The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 06: Instant Reaction, Lane Injury Sours Strong Win Over Knights

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Sixties and Forty20 react to Parramatta’s comfortable 36-14 victory over the Newcastle Knights. The Eels were able to outlast a spirited opening effort from the Novocastrians as the class of Mitchell Moses and energy of J’maine Hopgood reigned supreme.

While the Eels will have some polishing to do on account of two relatively soft tries leaked it was an injury to Shaun Lane that soured the victory. A suspected fracture to his jaw or cheekbone would leave the dynamic backrower sidelined for up to two months.

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68 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 06: Instant Reaction, Lane Injury Sours Strong Win Over Knights

  1. Martin Pluss

    I will miss seeing Lane standing next to and looking after Dylan Brown at the kickoff. Hope he recovers well.

  2. Shaun

    How good is Hopgood! Nice efffort all round. Game plan seemed 5 hit ups then give the ball to Mitch. Simple, effective and without giving too much away. Russell enhanced his prospects as did Cini.

    Hopefully the injuries are not a serious as feared.

    1. sixties

      Shaun, it’s amazing how effective it is when players know their role and execute. It’s a terrific base for any team to build from.

      1. Shaun

        There seemed a definite plan to go down the right side. Other than that it was eyes up footy. I expect you might have an inkling of what is to come from watching training. Looking forward to the Storm is just 12 days.

    2. Spark

      If I were the Eels I’d be on the front foot big time to locking down Hopgood for an extended time. He’s here for only two years and you can bet that the Panthers will be doing all they can to get him back there. He WILL play SOO so we need to be very active and get him sown up tight.

      1. sixties

        Agreed. It’s was only a trial but we already knew it was a top signing. We let Ice get to market. Can’t afford a repeat.

      2. Shaun

        Totally. I’m would hope that the Eels have learned from Ice and get it sorted well before his contract is up.

  3. Spark

    Bloody injuries !
    It was a good hit out. I thought Cini was great and couldn’t have done anything else. If he’s got a rib cartilage injury, he won’t get upgraded and play round 1 , which I think was very much on the cards.
    I think they will upgrade Lumelume instead and he was very solid.
    Sivo and Lumelume on the wings with Russell into the centres.
    Tough break for Cini.
    Everyone else went pretty well.

      1. !0 Year Member

        Agreed re Russel ending up in centres. He is a terrific finisher but lacks the elite pace required these days for a winger as was shown today when he intercepted the ball.

        1. sixties

          If Waqa and Maika are ready, then I see Russell playing wing. If Waqa isn’t fit, then Sean gets a good chance at being centre

          1. Parra Pete

            Do you think Waqa could adapt to being a running forward? He has the ideal build for a back rower..

          2. sixties

            Not really. And I don’t think Waqa knows how good he could be in the centres – I think he needs self belief

        2. Anonymous

          I agree. He makes good decisions and finishes well but he had 5 Knights running him down when he got in the clear. Maybe as he knee strengthens he might regain some pace.

      2. Brett Allen

        I think Russell’s future is fullback. In fact, if we lose Moses to the Tigers next year, I’d move Dylan to 7, Gutho to 6 and Russell to FB. Mind you, I’d also take a swing at Jack Welsby.

  4. BDon

    Tks men. I was trying to watch how we defended out wider, a bit shaky a few times but didn’t quite nail the causes. Something we need to continue improving.Overall promising and maybe not a bad thing that the new forwards will have to step real quick. We’ll learn a lot (and so will they).

    1. Anonymous

      No waqa, sivo, dunster ,simminson plus board have bought no one again, thought fillers and kids did a pretty fair job myself , can only work with what you have and recruitment havent supplied any additions really .

      1. Poppa

        Why would you expect the board to buy anyone.
        Can you tell me the number of players the board have previously selected?

      1. BDon

        Particularly noticed the last 10 minutes of first half. Both teams were allowing big metres, I thought the Knights were about to nail us but I think it was that Moses/Brown strike that wrested momentum.

  5. John Eel

    Mitch was cherry ripe today and I thought his combination with Gutho showed just how much time they have spent together and understand each other’s play.

    I thought Hopgood was very good again today both in attack, outstanding and defensively. In the second half he was for a time defending in front of me and I noticed how he kept himself alive in defence when the tackle looked like it was about to be completed. Then made a follow up tackle. Great effort play.

    Russell again had a good game without being outstanding. Thought he could have done more when he was run down by the Knights FB. However watching it at home on replay I thought he was trying to stop and step inside. Still his try scoring record in NRL is remarkable.

    Doorey was good again. So disappointed to see him get the injury.

    Yates stepped in to replace Hodgson again at DH and did another good job. His passing is very accurate I thought.

    1. sixties

      Nice observations John. As I said in the podcast, I thought that Moses has trained better than I’ve ever seen during this preseason.


    Russell must play first grade this year, a backs back, combines with Will and Guth real well. I like this kid he’s developed well and ready.

    Lume Lume was a menance really impressed me. Newcastle weren’t happy when he ran the ball.

    Doorey has some serious grunt and strength, made excellent metres

    Hopgood is a freak of a player holy crap we bagged a good one with him

    Cini is a really handy player to have

    Hodgson, his strip at the start was dumb cost us a try 2 sets later. Overall though he’s steady and showed good leadership in his positioning options mostly

  7. Milo

    Didn’t see game and sorry I missed it.
    Glad some combination are forming well and shame abt Lane and hope it’s not a long stint in rehab. We need a good start in two wks with Matto out for the start.
    How did Yates go when he came on and also did Hodgson have a better run in terms of mins?

