The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Round 19, 2022: Broncos Smash Eels


FRIDAY JULY 21, 2022

BRONCOS 36 defeat Eels 14


Crowd: 11,017

What can you say???

Performances like this have become a just too often occurrence with this side.

Whether you blame the coach, the players, or both, it’s simply not good enough.

Apparently, camps don’t work. Results like this make them little more than a getaway during the week, and hardly validate the change of routine. Supporters don’t want to hear the “we trained well all week” rhetoric.

Watching press conferences after the game doesn’t really fill me with much confidence either. Any references to poor ref or bunker decisions ignores what was very poor footy from Parramatta (again).

And what the hell was Bailey Simonsson doing on that cross kick for Oates in the opening part of the second half? At least compete for the ball. You are not going to outjump Oates and try and tackle him on the line. He has too much power with the momentum of his leap thrown into the mix. Let’s not start on the second half kick off either. It simply wasn’t NRL standard footy.

Parramatta started great. Both Moses and Brown were running and things were looking promising. An early try to Sivo and the crowd was pumped. So, what happened? So many questions and no answers coming out of the sheds.

The biggest disappointment from this game was that the chance to push for a top 4 spot has probably been squandered big time. If Souths beat the Storm tomorrow night, the Eels will slump to 7th.

In this mixed bag of a season, it probably won’t surprise if this side beats Penrith next week. But make no mistake, were that to happen it would probably be followed up by another insipid performance and again the fans will be asking the same questions.


The Key Numbers

The Eels had 48% of possession and completed at 78% (29 from 37 sets).

Time wise, the Eels were in the Broncos half for 43 and a half minutes with 18 minutes and 12 seconds of that spent in the Broncos 20 metre zone.

The Eels gained 1997 metres as opposed to the Broncos 2047 metres. Within these metres, Parramatta made 1394 running metres (478 post contact).

Two of the back line ran for over 100 metres. Gutherson with 145 run metres and Waqa Blake with 130 run metres. Will Penisini was just shy with 98 run metres.

Our forwards tried to lay some ground work but nothing came of it. RCG led the forwards with 140 run metres, followed by Shaun Lane (139rm), the returning Ryan Matterson (127) and Isaiah Papali’i (109).


Run Map

This is heat map that usually shows a side in fine form posting a dominant win.

So what can we tell from this? There are more questions than answers. Our forwards are working but are our backs are to blame? Where were our halves? Who was our primary decision maker?

Set Starts

Decent enough set starts in Broncos territory but nothing to show for it. Worrying signs across the board that’s for sure.

In defence the Eels made 351 tackles, missed 28 and had 17 ineffective tackles. This gives a Tackle Efficiency rating this week of 88.6%. The other perspective is that 11.7% of attempted tackles were either missed or ineffective.

Reed Mahoney again topped our tackle count with 45 but this was countered by 5 missed tackles and 3 ineffectives. Shaun Lane and Isaiah Papali’i made 36 tackles apiece.

Parramatta were much better in displine this week, only conceding 2 penalties and 3 set restarts, though Will Penisini had to spend 10 minutes in the naughty corner.

The Error stat was significant as the Eels made 16 errors to Broncos 8.

Strange Stat Of The Week

This isn’t as quirky as it is mind boggling.

This is the Eels Kick Map from the game. This seems like it should be set up for great results from the kicks.

However, how many line drop outs were forced?? Zero. None. Donuts. From memory it generated one six again. Needless to say, the Eels kickers achieved very little in this match.

Stat Player of the Week


Final Thoughts

The sad reality is that this result was completely predictable based on the track record of this season.

Based on that we can expect a big performance against the Panthers followed by garbage against Manly at 4Pines.

Everyone can cop a loss if your team plays well and is beaten by the better side. But when the Eels get beaten, it’s a flogging and it’s seriously hurting our for and against.

Parra’s defence against the Bronco’s was poor to say the least. But all credit to the Broncos who put on a master class. All 17 players played their role to a tee.

I rate our bench and its use the worst in the competition. Jake Arthur comes on with 4 minutes to go. Makatoa plays 10 minutes and doesn’t do much, Niukore who is one of our best forwards in attack and defence sees 24 minutes. Kaufusi to his credit has been playing really well off the bench. I can’t fault him there. 

There either needs to be an extra forward or a hooker to give Reed a spell earlier in the game. Or if BA persists with Jake, use him earlier.

I’ll drop a bombshell here. Gutherson needs to be replaced as captain. There I said it. Give the (c) to Moses. I think that would improve Mitchell’s game and would take a lot of heat off Gutherson who can just play his natural game.

Moses plays with his heart on his sleeve and can lift this side by actions and words. And have you noticed when the Eels go to a captain’s challenge? It’s off Moses telling Gutherson to check it.

Our wingers are the slowest in the competition. Sivo coming back off his knee injury is still finding his feet and is a little stand offish to go full tilt. Bailey Simonsson needs a stint in reserves. His defence and attacking ability isn’t cutting it.

Maybe that’s a reason the Eels play like they do at times. It doesn’t matter how poor they play, they know BA won’t replace them. He sticks solid. Whats the definition of insanity……………..

