The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – A Timely Hand Edition

NRL Team List

Round 4, 8:00PM Thursday 23rd March, CommBank Stadium


Parramatta’s brutal opening to 2023 continued in Round 3 when they succumbed to their third straight 4-point loss. As with the clashes against the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks, Thursday night’s loss to the Sea Eagles featured plenty of opportunities to seal a victory only for the team to trip over their own feet.

Worse still, the loss saw a very real chance for injury to be added to insult with Matt Doorey (knee) and Jack Murchie (Nose/Concussion) both exiting the game under genuine injury clouds. Thankfully, Doorey at least is fit to take the field in Round 4 allowing the club to avoid a legitimate crisis in the backrow. The injury report is yet to be released but Murchie’s absence from the team sheet would point to either a broken nose or a failure to pass concussion protocols (or both, technically).

While Murchie may be out, the return of Ryan Matterson could not be any more timely with the hulking backrower needing to make up for lost time following a 3-game suspension. He slots immediately onto the right edge, pushing Doorey back to the interchange. Plenty has been said across all spheres in the NRL about Matterson’s decision to take the suspension and the limited window of opportunity afforded to him to make that call – now it is simply time for his footy do the talking.

And that is true for the entire team. At a juncture where they could, or rather should, be sitting 3-0 they find themselves winless and well and truly adrift of the Top 8. The task does not get any easier this week when they take on the reigning premiers and Western Sydney rivals in the Penrith Panthers. Bizzarely, as with the Sharks and Sea Eagles, the Eels find themselves taking on a foe fresh from an early season bye in what has been dubbed by the NRL as a scheduling quirk.

One aspect of the team list to celebrate is the debut of utility play-maker Brendan Hands. He has been selected to the interchange and has proven himself to be capable of deputising in the halves, dummy-half and even lock forward. I imagine he has primarily earned selection as Josh Hodgson’s deputy and could spell the wily veteran near half-time but the coverage he provides elsewhere is certainly valuable. Fittingly and while I doubt he is lacking for motivation but Hands is also making his debut against his former club in the Panthers.

Tactically there isn’t much for the Eels to change this week. They simply need to stop hurting themselves through all phases of the game. Tighten up their defence, be more efficient in getting to kicks and capitalise better on attacking opportunties. Broad strokes principles they might be but if they were sharper in any of the three categories then they likely enter this week undefeated.

Parramatta Eels Penrith Panthers
Clinton Gutherson 1 Dylan Edwards
Maika Sivo 2 Sunia Turuva
Will Penisini 3 Izack Tago
Waqa Blake 4 Stephen Crichton
Bailey Simonsson 5 Brian To’o
Dylan Brown 6 Jarome Luai
Mitchell Moses 7 Nathan Cleary
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8 Moses Leota
Josh Hodgson 9 Mitch Kenny
Junior Paulo 10 James Fisher-Harris
Bryce Cartwright 11 Luke Garner
Ryan Matterson 12 Liam Martin
J’maine Hopgood 13 Isaah Yeo
Matt Doorey 14 Soni Luke
Brendan Hands 15 Scott Sorenson
Wiremu Greig 16 Spencer Leniu
Makahesi Makatoa 17 Jaeman Salmon
Jake Arthur 18 Matthew Eisenhuth
Jirah Momoisea 19 Zac Hosking
Ofahiki Ogden 20 Tyrone Peachey
Toni Mataele 21 Jack Cogger
Haze Dunster 22 Tom Jenkins


NSW Cup Team List

Round 4, 5:20PM Thursday 23rd March, CommBank Stadium


Nathan Cayless and his men finally got on the board in Round 3 with a 30-22 victory over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles. Debutante fullback Arthur Miller-Stephen impressed in his first outting and holds his place at the back as a result. Josh Minhinnick replaces Isaac Lumelume on the flank following what I believe was a suspension for a high tackle while Mitch Rein starts at dummy-half following the promotion of Brendan Hands to NRL duties. Jirah Momoisea will start at lock forward after missing out on NRL selection. Young bull Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa is called on to the bench after a strong start to the year in the Jersey Flegg.

Building on their opening win of the season will be a tough task this week as the Penrith Panthers are always a difficult proposition in reserve grade. They will need to be on their game and can ill-afford to slip behind the visitors on the scoreboard.


1 Arthur Miller-Stephen
2 Josh Minhinnick
3 Daejarn Asi
4 Zac Cini
5 Haze Dunster
6 Jordan Rankin ©
7 Jake Arthur
8 Ofahiki Ogden
9 Mitch Rein
10 Luca Moretti
11 Toni Mataele
12 Dan Keir
13 Jirah Momoisea
14 Jayden Yates
15 Niko Apelu
16 Tevita Taumoepenu
17 Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa


Jersey Flegg Team List

Round 4, 3:15 PM Saturday 25th March, New Era Stadium


Like the NSW Cup, the Jersey Flegg bagged their first win of the season with a triumphant display against the Workers Sea Eagles. Livewire fullback Lindsay Munro blew the game open in the second half as he bagged an electric brace of tries. Coach Craig Brennan has stuck with the same team this week if I am not mistaken – save for the inclusion of Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa who will possibly need to be replaced pending his usage on Thursday night.

