The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2022 Ep 91: Bernie Gurr Breaks Down GF Losses & What Is Next For Eels

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The Tip Sheet takes another look back at the NRL and NRLW Grand Final losses but this time with the expert eye of Bernie Gurr. Sixties and Forty20 discuss the losses to the Newcastle Knights and Penrith Panthers with the former CEO and what the club can take from both games.

Gurr not only breaks down where and how both games were lost but runs his eyes over both rosters and the path forward for our NRL and NRLW squads. Where exactly their strengths lie and what they need to improve are put in the spotlight if they are to make the final major step forward.

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16 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2022 Ep 91: Bernie Gurr Breaks Down GF Losses & What Is Next For Eels

  1. Shaun

    Bernie is a great listen. And I think he summed where Parra is at very well. I am concerned about hooker given Hodgson’s age but hopefully I’ll be wrong. The club is well place for another top four finish especially if they can carry the form of the latter part of the season into 2023. I also note Lane and Matterson’s comments today about the culture in the club which is most welcome. And you never know that there may be a sneaky signing during the off season that help in the areas were there is weakness.

    1. sixties

      Shaun, I’ve long said that the window will remain open in 2023, but I’m also taking heed of Bernie’s comments about how the team must reset and work hard to reach the same standards next season.

  2. Parra18

    Our defence, bench and outside backs let us down in the end.

    First, we need more strike and speed in backline. Compared to the other top clubs (Penrith, roosters, bunnies, cowboys, storm, sharks), our wingers and centres make less meters per game. Further, our centres have way less strike (olam, manu, chriton, ramien, Campbell graham, tass).

    Second, we need to sharpen up our defence (particularly the right edge). 8 th best defence in the comp and leaking a lot of tries in finals is not good enough. I would like to see some more agile and smaller defenders in the middle. Hopgood is a great pick up but we have the big boys. Our bench needs to have a big boy to spell junior and other workmen who hit and stick. Think ray stone but a bit bigger.

    Third, we need to revamp our bench. I think our bench was one of the worst in the top 8. Oregon could carry hard but was stuck in mud in defence – always left strewn and unable to get to marker. Matto was great but the other two spots were not utilised properly as BA knew he didn’t have anyone that made an impact or had the defensive game that he could consistently trust. The contrast between our starting probs and meek bench rotation was deadset disturbing.

    Anyway, good year but we can’t rest on our laurels!!

    1. sixties

      Parra 18, I think that you’ve identified areas that we can improve but you’ve maybe been harsh in your wording, especially as the team has just finished as runners up. That means that as a combined unit they’ve finished better than 14 other teams. Every team, probably bar Penrith, has identifiable areas where they are not as strong as other teams. Can we improve areas that you have identified? Defence, yes. Can we get better out of our existing outside backs? Possibly but maybe we need to chase a recruit also. What about the bench? Are the incoming purchases likely to add to the bench or will current lower grade players push for selection? We shall see. I suspect recruitment is yet to finish, but again let’s not lose sight of what this team achieved.

      1. Parra18

        Thanks sixties. Maybe I was a bit harsh but i think the defence, bench and inconsistent outside backs were an obvious weakness throughout the whole year (hence why BA changed the defensive system, bench and swapped waqa, simonsson and opacic around all year).

        I’ll always be supporting BA and the boys but I would like them to evolve their game a bit as Bernie noted. When storm got trounced by roosters in the gf a few years ago cam smiths notes that they overhauled their attack/play and became more expansive. I’m not saying we need an overhaul after getting to gf but tweaks that Barrett or BA may inspire are very much needed I think. We can’t always win one way (forward dominance and offloads) and we started to show that at the end of the year when we found a variety of ways to win games.

        Tough to balance it all but go Parra.

  3. Anonymous

    Actually played pretty well in gf, but not very smart. Kicks either had to find touch or at least find the ground. Touch would of given our forwards a rest who were gassed. Finding the ground would of taken away penriths momentum.

    1. sixties

      Yes, but unfortunately as Bernie said, Moses was kicking from deep within our own half. He didn’t have the luxury of being able to do so as he was constantly looking for distance.

  4. adz4parra

    Here’s a left field recruitment suggestion, why haven’t we tried to lure back Matt Doorey? Was off contract at the end of this year, an Eels junior with massive wraps who was out injured for most of this year and then couldn’t crack the NSW Cup starting side for the Bulldogs.

    They’re stacked with forwards, surely he’d be worth a punt. I agree with Bernie about the back five lacking punch against the top teams but there are no obvious weapons available so we will have to hope Dunster comes back strong from his injury and Waqa or Bailey make a real fist of the vacant centre spot.

  5. Ian

    Nice listen, as always. I just wanted to pick up on Bernie’s point about nurturing 6-12 y/o fans, which I wholeheartedly agree with. I was at Parra Stadium watching the GF with my 10 and 7 y/o boys and don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude but the ads that channel 9 showed during the game, Sexpo and a MA15+ rated horror film, Halloween Ends, plus the 7.30 kick off, made me question if we’ll ever get beyond the current administration’s desire for a quick buck and how appropriate it is for young kids to watch our show piece occassions.

    1. sixties

      It’s a very good point Ian. You’d think that there’d be some thought put into what advertising is appropriate for a game watched by a family audience, regardless of the time.

    2. BDon

      Ian, they’ve been at it for years. Was minding my grandkids age 4 and 6 many moons back. Set them up watching Charlottes Web on Ch9 around 4 Sunday afternoon. Left the room and came back 5 minutes later and Ch9 had an ad running for Current Affair, an axe murder in country NSW, full on, no soft soaping. The 6 year old was crying and the 4 year old was befuddled. I rang Ch9, a lady wouldn’t put me through to anyone senior, took my complaint, ‘will pass it on’…yeah, yeah,yeah. Charlotte’s Web…axe murder, the thought process of a total idiot.

      1. sixties

        Not just the non existent thought processes, the lack of concern for community standards is atrocious

  6. HamSammich

    Bernie makes a very good point that basically all of their team had only played 2 games in 37 days. If you extend this further to just 1 player, nathan cleary, due to being suspended he played just 2 games in nearly 3 months. And this isn’t like when he was injured previously. He was still able to train at a high level, in fact he would’ve been able to do a mini pre-season of sorts where he would’ve been able to build up fitness, and strength rather than maintain those levels and rest like the rest of the competition was doing. Whilst it was huge in that game where he was sent off against us, it hurt us in the long term.

    1. sixties

      Absolutely spot on Ham. I hadn’t really thought about the entire period of freshening up being a factor until Bernie raised it. I guess that was the advantage of having such a buffer on the ladder. Those coming into the team during that time had minimal pressure on them and just did their job admirably.

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