The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Battling Broncos Edition



Here we are with just two rounds left in the regular season of the NRL. Round 24 sees the Parramatta Eels on the road for the last time ahead of the finals as they take on the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Thursday night’s game has massive stakes for both sides. For the home town Broncos, they find themselves suddenly fighting for their lives following their recent skid that culminated in last week’s gory vivisection at the hands of the Melbourne Storm. They now have the Canberra Raiders nipping at their heels and the walls seemingly closing in.

The Eels are by no means free of their own battle for form, even coming off a profound whalloping of the Canterbury Bulldogs. They still possess ambitions of a Top 4 finish but will not only need their remaining two games but rely on the Sydney Roosters to account for the Storm this week. It is all moot if they can’t get the job done in Brisbane.

Brad Arthur has turned to his rotation policy for his interchange bench this week as Bryce Cartwright and Ofahiki Ogden drop back to the NSW Cup for its regular season finale. In their places we see Makahesi Makatoa and Jake Arthur return to first grade. Makatoa was sensational against the Rabbitohs two weeks ago – bringing seriously dominant play to the field for nearly 70-minutes. He backed it up with a solid performance against the Bulldogs which makes the recall fairly warranted but the Eels absolutely need the best of him from here on out.

Makatoa for Ogden is a straightforward swap but Cartwright’s exclusion is bound to raise a few eyebrows. Entrusted with expanded playing time in the last two weeks, Cartwright responded with two of his better games across both the NRL and NSW Cup. Beyond any commitment to a rotation policy, Jake’s addition to the bench could indicate that Mitchell Moses might not have pulled up from Round 23 at 100% and want better coverage for him. Or perhaps that the Eels are hopeful a strong team performance will put them in a position to ice their star halfback early.

The Brisbane Broncos, for all their recent woes, are fielding an impressive team on paper minus their outstanding lock forward Patrick Carrigan. He of course is still serving a suspension for a hip-drop tackle. Their forward pack took the Eels to task earlier this season and gave Adam Reynolds all sorts of time and space to pick the Blue & Gold apart. That loss was painfully similar to defeats suffered at the hands of the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs in the second half of the season and based on that we will know very quickly on Thursday night if the Eels are interested in competing.

And goodness knows they should be. With a Top 4 spot still very much on the line (given the red hot form of the Roosters) and the chance to build some real momentum ahead of the finals there no lack of motivation present. It is time for our boys to get to work.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday night at 7:50PM at Suncorp Stadium.


NRL Team List

1. Clinton Gutherson (c)
2. Maika Sivo
3. Will Penisini
4. Tom Opacic
5. Waqa Blake
6. Dylan Brown
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Junior Paulo
11. Shaun Lane
12. Isaiah Papali’i
13. Ryan Matterson

14. Makahesi Makatoa
15. Jake Arthur
16. Oregon Kaufusi
17. Marata Niukore

18. Ofahiki Ogden
19. Bailey Simonsson
20. Bryce Cartwright
21. Sean Russell
22. Ky Rodwell


Injury Report


Player Injury Return
Solomone Naiduki Concussion TBA
Nathan Brown Finger TBA
Ray Stone Knee 2023
Haze Dunster Knee 2023




Yep, the Roosters are the real deal. Our girls learned a tough lesson in Round 1 of the NRLW as the reigning premiers outmuscled them through the middle and scorched them out wide in the red zone. Coach Dean Widders has tweaked his team ahead of the looming battle with the St George Illawarra Dragons with a number of changes across the backline and bench.

Zali Fay will start on the wing as Rikeya Horne pushes into the centres. Abbi Church is the player to make way for this switcheroo. Meanwhile, in the halves Tayla Preston replaces Brooke-Morgan Walker to partner young gun Losana Lutu.

Finally we arrive at a historic moment for the club as Ruby-Jean Kennard makes her debut from the bench. A standout in the Tarsha Gale earlier this year, Ruby becomes the club’s first ever pathways player to fully graduate from their pipeline. It is a celebration of both the player and the club and hopefully a beacon for what is to come for the Eels.

