The Cumberland Throw

Live Blog – Jersey Flegg Round 25 Eels vs Sydney Roosters

The Eels are still in the hunt for the finals in the Jersey Flegg but they need to win out in their remaining 2 games in the regular season. That starts today as they host the competition leaders in the Sydney Roosters at Ringrose Park.

These teams met just a month ago where Parramatta pushed the Tri-colours all the way in a pulsating clash of the highest quality but the Eels will need to find a way to top that effort in order to keep their season alive.

While we wait to see which, if any, players back up from the NSW Cup last night as it stands the team will be without Richard Penisini, Joshua Lynn, Matt Arthur, Charlie Guymer and Sam Tuivaiti. It is a hefty blow to the playing stocks of the squad but there is still plenty of talent in the team named and more than enough reason to believe they can mix it with the Roosters today.

Jersey Flegg Team List


1 Apa Twidle
2 Matthew Komolafe
3 Samuel Loizou
4 William Latu
5 Ethyn Martin
6 Blaize Talagi
7 Ethan Sanders
8 Brock Parker
9 Nic Lenaz
10 Toni Mataele
11 Jock Brazel
12 Max Tupou
13 Saxon Pryke
14 Jacob Davis
15 Noah Reed
16 Araz Nanva
17 Lance Fualema
25 Lachlan Mears-Crabb


First Half

Roosters kicking off running south.

We’ve had about 15 minutes of play and unfortunately I’ve lost all of the blog to this point.

The Eels first try came off a good set completion and Nic Lenaz beating the defence with a ten metre dart from dummy half

Sanders converted.

(Again my apologies for the technical issue – clumsiness – which lost the match description from the first 15 minutes)

Eels 6 Roosters nil.

Parra have survived two sets in their red zone with terrific defence.

They work play downfield and a shift to the right creates an open passage from Ethyn Martin who crosses in the corner.

Conversion unsuccessful

Eels 10 Roosters nil 15 gone.

Multiple set restarts from Parra and they’re back in the red zone. The Eels are ultra sharp in attack today. The ball goes right to Talagi and he delivers a beautiful inside ball to Loizou who crosses untouched.

Conversion successful

Eels 16 Roosters nil 20 minutes gone

Eels commencing a set on their 30. They run a mix of edge and middle play and the kick finds an error from the Roosters fullback.

Unfortunately Lenaz and his runner get their wires crossed and the result is an offside play.

Six again called on a dominant tackle from Lenaz and it is followed by a Roosters penalty for offside. Now another penalty for a high shot. The flow is their way at the moment. Oh that is one outstanding defensive set from the Eels as Latu scoops up the kick and gets into the field of play. Great hit ups from Brazel and Mataele but the offload from Mataele is dropped by Talagi on halfway.

Damn, the Eels again defend spectacularly but the touchie has called an Eels hand knocking the ball down. Another red zone set for the tri-colours.

The defence again looks up to it but a quick play the ball and the Roosters have got through the ruck to score under the posts.

Conversion successful

Eels 16 Roosters 6 three minutes left in the half

Oh that is an awful call.

The Roosters have thrown an errant pass and the ref has ruled it knocked down by Parra. There’s ten seconds left on the clock. A Roosters grubber has taken a deflection straight back to them. The pass is flung to the winger who crosses and improves the position as the siren sounds.

Conversion unsuccessful

Half time Eels 16 Roosters 10

Second Half

Superb set from Parra after Martin fields a Roosters clearing kick on the full. He bends the defence line from the tap and Parra jump on the back of it with quick play the balls that get them right to the goal mouth. A last tackle kick earns a line drop out.

Long drop out but Parra drive centrefield and they’re back in front of the posts following a nice offload from Talagi. Davis darts from dummy half and he’s over just to the right of the posts.

Sanders misses the conversion

Eels 20 Roosters 10 about five minutes gone

The teams trade sets and Parra get a penalty for a lifting tackle.

Parra are back in the red zone but a short ball from Sanders puts his runner under pressure and the ball goes down.

Loizou takes a nice catch off a shallow Roosters kick and offloads to Talagi and my goodness that’s an horrendous lifting tackle by theRoosters number 17. The officials are consulting and he’s been sent off! And wait for it, he’s sent Talagi to the bin too. WTF! And Talagi and the offender have just exchanged words on the sideline.

Brilliant footy from Parra! The ball goes left to Twidle. He centres play as he steps off his left foot, beating a string of Roosters players and as the defence grab him he gets a pearler of a pass to Sanders who dashes 10 metres to score beside the posts.