This has to change.

See you next Friday night after the game in Jacks Bar & Grill for the podcast and our meet TCT evening.

Yours in Blue and Gold


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14 thoughts on “Stats That Matta – Round 19, 2022: Broncos Smash Eels

  1. Johnno

    Good write up mate, totally agree. Reynolds steered his team , we put up bombs and hoped. Our pressure on Reynolds and our kick chase was rubbish. We would have to have the slowest line speed and play the ball in the comp

  2. pete

    Great presentation Colmac.
    Broncos also had a training camp where the Blues stayed Casuarina. Obviously their camp paid off.
    Reynolds dominated as did the Broncos forwards although the numbers don’t explain what the eyes saw. I felt If Sivo gets early ball he will score…
    Mahoney is a weak link. His missed and ineffective tackles in the middle are pivotal. If he does tackle he gives away quick play the ball. His service is telegraphed and slow and kicking is poor. He doesn’t run. He offers very little for 75 minutes. JA in 5 minutes showed how to pass from dummy half. Crisp and accurate. BA won’t change but…Either start with Rein (or JA anything is better). At least bench Mahoney.. something. Mahoney is clearly holding back for next year so everyone will say how he’s improved since going to the Druggies. Gutho as captain is a failure. He’s supposed to lead by example and effort. He has one of the highest mistake rates in NRL. All The effort in the world can’t make up for being constantly out of position. Then he appeared to blame Sivo for not getting back to stop the try. Gutho, played great last year (wanting a new contract) but now he’s not playing well enough! Moses is the brains and needs to be C.
    Simmonson hasn’t improved. Bring Russell back.
    Penisini tried but it’s just beyond him. He’s only 19 so give him a rest and either put Marata or Gutho at centre. Bring Hayze to Fullback. Because we cannot bring Rankin because he’s captain coaching the reserve grade team LoL. It won’t happen but…
    I really hope we can get back to our best form. I really hope Gutho, Simmonson, Penisini and Mahoney improve but they are putting too much pressure on the team with the current form.
    BA needs to put accountability onto the players and not just talk about it as we are coming to the pointy end.
    Go Eels!!
    PS if Moses misses a kick early on I say here we go again.. anyone else think that? And I hate when we play Thursday..

    1. BDon

      That’s a good read pete.The Moses kick thing, I have similar thoughts, it’s only 2 points but starting with 6 seems to get you in a better mood, and that’s on the lounge, maybe same on the field.
      Penisini only needs wise words, he’s intelligent,naturally skilled, a good defender and shirks nothing.He got jammed twice by Oates when in space, with Simonssen unmarked but each time the pass to him was ordinary, not out in front so he could assess the space and pass. Made Oates look like a genius and Will like an amateur.
      Simonssen’s jamming puts him poor light as well. He rarely gets space, we shift to the left more and we are nowhere in the class of
      ,say, Souths with our plays.His performances might be more to do with the team’s standards than his own.

      1. pete

        Spot on BDon. If we are all thinking that. It must echo through the team’s psyche as groundhog day. Maybe give Gutho the goal kicking (not short kicking) and Moses the captaincy as a trade off… you know for the good of the team…
        You make some great points about Will and Simmonson. I know BA sticks solid and won’t change. But, maybe getting some inspirational leaders or community people to speak. Similar to how Bulldogs got the father that lost his kids. It worked because the Bulldogs beat us after that.
        Anyway it’s just frustrating outside looking in when watching your favourite car being paddock bashed… LoL

        1. pete

          Another point: Just look how Stacey Jones benched Reece Walsh. Supposedly the best player for the good of the team.

          1. BDon

            Or maybe for Penisini it’s as simple as a few chats with that bloke down at Gerringong.

  3. Spark

    Yes Reynolds is a factor but the biggest difference between the Broncos of last year and this year is that they got them fit.
    At the beginning of pre season there was massive grumblings as they returned to the old power based fitness regimes from the past and put the new aged ‘scientific’ loading fitness plans to one side but they worked. There are no grumblings now.
    Maybe the Eels need to Stop mollycoddling the players, bring in consequences and harden the f*ck up !

  4. Jimbob

    Are there any stats saying when the coach should be sacked, All I see is support for pathways, support for Brad and his selections and excuses after this was supposed to be the year of reckoning.

    Maybe the board reads what people are saying and think everything is fine when really its a disaster season to say the least.
    When will the board bight the bullet and sack the coach, sack everyone in pathways and the assistants.

    When is everyone going to realize that if nothing happens we’re going to be a laughing stock in 23, and forget about a premiership hope for at least 5 years.

