The Cumberland Throw

Stats That Matta – Parramatta Eels 2023 Mid Season Report

Stats That Matta hasn’t been a regular feature on The Cumberland Throw during 2023, but that doesn’t mean I’m not around. Work commitments have limited my ability to create weekly content, but I wanted to find the time to provide an update of where the Eels are sitting at the halfway point of 2023 as compared to the same point in 2022.

I am not going to harp on the Eels player losses which may or may not have affected the team’s performance. Rather, this will be a numbers based assessment.

The comparison will begin with overall team stats before examining the numbers produced by key players to see how they are faring in this time frame.

Team Stats

2022 2023
Games Played 12 13
Win/Loss 8/4 6/7
Ladder 5th 13th
Avg Points For 25.8 24.9
Avg Points Against 21.1 20.9
Highest Score 48 43
Lowest Score 4 12

The Eels had an earlier bye in 2022, hence the difference in games played. Overall, outside of win/loss, the other major stats that are used for ladder positions are quite similar.

Please note, unlike Sixties’ recent post which was based on comparing performances against the same opponents across the two seasons, this examination is based on point in season.


Attacking Stats Average Per Game

2022 2023
Metres Gained 2313 2315
Run Metres 1604 1645
Line Breaks 4.7 5.2
Offloads 13.0 12.7
Tries Total 53 56

Our attack is very similar to the same stage last season, perhaps even better. Slightly more line breaks, run metres and tries.

The questions now start. If the attack is fine, then why aren’t we higher on the ladder?


Defensive Stats Average Per Game

2022 2023
Tackles 328 333
Missed Tackles 32.7 31.2
Ineffective Tackles 17.6 14.3

As per our other major stats, the Eels are averaging the same if not slightly better numbers in defence.

The slight difference in average tackles made per game equates to giving up an extra set of six tackles.

But all in all the stats show that defensively we are not tracking any worse in 2023 than we were in 2022.

Discipline Stats Average Per Game

2022 2023
Penalites Conceded 4.5 4.8
Set Restarts – Ruck (Total) 11 14
Set Restarts – 10m (Total) 4 7
On Reports (Total) 2 8
Errors 9.4 11.5

There is some difference here but nothing like I expected. When the total numbers are averaged out, the Eels remain consistent with their 2022 first half of the year form.

Before diving into the numbers, my gut instinct was that the Eels were giving away a lot more penalties and set restarts than last year. However, the issue is not how many the Eels are giving away, it’s the where, and on what tackle, that penalties are conceded which is hurting them.

Indiscretions have been found late in the tackle count or mid field giving opponents a piggy back in territory and forcing Parra to defend back to back sets in the red zone. This is where the Eels are giving up too many tries, which ties in with their relatively low line break numbers. Errors and poor discipline at the wrong time and the wrong place.

Is this anything to be concerned about?

These aspects of form can be easily addressed and as a whole, the team’s numbers aren’t too dissimilar to 2022, if not slightly better. The ladder position isn’t ideal, and having those close losses hasn’t helped, but the team is currently just one win outside of the top eight, so I’m not overly worried.

Now lets look at our key players.


Junior Paulo
2022 2023
Played 11 10
Runs (p.g) 13.6 13.7
Run Metres (p.g) 124.2 130.4
Offloads (p.g) 1.6 1.5
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 1.8 2.8
Tackles (p.g) 20.9 23.2

The eye test says that Junior hasn’t produced the same form in 2023 as he did in 2022. The numbers above suggest that he’s perhaps been more effective than he’s been given credit for.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard
2022 2023
Played 12 8
Runs (p.g) 14.8 16.1
Run Metres (p.g) 136.8 143.3
Offloads (p.g) 0.3 0
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 1.4 1.8
Tackles (p.g) 24.4 27.9

Before his injury, RCG was the standout forward for the Eels, if not the form prop in the NRL. These numbers back that up.

Go Reg!

Ryan Matterson
2022 2023
Played 10 8
Runs (p.g) 16.4 14.3
Run Metres (p.g) 145.2 133.1
Offloads (p.g) 2.5 1.3
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 2.9 1.6
Tackles (p.g) 28.8 36.8

It looks like Matto has become more of a defensive workhorse in his 2023 appearances. Another player that is currently missed.

Shaun Lane
2022 2023
Played 10 6
Runs (p.g) 11.1 13.8
Run Metres (p.g) 95.2 124.2
Offloads (p.g) 0.8 1.8
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 1.5 2
Tackles (p.g) 28.3 23

No surprise to see that Laney has slightly better numbers from his few appearances this season. His outstanding 2022 form was mostly produced during the back half of the year.