Conversion of his own try successful

Eels 26 Roosters 10 with 21 minutes remaining

The Roosters shift play to the left and as the ball hits the centre around halfway, Latu in the act of chasing is tripped over by a falling Rooster. The centre feigns a pass to the winger to commit Twidle then races away to score to the left of the posts. The conversion hits the flag on the top of the posts and bounces away.

Eels 26 Roosters 14 18 minutes remaining.

The Roosters make an error from the kick off. Eels scrum on the 20m line. And what a pass! Sanders throws a cut out to Komolafe who reaches above his head to pull it in then beats the defence in a spectacular dive to ground the ball in the corner.

Conversion successful

Eels 32 Rooster 14  fourteen minutes remaining

A Roosters one on one strip gets them the ball on halfway. They work play into the quarter and force a line drop out. Parra’s kick goes out on the full.

The Roosters get six again late in the count and the Eels defend brilliantly. Oh no. The last tackle kick finds space behind the Eels line in the left corner and they beat Parra to the ball.

Ripper conversion from the sideline

Eels 32 Roosters 20 with 8 minutes remaining.

What a reply from our Eels! Apa fields a clearing kick in the ingoal then heads left. He links with Loizou who gets the ball back to him and the play stops near halfway. Good drive from Parra with Mataele getting the ball to ten out. It’s back left through Twidle to Loizou who surges to the line and gets the ball down.

Eels 36 Roosters 20. Four minutes remaining.

Good set after the try with the last tackle kick finding touch ten out from the Roosters line.

These Eels forwards have been so strong today. They set the platform for the win.

The Eels survive a last ditch play from the Roosters down their right wing and knock the ball dead as the siren sounds.

Full time Eels 36 Roosters 20

This was a tremendous win against the table topping team.

The forwards were instrumental in the win and deserved more individual mention during the call. Unfortunately my one finger typing is not conducive to a play by play call like Forty.

To that extent, Parker and Lenaz would feature heavily in best on field nominations with Mataele not far behind. In fact, so good were the forwards, that the old saying of “forwards win matches, backs determine by how much” was very applicable today (Thanks to Parrathruandthru for a reminder of that adage).

Pryke is a workhorse and Brazel and Tupou created issues on the edges. Twidle made some critical plays today in both attack and defence and I thought that Loizou had the best game that I’ve seen from him. Sanders and Talagi provided class, with their try assist passes a standout.

There was a trap and scrap from Twidle early in the match that was lost in this coverage due to a blogging glitch. The Rossters put in a chip kick. It took a deflection off an Eels hand and fell straight into the hands of the Roosters prop who was steaming through to chase the kick. Six again was called but the prop went all in and tried to kick the ball past Twidle. The fullback blocked it, regathered then set the Eels on the path to marching downfield.

The rest of the team should get a mention but suffice to say this was a classic team win.

Eels forever!



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50 thoughts on “Live Blog – Jersey Flegg Round 25 Eels vs Sydney Roosters

  1. Jack Saunders

    Awesome blog boys. Some really good talking points here. Always helps me listening to you boys after a loss.
    It’s really hurt me watching the last 5 odd weeks. Really reminds me of 2018 again.
    I hate to say it Because I am a BA fan but maybe it’s time to look elsewhere

    1. sixties Post author

      I don’t think BA is infallible and I believe he got it wrong with the clean ruck mantra this season but there is no coach who could have done better this year. Alex McKinnon had a column in Fox Sport this week saying he did well given the various issues

      1. Spark

        The clean ruck mantra ? Is that it ?
        And you’re grasping a Alex McKinnon article as validation???
        Our defence out wide is a bloody disgrace and resembles a pub team. Surely the fact that we haven’t been able to address this simple part of the game lies solely on the coaching team and ipso facto, the head coach ?
        Does he take any responsibility??
        It seems it’s always someone else’s fault other than BAs and he must thank his lucky stars that he has landed at the Eels and has such forgiving employers.
        Let’s not feel sorry for him, he doesn’t do the job for free, he gets paid handsomely for results.
        He’s not a rookie coach and the top teams would be kicking his ass to the street in response to some of the rediculous mistakes he has made this year but I suppose that’s why they are the top teams – they have accountability.
        BA doesn’t need or deserve excuses – God knows he gives that crutch out to his players enough through the year.
        If someone like Sivo pulled that shit with Bellamy or Bennett, they would have kicked his ass back to Fiji in a second but BA – the ‘best friend’ of the players would be congratulating him on his ‘effort plays’ and will no doubt pick him next week.
        Most fans, even the hardened rusted on believers, recognise that the BA lemon has been squeezed and is completely dry.
        Maybe it’s time TCT is a little more honest with its audience?

        1. Spark

          Apologies- honesty with audience is probably the wrong words. But to be balanced, one cannot be blind to the obvious.

