Parramatta Eels 36
All good vibes tonight, baby! That was easily one of the five best Eels wins of the last decade, maybe longer. Against a table topping side, who had a six game flogging streak against us, playing with only two fresh men on the bench, to not just win but to run away with the victory is as incredible as it was unlikely.
We’ll see how it goes, but the bad news for Ryan Matterson is that there are few calf injuries that heal themselves in a week. It looks like Andrew Davey will be missing as well, but luckily the NSW Cup team put in a huge effort tonight as well so hopefully the next men up can do a job.
While there were flashes of brilliance, that wasn’t a game of individual sparks, that was good old fashioned team footy. Digging deep in defence when needed, sharing the load with the ball and fighting from kickoff to the final whistle. The three-quarter line put up Penrith-like yardage numbers, the starting front row are a rounding error away from cracking 200m each, the bench props put on 300m between them too.
For the numbers inclined, you’d better read all of this sitting down with a cold towel:
Possession: Eels 57%, Rabbitohs 43%
Completions: Eels 31/42 (73%), Rabbitohs 22/29 (75%)
Run metres: Eels 1,885, Rabbitohs 1,500
Post contact metres: Eels 573, Rabbitohs 402
Tackle breaks: Eels 32, Rabbitohs 21
Offloads: Eels 16, Rabbitohs 5
Tackles made: Eels 277, Rabbitohs 333
Ineffective tackles: Rabbitohs 28, Eels 9
Penalties conceded: Rabbitohs 6, Eels 1
Mitchell Moses might have had the try assists but Dylan Brown set up the key tries in this one. In the championship rounds Dylan was unstoppable, offloading, breaking the line, setting others up, putting in pinpoint kicks and to ice it all, he didn’t miss a single tackle. This was a grown-ass man performance in a huge match, and I savoured every second of it. You da MVP, Dyl.
1 – Fullback
Those looking for the scientific method in grades are going to be severely disappointed tonight, the stamp is stuck on A and I ain’t changing it. The King’s biggest moment was grounding a ball by stepping on it, the kind of freak occurrence on the football field that explains why the rugby league rule book is 11 pages long with 286 pages of NRL interpretations attached. Gutho is hardly orthodox, but we take the off beat to enjoy the excellent.
2 – Left Wing
Big brain game from Maika Sivo tonight, first to let the footy bounce off him while standing over the sideline to earn easy field position, then to let Liam Knight manhandle him and give away a penalty. He had some big, tough runs and South Sydney did well to defend him a couple of times, overall that’s the Maika I like-a to see.
3 – Right Centre
The man of unspeakable nicknames is starting to draw some attention for his attacking prowess, but his willingness to get in and make tough tackles is crucial in games like this one where the fatigue factor is pumped up thanks to injuries. He defended the South Sydney left edge as well as you can, and miles better than any Eels centre has in the last five years.
4 – Left Centre
I wish Bailey Simonsson could have told us he was a centre and not a winger back in the pre-season last year, because it’d have saved me from having to eat a whole lot of not-very-nice words I’ve said between then and now.
5 – Right Wing
Watching him step past and then power over Latrell Mitchell to score the opener turned out to be a real strong omen for how this one was going to go. For being thrown into the fire on that right defensive edge against the all-time left attack of Souths, I thought he was great.
6 – Five Eighth
I’ll scratch a plus in next to the stuck A stamp here, because watching Dylan Brown put the foot down and dominate at the end of this clash is how I imagine watching Michael Jordan on one of “those” nights would have felt like. When he decided it was time, everything Brown touched turned to gold. Good thing that there was an engraver on standby to scratch “Latrell Mitchell” off the Eric Simms medal, because Dylbags earned that bling tonight.
7 – Halfback
I’m not a big believer in any of that “you can tell how Mitch will go if he makes his first kick” stuff, but I do subscribe to the theory that when the Eels are tearing the short side apart they’re going to do well. That first try and conversion combination covered off both superstitions, and both came true, so we’re all right tonight. It was a huge game for Mitch, having a hand in almost every try and proving that the best way to win an arm wrestle is to kick the opponent until they submit.
8 – Front Row
Now that he’s had a breakout game on Friday Night Footy, it’s probably a good time to get to work on an extension for big Wiremu, hey guys? A lot was asked of Greig tonight and he had all the right answers. I hope he can convert this energy into some truly spectacular bench impact stints when Reg returns.
