The Cumberland Throw

The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 71: Eels Don’t Find Their Mojo But They’re Still Staying Alive

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The Parramatta Eels snuck home against the Dragons in Round 23 but it was a far cry from the comprehensive performance they were looking for as they try to kick into top gear for the finals. Sixties and Forty20 are live from Jacks Bar & Grill at Parramatta Leagues Club as they discuss the 26-20 victory as well as all of the other results for the Eels from the weekend.

Rookie back Arthur Miller-Stephen scored the opening try of the game while on debut and the boys look at his day. Some mistakes were made but the injection of youth and energy was clear and the team rallied around their debutante. The boys go on to look at where the Eels let themselves down and how they engineered the win in spite of it all.

The NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg put together impressive wins while the NRLW battled fiercely against the Knights with Kennedy Cherrington send off for roughly half the game. The show wraps up each game and then looks at what lies ahead for every grade.

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27 thoughts on “The Tip Sheet – 2023 Ep 71: Eels Don’t Find Their Mojo But They’re Still Staying Alive

  1. Mark Camman

    Fortunate to get away with a win today. Played well for the first 10 mins and last 20mins but looked like wooden spoon material in between.
    We look like the slowest team in the comp when it comes to play the balls. Is it just my imagination or do we have some stats to back this up?

    1. Ron

      We are so slow in the play the ball which is mind boggling as it’s once of the few areas we’re teams can fight for a tangible competitive advantage. Maybe it’s because we don’t fight hard enough to get up. Maybe it’s cause people wrestle much better than us. Maybe it’s cause some parra forwards thinks pcms are a good thing, hence slowing down play the ball speed? Other teams prefer fast play the balls instead of high pcms? Whatever the reason, it’s a big concern

    2. sixties

      Would you believe that we recorded a faster average play the ball speed than our opponent for only the second time this season (3.4 seconds vs 3.6 seconds). The goal has been to minimise penalties and set restarts via a clean ruck. The Eels based that on the directives about how the ruck would be called this year. Unfortunately it hasn’t been officiated that way this year and Parra has had no advantage. I’ve been critical of continuing to do this when the referees don’t police other teams slowing up the play. Mind you, as soon as a ref starts getting serious with penalties and set restarts, the media are all over them for spoiling the game. Go figure.

  2. Ron

    Geez, so many of our defensive problems would be mitigated by some decent line speed. No inside out line speed in defence + minimal wrestle in ruck+ sliding passive edges is a receipt for disaster that was exposed by dragons with ease down our left. I shudder at the thought of what broncos/Penrith/souths/warriors etc will do if we keep being so sluggish with our line speed. It’s mainly our middles and backrowers not getting up fast enough but why that is I’m not quite sure. Maybe they are gassed and BA not using fresh rotations well enough? Maybe they are in some bad habits atm?

    But it’s great that the boys find the desire and execution to fight back. The team should be happy in that regard. There’s a lot of improvement needed in very little time before we can really be satisfied.

    Also, as a side note, the raiders got away with many forward pass calls against tigers (one went to an try) and “did not give away a single six again” at home against tigers. And We all remember what happened to refs when we went down there. It sure seems Ricky’s consistent whinging over the years has sure helped in all their tight games this year. Forget playing clean in ruck BA, maybe start manipulating media to pressure refs like Ricky, Ivan, Bellamy, Robbo, Wayne etc

    1. BDon

      The Dragons were leaving early all game, actually a good mental effort, and used an umbrella formation to thwart Moses in particular. Off their own goal line they were super early, their No.12 was once so far offside he stopped in no man’s land, gave himself away but the whistle remained silent.
      Our sliding defence is also bit compressed, you can see the danger emerging,then the winger jams in just to add the icing.
      Whilst our stats were better than St Geo’s, I thought that final 20 minutes of first half was a lesson in how to shoot yourself in the foot and provide hope and support to an opponent in desperate need of just that.Thankfully the lifeline was eventually removed.

      There were 3 obvious forward passes that led to 2 Raider’s tries, once a forward tip on of a forward pass, touchie right in line, bizarre. Tigers unlucky.

      1. sixties

        BDon, you are absolutely spot on with the Dragons tactics. The stats show we got the calls. They don’t show how many it should have been because the officials aren’t game to keep blowing the whistle. And the official takes after the game – Annesley declaring that the Dragons were ripped off for a try. I’m dumbfounded.