The Jersey Flegg will cap off a veritable super Saturday of action at New Era Stadium with the entirety of the Junior Representatives as well as the Lisa Fiaola Cup team all in action.


1 Lindsay Munro
2 Matt Komolafe
3 Turoa Williams
4 Will Latu
5 Lene Feterika
6 Mac Puafisi
7 Riley Lack
8 Brock Parker
9 Jacob Davis
10 Jontay Junior Betham Misa
11 Jock Brazel (c)
12 Max Tupou
13 Nicholas Lenaz
14 Noah Reed
15 Lachlan Mears Crabb
16 Nikau Wrathall
17 Ned Hicks
18 Tyson Chase
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33 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – A Timely Hand Edition

    1. sixties

      Very true. I’m not sure how we are at the point where people want to stick the boot in. No it isn’t good enough but there is some unnecessary stuff being said.

  1. Spark

    Surely, surely this will have to be the swan song for Waqa if he has a below average game again, (although BA seems to give 10th and 20th chances to Waqa over the years.) When Waqa eventually departs, he can have no qualms about the chances given. Asi got through Cup and if he gets through again, there should be a change.
    Perhaps it will fire Waqa up knowing there is someone ready and willing to take his place ?
    He has the talent, just needs the application.
    Great to see a debut for Hands !

  2. Shaun

    Let’s give Hands a hand for his debut! And we all hope a winning one at that. Redemption time for some others. Bring it together and Parra is back!

  3. pete

    Thanks Forty20 for the write up.
    I’m excited to see Hands. I hope he gets used in a PJ Marsh style injection with quick legs and making tackles.
    Will Doorey play? It will be great if he does after that knee injury.
    Makatoa had his best game last week and hopefully Wiremu gets more minutes thus week.
    If we can get the basics right we can cause an upset.
    Go Eels!!

  4. Electric Analysis

    Good to see Blaze Talagi return to SG ball. Any idea why he is listed at center when he is an Australian Schoolboy at five-eight. Is it due to the current form of Josh Lyn excelling Talagi? Or do eels want to groom him into a future centre at NRL level

    Good to see R Penisini return as well.

    Any idea when Cody Parry returns and where Lebron Tuala went?

    Any other top talent youth players from SG ball or Jersey Flegg injured?

    What is the club doing with signing players on top 30 deals when they are Jersey Flegg standard. We had Hollis doin that and now Loizou? Loizou was an Australian school boy and looks like he has not developed at all.

    1. sixties

      This is the first week back for Blaize whilst Lynn and Sanders have been the halves pairing through the preseason and 7 rounds. Talagi has some utility value having played off the bench in his first season of Matts.
      Might be a week or two more for Parry. Sam Tuivaiti is also out at the moment.

  5. HINDY111

    Is Russel out for the season? I’ve heard mixed reports.. seems the club haven’t given any information on injured players.

    1. The Badger

      Yeah it’s an ordinary effort from the club. Russell is not picked in any grade and not included in the injured players update yet Doorey and Murchie are. Where the hell is he then?
      Has he quit, did he get abducted by aliens – who knows?
      Even if it’s ‘personal reasons’ they should update the injuries list in a timely manner.
      I notice Lumelume is also absent this week.
      Very amateurish.

  6. Leigh

    I would have loved to be able to watch the NSW Cup game. Young guns Arthur Miller-Stephen at the back and Jontay Junior Betham Misa getting some minutes in the middle. They are part of our future; go the Eels!

    1. sixties

      Yes hopefully Jontay gets decent minutes. Artie made a very good debut at Cup level and trained well again this week.

  7. Iron Mike

    I had high hopes that Matt Komolafe would make his way into first grade maybe next year after a full season in NSW Cup but he seems to have slipped down the pecking order.

    1. sixties

      He’s sitting behind Dunster and Lumelume but I am a bit surprised that Minhinnick was preferred in this one. That said, I couldn’t fault Minhinnick in the first round.

  8. Clive

    Finally a bench utility that can cover a number of positions. I’m actually worried that we will get flogged this week. If Manly can put 34 points on us I hate to think what Penrith will do.

    1. Weasel

      ?? We put 30 on them , same tries every game , moses the messiah has cost us every game through rubbish goal kicking , boy is this over rated kid and his uncle taking the board for a ride , and a totally stuffed salary cap till 2025 by the looks of it !!!!

  9. Offside

    Good to see hands get a run

    I have a very bad feeling about this game our defensive efforts have been shite for 2 weeks.

    When you compare the 2 teams it’s hard to not see anything but a Panthers win

  10. Longfin Eel

    I think you will see that with Matto back, Moses will lift. He showed some glimpses of good things, but with the extra support he should receive from Matto, that will leave him to be more creative and to exploit the opportunities Matto will create.

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