9 – Hooker
That first try started with Josh Hodgson and some quick work to go down the short side, so the maligned Englishman can justly be credited with starting the greatest Eels upset I can remember. Those kick pressures were a real turning point too, and something the Eels have often lacked in recent years.
10 – Front Row
A massive 73 minutes for Junior Paulo, who eventually found his old self and just ran through the Rabbitohs middle to the tune of nearly 200 metres, half of those post contact. From there the good offloads came, and hopefully this was a timely reminder to the big man that rugby league is a simple game in the end: run hard and good things will come.
11 – Second Row
Bryce Cartwright showed some great strength to get over for a key early try, then had some beautiful soft hands and distribution as the game went on. I don’t know why he is a different player when he starts versus comes off the bench, but the back row injury crisis doesn’t look so bad when the Carty Party starts.
12 – Second Row
Scrawl an “N” in front of the A, because poor old Andrew Davey lasted all of five minutes in this one. The category 1 assessment means he sits at least one week, and hopefully that is all he misses for what was a rough looking knock.
13 – Lock
There was a bruising run in the second half where J’maine Hopgood probably sealed his maiden Queensland jersey, which as a Blues and Eels fan I am most disappointed about. Offloads, tackle breaks, stout defence, it’s going to be hard to boo him in a couple of Wednesdays if he does become the first Eel to wear the maroon in over 20 years.
14 – Interchange
The form of Ofahiki Ogden and the emergence of Wiremu Greig is what those in the business refer to as a good problem to have. Injury likely means he’s secured his place in the side for a couple of rounds, but if he plays like this his form will demand he keeps that spot.
17 – Interchange
Big Mak got to go out there and be a workhorse, carving through 15 runs and 164 metres in his extended 40 minute stint while not missing a tackle. He might be mis-cast as a bench impact forward, but in situations like this where you need motor and consistency, Maka is the man for the job.
16 – Interchange
Ryan Matterson almost had too much time on his break, but he iced the chance and turned hope into belief for thousands of Eels fans. His early exit is a massive concern given his form, hopefully it isn’t a serious injury.
15 – Interchange
Some of those long passes from dummy half that Brendan Hands threw must have had a rocket attached to the back of the ball. He has some real zip on those heaters, and once again his arrival on the field sparked the Parramatta attack.
You just don’t get too many efforts like that, so soak it all in and enjoy it. For those of you braver than I who got out to the SFS to see that in person, I salute you. Personally, I felt so confident when Dylan Brown put that grubber down that I even turned the Fox Sports commentary back on, and never has Dan Ginnane’s lowkey disappointment sounded so sweet.
It was an undeniable performance. There was no fluke, no questions, no luck. Just dominance. Winning an arm wrestle and feeling hard done by to go into the sheds only up by 2, feeling even more hard done by to fall behind, before biting down and coming home the much stronger team to score a comfortable win.
South Sydney hadn’t conceded more than 20 points all season long. They were top of the table, had won six on the trot this year and, I’m sure you’ve heard, had won their last six against us by a lot to not many. We just went and beat them by 20 and earned the famous “Cody Walker sook” as he dealt with adversity the only way he knows how: by getting grubby.
There’s a long way to go, but for tonight just sit back and take in the view of the scoreboard. You don’t get many against the odds victories like that in your lifetime. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a replay to watch.
Until then, stay slippery Eels fans.
Stats and images provided by NRL / Eels media
No way in the world could I watch a match with Ginnane ‘behind the mike”….Unbearable..
Bumpsa Greig has really improved, Knees Hodgson had his best game, and I liked the work of Ogden and Makatoa…Good win. There is plenty of Rugby League left iun this season……
💯 Parra Pete
Looking forward to Hands, Knees and Bumpas, Davey are back in action again….
Great game all round.
Loke the grades Gol so much easier when we win !!
Really improved 80 minute performance. Our defence was much better with shoulders and No arm grabs.
Paulo his best game since Cowboys prelim.
We needed this win to salvage our season.
Ginnane called the game not on what was actual happening, but on what he expected to happen. That is, a Souths romp. Same with ch9 caller, even more so.