Her first up assignment is a cracker as well given that the Dragons are plenty talented and coming off a quality win over the Gold Coast Titans. Emma Tonegato, Teagan Berry and Kezie Apps are some of the brightest stars in the code and they are supported by an incredibly well balanced roster. I already wrote about what the Eels need to go in order to push forwards this season but the big question was really about how much of that they could implement in a single week.

We will find out on Sunday!

The Parramatta Eels take on the St George Illawarra on Sunday afternoon at 12:00PM at CommBank Stadium.


NRLW Team List

1. Gayle Broughton
2. Zali Fay
3. Tiana Penitani
4. Rikeya Horne
5. Tess Staines
6. Tayla Preston
7. Losana Lutu
8. Filomina Hanisi
9. Seli Mailangi
10. Ellie Johnston
11. Christian Pio
12. Vanessa Foliaki
13. Simaima Taufa

14. Kennedy Cherrington
15. Brooke Anderson
16. Navjanda George
17. Ruby-Jean Kennard

18. Rueben Cherrington
19. Abbi Church
20. Cassey Tohi-Hiku
21. Ashleigh Quinlan
22. Luisa Yaranamua

23. Rima Butler

24. Brooke-Morgan Walker




With the news that the NSW Cup is also adopting a Top 5 finals series, Parramatta’s 19-16 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs last week becomes that much more relevant (and painful). They now require a win over the 10th placed Newcastle Knights or the Canberra Raiders to somehow bungle their home game against the last placed Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in order to book their ticket to the finals.

At least their fate is very much in their own hands and for that we are all grateful.

Samuel Loizou has been named to replace Solomone Naiduki on the wing after the latter suffered a nasty concussion against the Bulldogs. Jack A Williams is called back into the team to replace Jake Arthur where he will parter his captain and coach in Jordan Rankin. Ofahiki Ogden and Bryce Cartwright reinforce the forward pack while the return of Ky Rodwell could not be more timely!

Of note, future Eel Jirah Momoisea will be starting in the front row for Newcastle which adds a nice little extra layer to Friday night’s clash.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Newcastle Knights on Friday night at 7:00PM at Kellyville Park.


NSW Cup Team List

1. Hayze Perham
2. Samuel Loizou
3. Bailey Simonsson
4. Zac Cini
5. Sean Russell
6. Jack A. Williams
7. Jordan Rankin (c)
8. Ofahiki Ogden
9. Mitch Rein
10. Ky Rodwell
11. Elie El-Zakhem
12. Toni Mataele
13. Bryce Cartwright

14. Brendan Hands
15. Tevita Taumoepenu
16. Dan Keir
17. Jayden Yates


Jersey Flegg


All that is left for the Eels in the Jersey Flegg is pride as they welcome the 2nd placed Newcastle Knights to Kellyville on Saturday. Samuel Loizou is named in the centres but I expect him to be replaced given he has also been named to start in the NSW Cup. Otherwise the Eels should be as named and can hopefully challenge one of the top teams in the grade and sign off on the season in style.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Newcastle Knights on Saturday afternoon at 1:15PM at Kellyville Park.


Jersey Flegg Team List

1. Dantoray Lui
2. Arthur Miller-Stephen
3. Corey Fenning (c)
4. Samuel Loizou
5. Moala Graham-Taufa
6. Mac Puafisi
7. Ethan Sanders
8. Peter Taateo
9. Kruz Niutili-Schmidt
10. Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa
11. Ryan Jones
12. Felix Niutili-Schmidt
13. Brock Parker

14. Jacob Davis
15. Saxon Pryke
16. Larry Muagututia
17. Jack Colovatti

18. Markis Atoa


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19 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – Battling Broncos Edition

  1. Anonymous

    No comment is probably the best comment with this bizarre bench selection by the coach. So we win well with a decent forward bench rotation, with Carty playing an A- game, so naturally he is dropped for the handbrake. Dropping Ogden after his regular 7.5 minutes for the absolute plodder in Makatoa is unfair on Ogden. Better options to cover for a potentially injured MM.

