The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 40: Preview With Muggo/Instant Reaction, Eels Again Shrug Off Injury To Defeat Gritty Cowboys

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Instant Reaction starts at 27:43

John Muggleton joins Sixties and Forty20 to preview the Round 13 match against the North Queensland Cowboys live from Jacks Bar & Grill. ‘Muggo’ shares some astute insights and cracking stories with the boys ahead of a crucial game for the Eels with a much needed bye in reach.

The boys then reconvene after full time to break down a gritty win for the Blue & Gold with the home team prevailing 24-16. The snake-bitten Eels battled through another injury setback this week with new recruit Joe Ofahengaue only seeing 10min of play before leaving the field with a calf injury.

Sixties and Forty20 look at how the Eels overcame a vastly more focused North Queensland outfit this week and discuss who helped win the day – including another career defensive highlight for Dylan Brown.

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25 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 40: Preview With Muggo/Instant Reaction, Eels Again Shrug Off Injury To Defeat Gritty Cowboys

  1. MickB

    Good stuff gents, another pleasing win.

    Dylan playing good footy, great to see him getting in the groove. I think his defence is from his days playing union (along with naturally talent and strength). It’s impeccable technique.

    Hopgood picked his moments well and was high energy at the right time, knowing he needed to play 80. Quite a mature game from him.

    Wiremu was great – and indeed all the props were I thought.

    Bailey, Penisini, Russell all carried well.

    My biggest knock / frustration was Sivo. He had countless situations running almost completely 1-1 with Chad Townsend who is one of the softest defenders in the NRL, and he’d just give up going into the tackle. So frustrating. If you are going to be a 110kg power wing that lacks speed, you need to put in on those runs and he just doesn’t…. unless he’s 10m out from the try-line. Add that to his poor defensive reads, it made for a decidedly average game when he had plenty of opportunity to shine given almost every kick went his way. He’s great under the high ball, and sniffing out a try, but he needs to be better in these areas I think.

    I’m in 2 minds about the ref. I thought it was generally good he stayed out of it and on the eye test it felt like there were more little moments where we should been awarded a 6 again or penalty, but on the flipside there were a couple of bigger clangers that really cost the Cows. So it probably was quite even in the end.

    Great to see the depth of the forwards improving. Hopefully this means once back at full strength BA uses a better rotation of middles with more even minutes, rather than trying to suck 60 mins out of Reg and Junior.

    1. sixties

      I’ve been thinking about Sivo’s carries- it’s literally like he throws his body at the defenders as if he’s trying to crash through defenders on the line – by that I mean he’s leading with his upper body and already heading towards the ground. There is minimal pace or leg drive. The other outside backs accelerate into the line and try to keep their legs pumping in contact.

      1. BDon

        I’ve been reluctant to continue commenting on Sivo, he’s a winger who scores lots of tries and if our coaches can’t see that he could be far more effective we’ll maybe his DNA is what it is. I’ve said it before, as have others, his countryman at St George is getting better and better at being a 105kg+ all round winger, whereas Sivo still has much upside. Slowing down to ponder how to beat Chad Townsend, then to be bundled over the sideline was definitely not out of the Eric Grothe playbook.

        1. MickB

          Rawala definitely a better ball runner, he hits the line with venom. Not seen enough of him to comment on relative completeness as players, but Sivo is very good under the high ball generally. He doesn’t get enough credit for that.

      2. John Eel

        Agree with your comments regarding Sivo. I watched Fridays game again tonight, he does not seem to use the fend.

        1. Greg Okladnikov

          Agree with all the comments on Sivo. Power and size and 10m out almost unstoppable. The one skill he could improve is swapping the ball from arm to arm. Sivo carries it a lot in his right arm which means as a left winger you cannot fend . The coaches need to show him the famous Eric Grothe try where as well as beat 6 defenders he swaps the ball from left to right hand a few times and frees up the fend . As much as there was a lot of power in that try there was also a lot of skill

  2. Chris K

    Thought that was made harder than it should be through some poor officiating – mainly from the Bunker. Think Liam Kennedy is a bit inexperienced for the onfield, and even the Fox Commentators remarked on how far the Cowboys were able to push the ruck.

    But Ashley Klein in the Bunker??? Just as toxic to us in it, as on the field to us.

    That early ‘strip’ penatly from Hodgson that the Cowboys got on the challenge? The hand didn’t touch the ball and he barely looked at it. Cowboys score from ensuing set.

    Compare that to the time taken to see if it was Brown or the Cowboys who sent the ball dead in the dying moments – it was like he was finetooth combing to look for any excuse to give it to NQ. Thankfully there were none.

    And that other spineless deadsh*t ‘non-decision’ of his – the ‘late hit’ which Klein called ‘inconclusive’ on the challenge. FFS, it was soft but I would have been happier if we lost our challenge and he confirmed the on-field decision – the fact that he had all the vision and angles and unobstructed view, how on God’s green earth can a call come back as ‘inconclusive’!?!?!? Absolutely useless. Cowboys score off the back of that (and some Sivo indecision).

    Call me biased, but the impact was nothing, and play it normal motion and it was about as ‘simultaneous’ as the Cowboys successful challenge against tackling Gutho off the ball.

    Anyway …

    As above, Sivo = despite scoring a try, more clangers than bangers.

    Simmonson solid.

    Dylan Brown – the rock of the team. He has been incredible over the last couple of weeks.

    Also impressed with Moses, despite being quieter than usual.