  5. Milo

    Agreed here Colmac, Moses needs to lead. It’s simple. I like Junior and Gutho but it has not worked. Junior leads by doing, and Guth is merely out of form.
    We need change and now is the time, and i cannot fathom we have not manoeuvred the bench….Kaufusi ? Mahoney / Pap / Niukore all leaving and I don’t mean dropping all but surely some more varied bench>? Mahoney has been avg all year; and yes move Guth to centre and bring in Perham or something.
    Yes the board need to seek answers and fast as 2023 will be worse if we keep going with what we have now in leadership on and off the field.
    I have said it before – something is amiss with the squad in terms of playing for each other and or the coach. We look like a rabble at times. It’s sad to see as we have the players to do well.
    New eyes over the junior systems and new eyes in the coaching structure of our NRL…and this is all down to the board as people will stop going to the games, and yes it sounds tough but it will happen.
    Yes we have been competitive over the last few years but we have not improved and some players look to have gone backwards….and again I am not at training but this is down to the coaching staff, as they either drop players or keep going as is and then the coach is under the pump again. Something has to change and we look lost.

  6. Grunta

    What’s doing with Junior?
    He just seems to do a job, an average one of late and I notice in the stats he wasn’t even mentioned. Where are those runs from deep, hitting the ball with pace and barnstorming over for a try?
    Similar with Gutho. He doesn’t seem to ever come into dummy half and make those big runs up the middle like he was. Our attack is shocking in general.
    As for Mahoney, Niukore and Kaufusi…they are already at their new clubs, mentally and need a week or two in reserves.
    I remember in THAT season of 2016 our defence was incredible and almost impenetrable. How did we get here?
    So, our attack and defence has gotten worse and I can’t remember when this team has played so poorly. BA has done a good job, not great but good. It’s definitely time for a different voice, direction and some different ideas. I reckon we overachieved last season.
    Oh, for once it would be nice to sign a couple of elite or X factor players. Sean Russel needs to come back in too. Personally, I’d love to see Perham put at fullback and Gutho to centre. Gutherson just doesn’t have the speed to play at the back and his positional play has been found wanting whilst his form under the high ball has slipped too.
    All the players have gone south in form apart from possibly Papali’i and Brown.

  7. Luke Winley

    I hope we can turn it around. At the game on friday i thought our kicking game was atrocious. As was our desire to be first to loose ball.
    If brad Arthur doesn’t finish top 4 or gf qualifier or we exit in embarrassment like Melbourne 32 zip and bunnies brain fade then hes a gonna.
    Anthony Siebold clearly knows his stuff and although it went pair shaped at brisbane id love to see him have a go.
    Hed have learnt some hard lessons from his time at both souths and brisbane.

  8. Billy

    Agree with some but not all comments from others here. My two cents on individuals, for what it’s worth:

    Paulo – not an effective captain. Not having much impact at the moment in terms of breaking the line. Seems to have put the ball-playing away too.

    Mahoney – regularly picks up the ball and hesitates before passing. That half a second seems insignificant, but it means the defence is two steps closer and our attack is stifled. Doesn’t run when the markers aren’t square (though to be fair, I have seen him do it and fail to get the call). Kicking game is suffering from both poor execution and poor choices on when – if you kick early, your team needs to know to be ready for the chase.

    Blake – got run down by a second rower. Passing the ball seems to be dead last on his list of options in attack, so the defence know to just hit him, without having to make decisions. Regularly seen sprawling and/or not making the effort plays in defence. Was much more effective as a winger. Move him back there, on the other side.

    Simonsson – not getting much opportunity in attack, but hasn’t made the most of those he gets. Dodgy under the high ball, and I’ve seen nothing to make me think he can burst through or around a tackler on a kick return. The complete lack of any plan against Oates was pretty symbolic of where he’s at in defence – making the wrong decision is better than none at all. Back to reserves.

    Gutherson – has been poor since he copped a hit in the ribs earlier in the season – he started passing on kick returns after that game, as though he’s trying to minimise contact. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear he’s carrying an injury. Would rather see D Brown developing his short kicking game, as Gutho’s hit rate isn’t that good, but he seems to be the alternative to Moses. I think sometimes there’s too many cooks.

    Penisini – hasn’t been particularly good or bad, which is probably reasonable given he’s only in his second season. I do wonder if the reaction to JA the past two weeks has affected him – they’ve come through grade together, and it’s gotta be hard for both young men to hear that, or have effective coping strategies.

    Moses – make him captain.

    N Brown – as I understand it, the reason he isn’t being selected isn’t about on-field performance. The club has kept it in-house, without the leaks to the media we used to see (and still do from the dysfunctional clubs). The downside of them being professional is fan confusion over his non-selection.

    Perham – don’t see him as a viable option at fullback or wing, given he wouldn’t leap for a high ball and got manhandled on a regular basis. Can’t see him being defensively strong enough for the utility role, particularly at hooker. Isn’t signed for next year, so playing him isn’t looking to the future.

    Russell – would be a better option than Perham if we’re replacing a back, but not sure how much centre he’s played? (see Blake to wing comment). I’d go for Opacic instead.

    Rankin – as far as I know, not in the top 30 and headed for retirement, hence the captain-coach role.

    Bench utility – we simply don’t have one this season in the style that we’re accustomed to seeing. Rein failed to grasp his opportunity. Cartwright is rocks and diamonds. A lot of teams are carrying a back due to the high rates of HIA. Personally I’d rather shift Matterson/Niukore back to the centres. But I’m really hoping we’re recruiting for that role for next.

    (I have deliberately not discussed J Arthur, as there’s plenty of discussion elsewhere)

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