  2. Chef

    Cmon everyone lets be serious, Cartwright was an A player off the bench according to the other blog, now he gets dropped, for a player who hasn’t proven himself in the nrl &; is very very slow for a nrl half. Surely if Moses had some injury worry, there has to be other options.

    This situation is tearing the hearts out of eels fans go to any supporter site and read the comments. So many can’t be wrong.

    Lets be serious, Jake isn’t up to playing nrl and as a 7 doesn’t have the pace never will be.

    This is unbelievable and unacceptable

  3. HamSammich

    Not a fan of dropping Cartwright, played his best game for a long time on the weekend and even though he may play 80 in Cup and get minutes into his legs we are better served with him getting 20-25 in first grade.

  4. N.Senada

    I thought Bryce Cartwright was really impressive last week. Would have loved to have seen him in first grade again. GO THE EELS

  5. Clive

    Another bizarre selection from the coach. The team puts on a better performance and the bench actually starts to look better and now he changes it.
    I can’t understand why Brad keeps putting Jake in this situation.

  6. Wile

    This is a must win game to have a decent chance in the finals
    JA is not a bench player – he is not going to come on and run rings around tired forwards. If Moses does not play then JA would be a reasonable choice. But no good reason off the bench. He will not help if it is close and if we are well ahead Carty could easily rest Moses but also be useful if it gets close. Would be good to get more first grade in Carty – he could be useful in the finals. JA will not help in the finals – we play him we lose. This is just sad. This is not a professional football club.

  7. Wally21

    Terrible bench. Period. The fact he has dropped Cartwright is nothing short of a disgrace. Bryce was great in a well beaten side two weeks ago and was once again very good last week.
    I’m not even going to comment on the son.

  8. Spark

    Ok is BA just trying his hardest to piss the fans off ? Is he sitting there like some dystopian dictator thinking – ‘well I’ll show them that I’m the boss’
    Unless there has suddenly been a rash of injuries, the bench selections make absolutely no sense. You think we as fans are confused? Imagine how the players feel ??
    BA – you just get harder and harder to defend.

  9. Sec50

    I’m looking for the logic but for the life of me I can’t fathom BAs thinking with this team selection. Niukore was great starting last week instead of Matterson and gave us real impetus so let’s reverse the roles. Cartwright has played his best football in the last 2 weeks for Parra so let’s sack him from the team. And JA is a damn fine reserve grader. To say I was shocked at the selections would be an understatement and I’m pretty sure that most Parra supporters feel likewise.

  10. Offside

    Not going to bag JA it’s not his fault but why does his Dad do this to him?
    Is he going to play hooker is there a plan to turn him into a back rower?

    He isn’t a 1st grade quality half its been proven when he’s on the bench the balance is wrong.

    We have made the 8 whitch seems to be the minimum requirement for BA to keep his job so he can go back to playing his Son.

    I can forgive picking JA I think he’s not a bad player he is just young and not tgere yet he seems likeable enough but Makatoa has offered sweet FA all season Ogden/Rodwell/Greig have all played a bit of 1st grade this season but I reckon if you added up their combined minutes you wouldn’t have a full games worth yet we keep persisting with Makatoa getting dominated in the middle it makes zero sense

  11. Brett Allen

    There is zero justification for dropping Carty, and Maka has reached his ceiling, and it’s pretty low. It’s all good and well to rotate bench players, but he’s got give them meaningful minutes. BA behind the curve once again.

        1. Wilhelmina

          Aww, 60s. It’s like you think these guys might be interested in reasonable answers that don’t fit the narrative in their head 🤣

      1. Anonymous

        Bryce travelled to Brisbane with the team and remained there his court appearance was not required as the police withdrew the charges

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