Worst caller EVER…Can’t stand watching games when he is involved!!!!
You could hear the different level of excitement when Souths scored compared to Parra. Anyway, happy days and enjoy the weekend
I reckon earlier in the year the Ch9 caller(I think it’s Matthew Thompson) was calling out bad decisions but could have had a tap on the shoulder ‘hey buddy, go easy on the refs’, he now runs more with the narrative created in the build up and by the ‘experts’, but I still find him fairly even handed. He actually could have an old blue and gold jumper in his wardrobe, there’s no way he is anti- Eels. It’s the ex-players who have big opinions and come up with the weird stuff because most of them are on the payroll… Read more »
Looks like the players found that mental fortitude. That’s exactly what it takes to be a great NRL team. We didn’t overplay our hand, we didn’t bust a gut through sheer physical effort, but we played the game smart, and to the game plan. Well done boys and coaching staff.
Wiremu greig extension happened through the week
Good news. The big fella just needed to get some minutes to show he can do it.
I was seething when Mitchell threw Simonsson aside after their try. I almost jumped in the car to go down their and slot him one myself. Bailey was so professional in his he dealt with it. Putting points on the board instead of putting one on his chin. He must have been so satisfied at the end of that.
Great grades. Thanks Gol.
Yeah, that was upsetting to watch, that dirty Latrell Mitchell move… but we got him good with that scoreboard! 😀
Mitchell is just a grub mate
So much potential but unfortunately a dirty player
Mitchell is a KOALA…Great player, great character, BUT is untouchable by ‘authority”…
I do not think he has any character….. he is a disgrace to his indigenous heritage.
He who laughs last. Walker does not take kindly to being beaten. Full marks for hating to lose but he can keep any grubby shots out of it
Great win. The tries we let if felt a bit soft and has been a feature of our game all year, so I wasn’t a happy camper when the Bunnies jumped to the lead. But the lads turned it around and towelled up the bunnies something fierce. Loved it. Latrell lost interest and Walker lost his cool as predicted. You make those 2 do work and don’t get them too much ball, it happens every time. Only negative out of this is injury ward and capacity to field a forward pack next week….. Junior, Reg, Lane, Matto, Davey, Hopgood. I… Read more »
Boys did well not to taunt latrell and Cody and get them riled up.
Very mature performance and we showed we really are the most compliant team after ba’s spray at the refs last week. 1 penalty against us all game to play the field position game.
Destroyed them through the middle – easier said than done but south’s play wide off the ruck. We showed teams how to beat south’s.
That’s an appropriate description – mature. Also disciplined
Tks Gol. Coffee, toast and winning grades. Hopgood must have almost got the + too, is Jason Smith the last Maroon Eel? There was some resemblance last night, Hopgood is a little more physical. The last 5 minutes of first half needs a good video session, but I think all the answers have been covered on TCT, it was the Bunnies most dominant period, but you’ve got to be stoked with the other 75 minutes.
I think Daniel Wagon maybe unless Willie Tonga played whilst he was with us but I don’t think he did.
PJ marsh was at the warriors when he played from memory
Yeah it’s Daniel Wagon, about 2001-02 I think. A few Eels went on to represent Qld as Offside said, PJ Marsh, Adam Mogg, Willie Tonga, Clinton Schifcofske, but none as an Eel.
Highlights for me were whatever Simonnson said to Mitchell after he rolled over him and hearing Klien tell Walker to go away. After that a win was a bonus. Both players so grubby yet the accolades don’t stop for them. Hopefully that’s the start of a streak 🤞
Bailey must have said something good because on one angle you can see the touch judge break into a huge grin.
Well said mate
Worthy individual grades for a wonderful team effort. Fantastic game to be at and I got to stay until the very end! Lost nothing at all from Makatoa and Ogden, Simonsson was great and Hodgson had probably his best game including good kick pressure on Ilias for one of his errant kicks.
Walker and Mitchell are just plain poor sports. Happy to ham it up deluxe when the going is good and spiteful, niggling grubs when losing.
Again well said mate
I have to admit I spent most of the game smiling and for most of the game the sound was on mute. Good to see I’m not the only one who does.
They were great and I’m still smiling.
No mate you’re not the only one. Shame you can’t mute the gibbering sycophantic biased morons and keep the ground sounds.