          1. sixties Post author

            I shouldn’t need to justify myself. However, since you are making accusations, albeit with an apology, of not being honest or being blind, here we go. On the podcast we also discussed defence from scrums. I have multiple times in the past said that BA is too loyal and Forty is frequently critical of his bench rotation. We are critical about things that we believe deserve criticism. What I won’t criticise is anything out of the coach’s control. I will argue that he is the best coach for Parra and disagree with people have always been ready to call for his head. Even after getting to the grand final last year, people still did so.
            And Spark, we don’t stop you or others from expressing your opinion. I am supportive of BA because of what I see and know. My problem is actually that I am more passionate about the club than I am supportive of BA. That might sound cryptic but I won’t elaborate more. I have nothing to gain by supporting BA. I have far more rapport with other executives and staff at the club than I do with BA. He would occasionally converse with people at Old Saleyards. Visitors to Kellyville don’t get much more than the quickest hello from a distance from him and that might happen twice in the year.
            So if I’ve been critical of club decisions around spending and the roster I’d be putting any of those relationships at risk by doing so, especially if my criticisms aren’t valid. I’m putting myself on a limb in doing so. I might write here as “Sixties” but I’m not anonymous with the club. Unlike anyone else here who can throw stones under a pseudonym. So if I’m not being honest, or providing “excuses” for a failing coach, wouldn’t I be making a mess of any respect that I might have with the club!
            What you are asking me to do is to write something that I don’t believe or that I don’t see or is contrary to what I know. I don’t expect you or others to do that, so to suggest that I’m not honest or as you reframed it “balanced” is in my opinion quite unfair.
            The other thing that I have done far more often over the years which few notice is to remove comments that abuse players, or that abuse fellow responders. Despite what people might think, the critical opinions of BA in the replies are left in unless it’s highly personal or from a banned individual.
            There is an individual who was banned from TCT about five or six years ago who continues to appear here under different names as he has a vpn, we delete his comments regardless of what he says. There are many individuals whose critical opinions appear here. There are replies that are critical of us as yours is here. They are left in. People accuse us of the wildest things. Of having special access to coaches and players at training or of getting interviews with players. Ha! Anyone can walk off the street into training. They’re all treated the same.

          2. Spark

            No, I’m not asking you to write something you don’t believe in or know but I’ll continue to call you out if I believe that you and John arnt criticising BA or others for that matter if they deserve it !
            I do believe he deserves criticism- that’s why I said so.
            What’s my opinion worth ?
            Probably no more than yours but I’m sure I will get the usual who will come on and criticise me just for having the temerity of disagreeing with you on this platform !
            (Having regard to your rules I won’t mention a certain poster who I’m sure will rear his unintelligible dribbling head up in response)
            Bring it on !

            I personally don’t believe that BA is the best coach for the club anymore, I truly believe that he has nothing more to give and the players have tuned out.
            I’ve met BA many times and respect the hell out of him and what he’s done for the club. I’d love for us to keep him on in an official pathways capacity or similar – just not as HC.
            I also know what a stubborn bastard he is and whilst he always , always has the clubs interest at heart, he will never ever step down as HC voluntarily.
            This will cause the club to fracture its relationship with him one day and that will be a real shame.

          3. sixties Post author

            Spark, I simply have a different point of view to you. I don’t know who you are referring to with regard to you expressing your views. You have always been welcome to post opinions here despite the fact that we don’t see eye to eye. Have we ever met?

        2. sixties Post author

          By the way – who would Bellamy or Bennett bring in for Sivo? His form is awful. Has been awful. The four outside backs that played on Friday are the only choices available. End of story.

          1. Spark

            I’m thinking that Benny or Bellamy wouldn’t have played Sivo if he was in that sort of form. They would have pushed someone like Carty to the centres or put gutho to the centres and dropped him to reserve grade to have a good look at himself.
            I’d rather have a prop at winger who I know will be giving his all that what I saw Sivo dish up on Friday night !

          2. sixties Post author

            You know that this is not the case. Their teams have more selection options than that. But I’m on board with moving Sivo on. He’d be on good coin, but he doesn’t deserve it and he’s getting older. Time to invest in someone else.

      2. Clive

        Unfortunately most of the various issues were caused by BA and O’Neil.
        The roster is a joke, the game plan and playing style doesn’t adapt and we have the same defensive issues as we did a decade ago.

        A year ago we were being told we are a “destination” club yet we can’t or won’t sign quality players. There is a delusional fascination with buying bargain buy fringe players in the hope they work out. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t.

        We keep hearing the players love BA and want to play for him but all the key players haggle and scrimp every last dollar from the club.

