STATS THAT MATTA
ROUND 11, 2022 NRL TELSTRA PREMIERSHIP
FRIDAY MAY 20, 2022
EELS 22 defeated SEA EAGLES 20
How should we view this game?
Was it a game that Parra shouldn’t have won but stole at the end?
Perhaps it was a game in which the Eels showed good grit and grind to get a deserved two competition points?
Opinions have vacillated between these two perspectives since the final siren, so I’ll let you answer that question for yourselves.
What can’t be denied is that the Manly side had the better of the first half and once again the Eels were looking shaky in the first 20 minute period.
A disallowed try to Clint Gutherson set the Eels back a bit and it took them a while to regain focus. The attack looked pedestrian and there were fears of another poor performance against a less fancied opponent.
But after the break, the return of Mitchell Moses from the sin bin ignited the Eels, and the team proved that they can play a full 80 minutes to earn a victory.
So let’s look at the numbers from this Eels win against an old foe.
The Key Numbers
Possession was split 50 50 with both sides having a high completion rate despite the weather conditions.
In an impressive handling display in the wet, the Eels completed at 88%, (35 sets from 40) with Manly completing at 82%.
Time wise, the Eels held the ball for 43 minutes, including 17 and a half minutes in Manly’s 20 metre area.
Parra’s second phase football was on song, getting 21 offloads away. Ryan Matterson led the way with 6 offloads of his own.
Four line breaks were made by the Eels with Hayze Perham making two line breaks in scoring his two tries.
The Eels made a grand total of 2364 metres. This was comprised of 1558 running metres (615 post contact metres).
Gutherson celebrated his 150th NRL appearance by leading the backline run metres with 158, followed by Will Penisini (134 run metres) and Bailey Simonsson with (122 run metres).
Our forwards were led by Ryan Matterson with 145 run metres, RCG 131 run metres and Shaun Lane, 125 run metres.
Although the Eels were made to work hard to get out of their own end, the heat map demonstrates that they were still able to gain some good yardage well into the Sea Eagles half.
By way of a comparison, I’ve included Manly’s heat map to demonstrate how the Eels were able to hold down the Sea Eagles in their own end.
This is a fine effort from the Eels defence.
The Eels had plenty of opportunities to inflict more points on the Manly side. But at times, the Eels attack looked a little lost and opportunities closed quickly. Mitchell Moses only had 2 runs for 11 metres in this game.
I would have liked the Eels halfback to run more at the line, using his guile to set up more scoring plays.
Parra made 348 tackles with 24 missed tackles and 11 ineffective. This produced a tackle efficiency rating of 91%.
This weeks top tacklers were Reed Mahoney with 41, Shaun Lane 40 and Isaiah Papali’i 34.
The Eels discipline was very impressive, There were zero set re-starts, two penalties and just seven errors.
Strange Stat of the Week
Besides not giving away a set restart in the match, the Eels conceded zero penalties in the second half (though they had to win a challenge over a crusher tackle ruling).
In contrast, Manly game away six second half penalties.
Perhaps the Sea Eagles should look at their own discipline before blaming the referee.
Stats Player of the Week
It’s been said he’s in career best form. His play over the last couple of months places him amongst the leading forwards in the NRL, either as a starting or a bench forward.
I speak of Ryan Matterson.
These are his numbers in what was another superb performance.
Minutes Played – 65
Possessions – 30
Running Metres – 145
Runs – 21
Post Contact Metres – 58
Offloads – 6
Tackle Breaks – 2
Tackles – 32
Missed Tackles – 0
Absolutely sessional figures.
Just a note on the referee debate.
In reality, a referee call rarely decides a match. They will make mistakes, just as a team will make mistakes. But some coaches are more than willing to identify referee errors rather than poor discipline, dropped passes or missed kicks. A team has 80 minutes to win a game. It’s up to the team to win it.
There are also too many ex-players and commentators in the media and involved in clubs that are driving this agenda to suit their club.
They should know better. Referees give bad calls. It’s been happening since 1908, alongside many more errors from players.
The Eels now head to the nation’s capital against a Raiders outfit who are now looking a much better side. The Eels record in Canberra isn’t great. One win from the last 10 starts will attest to that.
Let’s aim for another 80 minute gritty performance from the Eels in what is a critical match heading into the bye.
Yours in Blue and Gold