The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Eels 2022 Finals Series Summation

It’s not a dream. Every Eels fan might be pinching themselves to see if it has really happened, but the Blue and Golds are in the Grand Final courtesy of some heroics in Far North Queensland. 

An absolutely sensational 80 minutes from the Eels had us all aging 10 years, especially in those dying moments with the Cowboys hitting the Eels line at full tilt. But the tension of watching the Eels scramble to hold on only served to make the full time siren sound even sweeter.

It’s amazing how all three semi final games panned out:

Panthers – The Eels were poor, and consequently outplayed 

Raiders – Parra’s attack won the game 

Cowboys – Defence secured the victory

Now let’s look at the Stats That Matta from each game. 

Completion Rates 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

70% (26 from 37 sets)

80% (35 from 44 sets)

82% (27 from 33 sets)

 

The figures here aren’t that surprising especially from the first two games, and the results went according to these completion rates. But what is surprising is the end completion rate against the Cowboys. The Eels completed only 65% in the first half, but an amazing turn around in the second half saw them finish with a 100% completion rate. 


Possession 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

50%

60%

44%

 

Again, it’s the Cowboys game that defies the logic of the stats. Only having 44% of the ball would usually result in a heavy defeat. This shows without a shadow of a doubt that our defence won the match.

 

Time In Opposition Half 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

35:29

45:21

35:12

 

With only seven and a half minutes inside the Cowboys 20 metre area, the Eels still put on 4 tries. In comparison, the Eels were in the Raiders 20 metre zone for 21 minutes. 

 

Attack 

Total Metres Gained 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

1967m

2661m

2215m

 

The Panthers were able to keep the Eels at bay for that match. But in saying that, the Eels were very flat and didn’t challenge the line.  Parra’s dominance against the Raiders was reflected in both the score line and the metres gained.

Against the Cowboys, we are again looking at a surprising stat. Despite having significantly less than 50% possession, the Eels were still able to make solid metres.

 

Running Metres 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

1251m

1939m

1511m

 

There is no doubt the 1, 6 and 7 hold the key to the Eels attack.

Against the Panthers, Gutherson ran for only 60 metres, but against the Raiders and Cowboys, his running metres were 176m and 171m respectively.

Dylan Brown was the same. He ran for just 41 metres from 5 runs against Penrith, whereas against Canberra he clocked up 251 running metres. His 96 running metres against the Cowboys was again reflective of Parra not dominating the stats but finding a way to win on the scoreboard. 

Finally we come to Mitchell Moses. He completed only 50 minutes of the Panthers game, running just twice for 14 metres. This jumped to 11 runs for 113 metres against the Raiders. His numbers again dropped against the Cowboys, with 5 runs for 35 metres.  

Our forwards are being led by Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo. ‘Reg’ has run for a total of 428 metres, averaging 142.7 metres per game. His runs have been powerful, but his ability to get to his feet for a quick play the ball has taken ‘Reg’ to the next level. 

Junior has been pulling in the same numbers as well. ‘Junz’ has produced the following running metres across the three finals matches:  144, 136 and 137 metres.

With our forwards rolling this is giving the backline the opportunity to let the ball sing and score some great tries. 

In turn, our edge forwards have been absolutely outstanding. Both Shaun Lane and Isaiah Papali’i are in career best form and are the leading edge forwards at the moment. 

Shaun’s numbers have been awesome. 85m against Penrith, 182m against Canberra and 153m against the Cowboys has earned Lane (as reports go) a new 3 year deal with the Eels. He has arguably been the spearhead of the Eels charge to the Grand Final.

“Ice” just keeps on keeping on with his own share of impressive numbers. He’s accumulated 111m against the Panthers, 197m against the Raiders and 150m against the Cowboys. This leaves the Eels left edge as lethal as any in the competition. 

Ryan Matterson also deserves a shout out. His numbers have been great coming off the bench.  

 

 

Defence 

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

Tackles

350

255

380

Missed Tackles

38

31

45

Ineffective Tackles

8

13

9

Tackle Efficiency

88.3%

85.3%

87.5%

 

Tackle efficiency has been pretty similar across all games. But those missed tackle numbers are a concern. Brad Arthur will be working on this during the week. Penrith are the team that will hit you hard when you’re missing tackles. 

Reed Mahoney again impresses in defence, making 45 tackles against the Panthers, 37 against the Raiders and a monster 63 tackles against the Cowboys. 

Lane, Papali’i and Matterson all produced workhorse numbers. Each has been praised in attack but their defence as also been excellent.

Panthers

Raiders

Cowboys

Shaun Lane

29

24

30

Isaiah Papali’i

43

32

33

Ryan Matterson

34

25

41

 

Discipline 

The Eels gave up a total of 13 penalties in the 3 games. Just six were conceded across the first two games. Once more the stats in the Cowboys game were anomalous with seven penalties given up in this single game.

As far as errors are concerned, the finals started poorly with 14 errors made against the Panthers. This was remedied to an extent against the Raiders and Cowboys with nine and ten errors made respectively.  

Strange Stat of the Finals 

WE MADE THE GRAND FINAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Stats Player of the Finals 

I’m not going to single out one particular player. There were so many to choose from for many reasons and many factors were at play.

Most of the players I have mentioned could all have taken out the award.

Let’s simply praise the Eels for their achievement as a team.


Final Thoughts 

I am so proud of what the boys have achieved this season.

Throughout this season we have all cheered, complained, cheered more, complained more, scratched our heads at selections then reset and did it all again.

But now the Blue and Gold Army needs to come together as a collective to cheer on the both the Eels NRL and NRLW teams this coming Sunday.

Let’s get there early to ensure there’s a big crowd in attendance to cheer on the NRLW side and get the Eels the premiership double. 

GO YOU EELS!!!!!!! 

Yours in Blue and Gold 

Colmac 

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pete

Great read Colmac.
This team has peaked at the right time of the year.
Well done to BA for getting the team here. He has shown the path and the players have stepped up. Well done to Dean Widders for doing the same.
Go Eels!!

sixties

I hope both coaches get the credit they deserve Pete.

DDay

Good work Gol for the stats above and for your analysis all year.
You always come up with an angle to make sense of the result. But there was a resolve in beating the cowboys that the stats don’t portray – that might just be the difference in the GF.

sixties

DDay, I’m glad that Colmac produced a comparative post. But you’re very right about the Cowboys game. It was a match that defied the stats.

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