        I know I will cop it but a big reason for the pathetic season was Brads handling of Jake. He pushed him into a ridiculous situation then let him leave mid season because of the situation. What other club would allow their only recognised back up half walk mid year?

        With Dylan’s suspension and Moses injury’s Jake should have played half a season of NRL this year. It’s not inconceivable to suggest we probably win 2 or 3 more games this year with a recognised half coming into the team in place of Asi.

        I have always liked the idea of Brad as head coach but like everyone he has failings but he seems to stubborn to address them.

        1. Spark

          Yes I agree with a lot of the things you have mentioned but regards BA – one would think that he has been in collaboration with MON to get the side he wants? We can’t just blame MON and say that BA just got lumped with the squad and told that’s it. BA is on the R&R committee and would have a big say in who Is selected.
          My thoughts are that BA wanted to play a forwards dominated power game and basically left the backs as they were.
          MON probably agreed with this but I’m thinking that BA got the squad he wanted.

    2. Pou

      Reminds you of 2018? We won 11 games during the regular season. That’s as many as the Knights who are in 7th place.

  2. Jack Saunders

    Awesome work boys. So Happy the boys won and beat the heavy weight of the comp. I really hope this teams makes the finals. Maybe parra can do the double sgball and jersey flegg

    1. sixties Post author

      Thanks Rick. Forty is so much better than me at this caper. Just wanted to make sure that supporters got the updates.

    1. sixties Post author

      Appreciate you taking the time to reply Anon. The lads did so well today, especially the forwards. Wish I could have detailed their contributions much better.

  3. Milo

    Great read Sixties and team and what a win to beat them…! And with some guys out.
    Great work.
    It’s shows we can mix it here.

    1. Pou

      I’m pretty sure that’s the best team we could’ve put out there. Penisini and Russell were needed in first grade and JJBM/AMS are presumably ineligible for the finals, but otherwise this is our top Flegg side. We stacked it for that very reason.

        1. Pou

          Three of them are still eligible for SG Ball next year. They’re very young lads. I suppose Guymer might get a run but who would you drop for Lynn?

          1. sixties Post author

            That’s the coach’s call. He’d possibly move Blaize to centre, which is actually probable given Richie’s concussion.

          2. Pou

            This still involves dropping members who contributed to yesterday’s win. Putting Penisini and Lynn in yesterday’s Flegg lineup means getting rid of at least two outside backs, and if Latu goes back into the pack you need to drop a forward.

          3. sixties Post author

            Arthur, Guymer, Tuivaiti and Lynn will be in the 17. Unfortunately the Storm have made things difficult by upsetting the Panthers so we now need the Raiders to upset the Storm next week.

          4. Pou

            Looks like you might be right. All the SG Ball kids bar concussed Penisini have been ‘dropped’ to Flegg, with a few Flegg kids in reserve grade this week. Brazel injured or suspended?

          1. Pou

            He’s young enough (and still eligible for Flegg next year) but has probably played too many games in reserve grade (or too few in Flegg) to qualify for the finals.

    1. sixties Post author

      It took me by surprise and others I reckon too. I think he reacted to the tackle – but seriously who wouldn’t!

  4. HamSammich

    At times it’s been a pleasure to watch this team, other times it has been frustrating as we know what they are capable of. Unfortunately it’s looking more and more likely that they’ve left their run a little bit too late. Would’ve liked to have seen the damage this team at full strength could have done in the finals, I believe at their best they would have gone very close to winning it all. The challenge from here on is developing them into first graders and making sure we retain the ones we believe to be potential first graders.

    A big congratulations has to go to coach Brennan, despite injuries, promotions, suspensions he has gotten this grade to play a tough, uncompromising style whilst also still keeping a sense of “Parra footy”. Much like the players he has coached, we must make sure we hold onto him and possibly a promotion as either an assistant coach in first grade or reserve grade head coach should be on the cards?

    1. sixties Post author

      Ham, Brenno has moulded this group into a tight unit that play for each other. When you take into account that there were essentially two groups brought together mid season – those who had been playing in the first half of the year and the elevated SG Ball players. And as you say Ham, they play a tough, uncompromising brand of footy. The crucial game will turn out to be their first match against the Storm. it was in the first few weeks of including some SG Ball players. A late error gave the Storm possession in Parra’s quarter with a couple of minutes to go and they got a late try to win. Anyway, maybe the Raiders can get an upset win over the Storm this week.

  5. Karmazin

    Are any development players going to be ready for 2024? People saying penasini or Guymer. But really they need a few more years imo.

    1. Anonymous

      Neither are ready yet, a good few games in reserve grade, maybe. With this said, I thought Charlie Guymer held his own the other night!

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