    2. sixties

      We have had issues with players falling out of defensive systems lately Ron. I also get concerned when we get early tries then go looking for short cuts and play touch footy with opponents.
      I think I’ve been quite open in my stance about the lack of value in being clean in the ruck. It should have been advantageous, but as you point out, we still see rules not applied.
      As for yesterday, any win should be celebrated. It wasn’t anything like top 8 form, but there was enough grit towards the back end of the game to get the job done. And the other positive was that the won clearly meant something to the players. I’ll take the glass half full stance on it.

  3. Shaun

    I was driving home so only listened to the game. From what I heard after 10 nil Cartwright made an error and the Dragons made a break just before their first try. The ABC commentators thought Parra went into their shells about this time and went away from what was working. It was a nervous drive home and not just because of Sunday arvo drivers!

    I did watch the highlights and the Matto pass was sublime. More please.

    There was an expectation of an easy win but both the Dragons and Tigers showed the teams with nothing to play for can be dangerous this time of year.


  4. Chris K

    Bit frustrated at all the media Dragons whingeing about the Gutherson try-save. Take that out of a try-scoring situation context and put it into one of of general play, and no-one would complain about it being called a loose-carry/knock-on as it is adjudicated this way 9 times out of 10.

    Also frustrating on 4 potential sin-bins missed on the Dragons versus our 1 (Makatoa).

    Given what we have seen for earlier in the round, the rule of consistency certainly did not apply (admittedly, consistency is a foreign concept to the NRL when it comes to rule applications).

    1) Ravalawa could have earned 10 for his shot, and not been on field for Try 1 at the very least

    2) The head slam – was very, very ordinary and deserved to go IMO

    3) The professional foul just before Cartwright’s second try in slowing the play the ball

    4) Maybe just me on this one, but Gutherson being held up and Lawrie cannonballing as 3rd man in, looked dangerous with intent to injur.e

    Add to this, the fact that the Dragons 1st try came off them retaining possession after Dylan Brown was called ‘playing the ball’ which was kick deflected off him into touch at point-blank range; the late hit on Moses missed; Gutherson taken out of play missed, and all their ruck-slowing that went unnoticed and I think Dragons fans are extremely delusional in feeling hard done-by.

    Our edges obviously remain a concern, and we scraped by in this win without much on-field enthusiasm and mongrel on display, which hopefully they are holding in the tank for Brisbane, (a possible resurgent Roosters) and Penrith.

    Finally, despite a couple of wasted ‘crash’ plays, Lussick pretty-much paid for his contract yesterday in running down Hunt on the 5th and gaining possession.

    1. V.C

      Agree with this. The shot on Davey should’ve been a bin.
      Gutherson should’ve milked the cannonball, that looked dangerous.
      Someone needs to go to specsavers!

      1. sixties

        VC, Forty and I are probably guilty of not featuring our usual “you cannot be serious” component of the Instant reaction. We might have to include it in our news episode.

    2. BDon

      Lomax is a serial offender at slamming players right at the end of a tackle when their body resistance has decreased. Junior did it once and I still maintain,in context of the situation,legally and got 8 weeks for a dangerous throw. Blake Laurie’s cheap hit on Gutho was excessive force and dangerous. Kane Evans twice did hits that were deemed excessive force and suspended, they were solid upright body checks, straight body on body, no flailing arms, not half as excessive/dangerous as Lawrie.
      The Dylan Brown ‘played at’ was so marginal. The ball struck his knee as the leg came forward in the action of running, whereas the Cartwright one he extended his leg.
      Based on a hundred others, Gutho’s ‘strip’ was in one action of making a tackle.

      1. sixties

        And I thought the Gutho tackle to stop the try wasruled correctly, but I’m not surprised by Annesley’s take.

    3. sixties

      Terrific observations Chris. So spot on and worthy of a dedicated post. As I replied above, the stats show numbers falling our way. They don’t show what was missed and the focus has all been on how the right call on the disallowed try was actually wrong. WTF!

  5. John Eel

    Why are the Broncos such an entitled organisation. A Sunday game against the Eels would have delivered a huge Sunday afternoon crowd with the Eels having big support in Brisbane. Do the Broncos ever get 5 day turnarounds?

    Instead the Eels have to endure another 5 day turnaround giving the pampered Broncos a massive advantage over the Eels. No different to what we faced the first time we met them in Darwin earlier in the year.

    This is yet another example of our lack of equity in the NRL and the greater NRL community.

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