    1. sixties

      Yates again went well, nothing spectacular just did what we have come to expect. Hodgson played till Yates came on in the last 20.

    1. Spark

      He did. He put Murchie into that hole and skipped on the outside to create some room a couple of times. Reinforces my contention that there is a footballer in there somewhere. A full year of Cup would do wonders for him.

    2. Brett Allen

      Can’t agree. Yeah, he had a nice moment when he put Murchie through, but the rest of his game was fairly forgettable. I can’t believe that after 5 years in an NRL program that no one has taught him how to kick a football properly. His technique is just awful, he slices under the ball rather than driving through it. It’s like he’s playing a pitching wedge off the tee on a par 5, the ball just goes nowhere, even down wind. He’s slow, his passing involves a big wind up, I just can’t see a future NRL calibre half. He doesn’t have the speed to play wider, or the bulk to play in the backrow. This isn’t personal, I like the kid and the way he’s been treated is just appalling, but it’s just not there.

        1. Brett Allen

          Mitch drives through the ball, Jake kicks under it. I really want the kid to succeed, honestly I do, I just don’t see the potential there.

  8. Trapped in the 1970’s

    First time seeing the new recruits live last night and I thought they all went well. Hopgood looks to be quite a player and I hope the recruitment team don’t repeat the Ice mistake and lock him up for beyond his initial two years sooner than later.

    Doorey looks a good defender and Murchie has a nice bit of size about him. Speaking of size Will Penisini is a block of granite this year, just a an absolute ball of muscle.

    If Hodgson overplayed his hand with the ball last week I thought he did it with his D a bit early on last night going for the big hits that didn’t come off. Liked his service though and that he didn’t try anything fancy and why would he when Mitch was in the form he was last night, just get the ball to him. Moses is a class player and was very impressive in his first outing of the year.

    Right side combo’s looked very good as were RCG’s carries. If eligible I’d have Yates on the bench as in my opinion there’s a greater need to cover hooker than the halves currently.

    Damn shame about Lane. Hope he’s ok and that it doesn’t knock his confidence.

    Gosford is a nice little ground and good to see so many eels faithful amongst a mixed crowd.

    Thanks to all at TCT for your hard work in getting out the volume of blogs and podcasts you do. I’m not surprised that you’re getting a record number of hits as I’m a big part of that number.

    Go those eels!

    1. sixties

      Cheers Trapped and thanks for your observations. Hodgson and Hopgood create more space for our halves and will get better at doing so.

  9. Colin Hussey

    Enjoyed the game, but a few early season areas that showed some areas of concern, and not sure regarding some who were somewhat slow in getting involved. One being Greig, although early days.

    An element that we missed out on was speed, especially when compared to a couple of the knights players who ran down a couple of ours.

    Loss of Lane may hurt but, I saw enough other forwards who can fit in the spot.

    1. sixties

      The Knights have a couple of very fast outside backs for certain. But Waqa will add to our pace and Brown and Moses are arguably the fastest halves pairing in the NRL.

          1. Brett Allen

            Yes we do, but my point is we can’t complain about what we don’t have, but make the best use of what we do have.

  10. Spark

    Can’t understand the criticism of Hodgo this early in the season. Yes he has at times looked off the pace but he basically hasn’t played for two years and he is still learning the shapes of the team. He is twice the footy player Reed will ever be and will be a massive influence on the team to calm them down. Terrific player, only wish we had got him 5 years ago.

    1. BDon

      100%.Our 1,6& 7 served reminders of their ability, this No 9 will leverage that. Reed was still trying to find his playmaker level, Hodgson did that 8-10 years back and it will show. Taking pots at him for things all the best players occasionally do, is probably just a ‘welcome to the Eels’ from the hard to please. And we can all play that gig at times.

    2. sixties

      Spark, criticism of early days is simply putting any error under the microscope. The thing is, the elite of the elite still make errors. He made a visible difference to the team last night and is still settling in.

  11. Lucky Lyn

    That’s 2 weeks in a row young Arthur has put his body on the line to put on sublime passes for forwards to run onto for tries Eels looked sharp and fit and was still disappointed as per Moses letting in soft tries which is good to hear because defence is where we want to be in first 2 this year

    1. Matt Sweeney

      not knocking ja but his ball for the murchie try I do ten out of ten times blind folded sometimes in the NRL we overstate simple plays to buggary

      1. Rip off

        Where and when were the 10 times in nrl you did it matt , you wouldnt have needed a blindfold because you would have closed your eyes when you saw the hit coming !!!

        1. Milo

          Think he may have meant in the backyard etc. it’s easy to criticise such plays but they’re rehearsed many times…

          1. Matt Sweeney

            the 10 times comment was meant just in the same vein as when ppl say my grandmother could of scored that. it wasn’t to put ja down but just to illustrate how some of the commentary goes a bit over the top.

      2. Brett Allen

        It was a good play because he went right into the line. But about five minutes later we had them on the ropes and he he held onto the ball far too long.

  12. pete

    Just watching the first half now.
    We seemed to be cruising and showed great quality. Knights effort was close to 100% and we handled them well.
    Gutted for Lane – but better to have injuries now than end of year. It will give some opportunities.
    Doorey, Hopgood are great. Hodgo building confidence and match fitness.
    Will and Sean are great.
    Cini and Leumeleume also good.
    There’s a lot to like (except injuries) about this team
    Go Eels!!

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