Will Penisini
2022 2023
Played 12 13
Runs (p.g) 12.3 12.7
Run Metres (p.g) 109.5 132.3
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 3.6 2.3
Tries 3 4
Line Breaks 3 8
Try Assists 2 6
Line Break Assists 2 10

Look at the line breaks, line break assists and try assists from Penisini this season. His game is finding a new level.

Maika Sivo
2022 2023
Played 0 13
Runs (p.g) 0 13.2
Run Metres (p.g) 0 127.8
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 0 2.3
Tries 0 15
Line Breaks 0 19
Try Assists 0 0
Line Break Assists 0 1

No comparison was possible due to Sivo missing the first half of 2022. We all have our opinions of what we’d like from Sivo this season.


Clint Gutherson
2022 2023
Played 12 13
Runs (p.g) 15.3 15.8
Run Metres (p.g) 147.6 144.1
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 3.7 2.1
Tries 6 9
Line Breaks 6 6
Try Assists 4 5
Line Break Assists 5 8

More tries, more line break assists but less tackle breaks per game. The effort areas look similar which means typical Gutho.

No question about Gutho’s commitment

Dylan Brown
2022 2023
Played 12 13
Runs (p.g) 12.1 12.2
Run Metres (p.g) 115.6 116.5
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 3.5 1.8
Tries 6 2
Line Breaks 9 6
Try Assists 7 13
Line Break Assists 4 10

Less individual brilliance in terms of tackle breaks, line breaks and tries, but more team importance from try assists and line break assists. Dare we say more typical halves play?

Mitchell Moses
2022 2023
Played 12 12
Runs (p.g) 5.9 7.8
Run Metres (p.g) 53 74.1
Kick Metres 6469 6798
Tries 4 5
Line Breaks 6 7
Try Assists 16 10
Line Break Assists 8 8

More of everything except try assists, and with more of that coming from the other backs, Moses has run a bit more and kicked a lot more.

Bailey Simonsson
2022 2023
Played 12 9
Runs (p.g) 12.5 13.8
Run Metres (p.g) 106.3 119.9
Tackle Breaks (p.g) 2.9 2.7
Tries 3 4
Line Breaks 6 3
Try Assists 2 3
Line Break Assists 1 5

Simonsson is a little bit hard to compare from a stats perspective given the switch between centre and wing. However his run metres are on the increase, whilst his line break assists are probably the result of the switch to centre.

Final Comment

The above stats are obviously just the major players who have played both seasons. New recruits or those that didn’t feature prominently during the early part of 2022 weren’t included as there was minimal or no comparison that was possible. I included Sivo as he is the current leading try scorer.

All in all, those compared above have faired slightly better. 

One new player we can’t leave out is J’maine Hopgood. Currently he leads the competition in offloads with 32. He is averaging 13.4 runs per game with 117.4 average running metres. Add 41.8 tackles per game and he is looking at buy of the year status.

We shouldn’t be death riding the team now. It is a close competition and just a few tweaks to the team should see the Eels have a very good run into the finals.

Our run home looks pretty good in that we only play 5 teams that are currently in the top 8 over the remaining 13 rounds. Given that we also have two byes to come and five home games remaining, a good tilt at the title is still on the cards.

Yours in Blue and Gold



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9 thoughts on “Stats That Matta – Parramatta Eels 2023 Mid Season Report

  1. Anonymous

    Kept saying to my fam that i reckon the team is better this year than last year, seems the stats agree. Very excited for the run to finals and I have full confidence that we’ll be holding the trophy up in October. Great post Colmac!

  2. Anonymous

    Nice review Colmac…….the team is showing a lot more promise this year however if only we can keep the boys on the Park……appreciate the effort Colmac

  3. John Eel

    Colmac given the horrendous start we had to the season. The front loading of our campaign with top eight teams from season 2022.

    Surely this would impact on our start to the season in 2023. I think our first round game last season was the Titans.

    From Sixties analysis there did not appear to be the same quality of opposition in the early rounds.

    1. sixties

      John, that’s why I took the different approach of comparing performances against the same teams. But I was very pleased to see how comparable the stats across the same rounds were.

  4. BDon

    Tks Colmac. Would be interesting to look at stats for the first 5 games excluding Penrith. Whilst we were not getting towelled, we were playing hot and cold.

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