one line break, one line break assist, 2 try assists, 5 tackle breaks and 34 tackles (1 miss).

What a performance!

 

Final Thoughts

I thought we were the better team on the day.

The next goal must be to fix up some lapses in defence and tighten up the B defenders in the middle. The players and coaches have talked about how they’ve made the job of winning harder for themselves, and this would be the best starting point to address that.

However, it’s quite an achievement to not be at your best but still beat one of the competition’s heavyweights on their own pitch.

And let’s not forget, if Moses wants that ball in the opposition red zone, give it to him.

We might not be so lucky next time around.

Yours in Blue and Gold,

Colmac

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John Eel

It would have been nice for Mitch to get the ball when he wanted it, they have to trust him.

However it is testament to the Eels commitment and effort to manufacture a win under those circumstances.

There is a lot of resolve in this current squad. I am disappointed for Stony if he finishes his time at the Eels on the sideline. Especially if we make the GF.

Colmac have you noticed any difference in the run metres this year as opposed to say last year when six again was in its full ugliness.

Dday

What a sensational game colmac!
The metres by the forwards, particularly thru the middle was the key for mine & they all chipped in. Agree missed tackles was high but it seems to me the fast defensive line speed style invites some ineffective tackles, the offset being dropped ball by the opposition – Mel completed at 68%.

Mannah Brow

Could there be a link between missed tackles and the lack of use of the bench Andy bench players? The more tired you are the harder to not only make a tackle but to get in to position to make a tackle?

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