    Can we start Hands? Fox Sports also rattled off a stat, that our + and – points is +70something with Hands on the field, and -30something when he is off (and ergo, the White Elephant is on). That diabolical early attempted grubber into the ingoal with a tackle up our sleeve, and Moses or Brown ready for service then – pretty much summed up that this comeback isn’t going to plan.

    Happy with a hard fought win, despite expecting a night of stress-free supporting.

    1. Trapped in the 1970’s

      Yeah, it wasn’t a great start from JH, that poor grubber kick and two penalties regardless of how marginal they were seemed to stifle any early rhythm. As for protracted assessment of the possible in-goal knock on by DBrown, it looked to me as Moses was tackled after he kicked the ball in the lead-up to that but it wasn’t considered by Klein but I bet it would have been had it been the other way around. Also hats off to Hands I think it was for showing the nous he did to retrieve the knock back from the short kick off. Pretty sure that lead to scrum for the Moses try. Happy with the win but another game watched with clenched butt cheeks.
      Go those EELS

      1. sixties

        That play from Hands was exactly what we need to see more often. Hope it figures prominently in the video review.

    2. sixties

      Chris, very fair and astute observations. The one stat that irks me right now is that Hodgson stat. Its everywhere. It’s even been used by both Gol and Mitch on TCT and I just hate seeing it. It applies a team stat to an individual. It includes points that are the direct result of all sorts of errors from team mates. We can criticise Hodgo’s early season form. We can be rightly critical of Hodgson’s kick but a bad kick can happen when a player is trying something. I didn’t agree with his timing but that’s footy. More concerning was the bumbling attempts to clean up the rebound. Hodgo’s form is improving. I think BA got the minutes right with Hodgo and Hands this week, though that may have been due to Hodgo getting a knock to his hip. I also thought BA got the minutes right the week before as Hodgo was very good against the Bunnies. Remember, in an ideal world Brad only wants to use one interchange for the dummy half. Whenever the change is made, he’s more than likely to leave it that way, so he’ll base it on what he’s getting out there.

      1. Chris K

        It would be much maligning for JH to see that stat personally. But it is pretty compelling, and reflects a lot of observations that Brendan Hands service is super slick and the team seems to up the pace and flow whenever he is on.

        I really want to see Josh Hodgson succeed, but I wouldn’t mind BA experimenting with Hands in the run-on side, seeing if we can get a fast start, and then bringing Hodgson in for service later in the game, before Hands returns when all the big lads are tiring.

        1. MickB

          I think it’s fair to ask the question about Hands starting, but at the same time he’s generally playing at a time when fatigue is in the game and out speed should work, so it does play into his hands (pun intended).

          1. Chris K

            Fair point – though I would ceratinly be interested in the experiment.

  3. BDon

    Tks men, appreciated. I had mental vision of Forty loaded to the gunnels with equipment stumbling across the car park in the dark.
    I hope the club give you a car spot near the ground.I did see Bernie McGurr get out of his car one day, so I know there are handy spots. Bernie said hello to all and sundry, impressive.
    If we were going to unravel the Cowboys, we had to build pressure in first 20 minutes, instead we allowed them to get into high completion mode by giving away cheap ball and field position. Fortunately, we showed good resilience to get some control,but the game became a heart tester when the inevitable happened and they added some luck to their improved participation. As Moses said, we’ll take the 4 point win, and every Parra supporter knew he meant the competition points.

    1. sixties

      PLC looks after us for weekend parking but when it’s a weekday game those spots aren’t available till much later than we need them. But we get to the club nice and early for the free parking. Bernie Gurr is terrific with his interactions. I’m looking forward to catching up with him soon.
      I have to give credit to the Cowboys for the simplified game plan and high completions.

      1. BDon

        I noticed after I hit the post button that I had re-named Bernie, but my wife was waiting to go shopping then senility took over, forgot. Yes, the Cows lost with excellent stats, probably suggests we should have towelled them up, but we responded with 13 or 14 errors (depending on which service you read). In the first half we seemed to falter most every time we had opportunities to exert pressure, the 2nd half wasn’t much better, we knuckled down for 30 then got the wobbles.

  4. Shaun

    Thanks for the shout out! My gold coin was on Wiremu to score first but still was happy to see home get over the line. I’m on Wiremu Island as well. He has responded so well to the added responsibility. A eventual rotation of Junior, RCG, The Emu and Jofa has so much potential.

    And I’m quite happy with the win as well. That Dylan try saving tackle was something else. And while I’m a big fan of Maika, his decision making in attack and defence is off. He seems to be in two minds about what to do and therefore takes the less optimal middle option.

    As for the Eels, they are in a good place. The byes are distorting the table but with the players due to return over the next few weeks my tip is the early season adversity to become a late season flourish.

    1. sixties

      I reminded all of the other fellas about your tip when Woody crossed. We have missed out on crucial premiership points thus far, but yes, that adversity and the opportunity others have had could be very beneficial.

  5. Milo

    Good, tough and rugged win; and with our backs to the wall at times.
    I was v happy with the forwards having a dig and our back 5 who tucked the ball out well; and there were some defence issues around Sivo and I only hope it gets sorted as he looked lost at times.
    Our leaders led well and Hopgood and Greig were great. Well done 👍

  6. N. Senada

    You have to hand it to the Cowboys. They bounced back from last round really well, and they were having a real dig. They lacked overall class and I thought Eels handled them OK considering how many we had out as well. Wiremu Greig – what a rapidly improving bulldozer he is turning out to be. VERY impressed

      1. Tanky

        Ist time I’ve been able to watch a full game instead of highlights but very impressed with his hard running and a bonus his defense a definite inclusion when everyone is back

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