I must have missed Cartys early try – unless 52 minutes is early? Ha. Nice grades though – very enjoyable.
What a wonderful & great night and game. Loved/hatted that screw attempt by Mitchel in pulling the ball out of an eels grasp, while it ended with a try by that mob, the last laugh came from the eels and team players that were left in the team. That was one area that I believe was not very legal as the ref should have made a call on that effort, especially with the numbers of underground muttons that surrounded the eels. The other parts I liked was the sour looks on the muttons at games end, (not much joy in… Read more »
Colin I hate the one on one strip. Hated it when they first discussed bringing it in. My thoughts at the time was that it would add another layer of difficulty for the referee’s who have to adjudicate on.
Further I thought that it would add nothing to the aesthetic’s of the game but rather diminish the clean flowing nature of our game.
What Mitchell did was ugly and needs to be removed from our game. Maintaining possession through a set is what gives our game fluency and excitement.
JE..I’ve always thought the gang strip where usually 2 tacklers hold and steady the ball carrier while a 3rd gets his hands/arms around the ball then calls for the peel off to convert it to one on one should be eliminated. There’s so much wrong with it, the ball carrier is usually effectively held and the stripper(mmmm…)is manoeuvring into an illegal position ie hands on the ball at the completion of a tackle. The gang is sometimes allowed too much time engineering it. I know Mitchell didn’t take 5 seconds but he was allowed a decent time to wrestle it,… Read more »
BDon that would go some way to eliminate some of the problems that I have. That steal last night was very ugly so one attempt only would make that more palatable.
However my position would always be give the team in possession six tackles unless they make an error.
My attitude is, if there are multiple people in the tackle, with one working on the ball, it should immediately be a penalty. When one or two drop off, the job has already been done – the stealer already has a grip on the ball and sometimes it’s a split second between the players dropping off and the steal being complete.
That is a good call Sixties. If progress is halted call “Held”. You don’t wait to see if the attempted strip is successful. My point in this discussion is that the strip is ugly and adds nothing to the game. It makes the referees job harder. I have held this view ever since the rule change was discussed. It is not because the Eels had a try put on them as a result of a strip. The try that Simonson scored after Dylan made the break and offloaded to Matterson. That flowed, displayed football skill great try. The strip try… Read more »
John, I have sincerely had a gut full of the game, and glad I cannot attend games anymore, more often than not I watch most matches but generally its with the sound turned off. WHY? The greatest impediment to the game is bad enough with the way players go on, that pull & pull & pull from ((!!!!!) wont give him the honor of his grub plays, what was the reason why the ref did not call it out, and penalised the certain grub??? Several other areas had me going, but the worst for me was how in blazes does… Read more »
Did you see the face on Inglis when he handed Dyl the medal, no smile just handed it him, shook his hand and walked off. If it was Fatrell or Walker, there would have been hugs and kisses, an Aboriginal war dance and fireworks.
To all those listening on mute, try chucking on the ABC’s radio commentary.
I was about to blow up about Gutho being caught out of position till I saw the replay.
I’m eating alot of Humble Pie I had written us off (not the only one) last night was a good night now we need to connsitant.
Dylan and Mitch were great
Greig was a machine.
I’m warming to Simmo and Cartwright I just need them to not let me down.
Obviously injuries are a big worry if junior and Hoppa get picked our forward pack takes a big hit hopefully whoever comes in steps up
Anyone whom ever whinges about BA carrying a player on the bench can go and get stuffed. We apparently have the ability to carry two! Kudos to BA for ignoring/deflecting the reporters question in relation to this during the post game presser.
My 11 year old daughter convinced me to drive down from Newcastle to watch our eels. We dont miss a home game but this was a big mental effort after a long day at work. We went to the tough roosters loss.
The reward was enormous!!
How good is rugba lleegue.
On a side note, if it was at homebush you would not have got me there in a million years. Ill never go to a club game at that white elephant ever again.
Hi Gol after dreading what the grades would have been Friday Night how satisfying to see a incredible Win against the Odds against a Bunnies side which was flying and now Premiership Favourites we had to win that game and we did but Bunnies appeared off their game was always going to be mentioned and it was one of my pet peeves the first time this year we play for the full 80 minutes and get a 20 point win with only 2 left on the Bench