The Cumberland Throw

The Preview – Round 13, 2024: Eels vs Sharks

For those bright-eyed Eels fans still clinging to hope in season 2024, this week is the game to move all your chips into the middle of the table on. Sacking the coach might not have turned our fortunes around in one swing, but if anything can right the good ship Parramatta’s rocky 2024 campaign it is the return of the big guns: Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses.

Not only will the side benefit from the return of its two most important players, it offers the rest of the side a clean slate, a chance to put their ordinary efforts so far this year behind them and start fresh, like a New Year’s Resolution in June. If a mental reset is all the team needs to come good, you don’t get a better one than being at full strength for the first time since round 6, 1987.

Many of the issues we’ve seen in recent weeks will take more than just shaking off to correct, but if there is to be any revival in this disastrous 2024 season then it will begin on Thursday night. The Eels have left themselves a lot of ground to make up, but stranger things have happened. Clint Gutherson still believes, but do his teammates? Do the fans? Let’s take a look at how the comeback can happen.

Game Info

Date: Thursday May 30, 2024
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 7:50PM AEST
Referee: Ashley Klein
Bunker: Grant Atkins
Weather: Mild
Broadcast: Nine, Fox League, Kayo


Sixties Speculates (Odds quoted are NSW TAB)

There was no punting tip last week. I was going to again suggest hitting the total points market, but after the events of earlier in the week, I just wasn’t interested in offering a punting speculation.

The previous tip delivered big time. I’d targeted that total points market and we got $4.20 for over 56.5 match points. A 48 to 16 scoreline meant a total of 64 points and a comfortable collect.

Believe it or not, I’m confident of an Eels win this week. The bookies have installed Parra as favourites, so the value isn’t as good as it should be.

I’m looking to the pick your own line market this week and taking Parra at -12.5 which is returning $3.20. It’s been some time since I’ve looked at them as winners, but the inclusion of Gutho and Moses will make a big difference.

Happy, responsible punting.




Parramatta Eels

1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Sean Russell 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Joe Ofahengaue. 14. Blaize Talagi 15. Shaun Lane 16. Makahesi Makatoa 17. Wiremu Greig.

18. Daejarn Asi 22. Luca Moretti.

A sight for sore eyes.

I lied for effect back in the intro, the Eels technically aren’t at full strength here. Ryan Matterson is on the extended bench (and has since missed out), illness knocking him out of the last two matches and potentially a third here, while J’maine Hopgood is on Origin duty. That I wrote this entire preview then remembered Hopgood wasn’t in the side might say something about his form. He’s not been bad, but I don’t know if he has really earned a rep callup, either.

There is also the possibility Gutherson and/or Moses aren’t good to go, cover for both is present on the bench and reserves, and Gutherson is making a quicker than expected comeback. Full strength is only a paper term, anyway. The reality is that many of these players are a shell of their former selves, and the great hope is that they are shocked back into form by the fear of a well-directed spray from their halfback.

Trent Barrett has started to make some adjustments to the squad, with Joey Lussick relegated to the reserves and Brendan Hands promoted to starting hooker. Shaun Lane is moved to the bench, while Blaize Talagi takes the bench outside back role that Brad Arthur was loath to use. Kelma Tuilagi takes the place of Lane in the starting pack.

Cronulla Sharks

1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Kayal Iro 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Daniel Atkinson 7. Braydon Trindall 8. Thomas Hazelton 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Oregon Kaufusi 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Jack Williams. 14. Siosifa Talakai 15. Toby Rudolf 16. Royce Hunt 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele.

18. Mawene Hiroti 20. Billy Burns

Cam McInnes and Nico Hynes are on Origin duty, leaving an inexperienced halves pairing of Trindall and Atkinson to steer the Sharks around. Oregon Kaufusi has seemingly earned a starting spot in the pack on merit, which I’m struggling to believe, while Teig Wilton captains the side. That might say more about the leadership qualities of the rest of this team than it does Wilton, but he does run a mean line.

The bench is chock full of big boppers, with Hunt, Hamlin-Uele, Rudolf and even Talakai all giant forwards. The go-forward will be relentless, and Trent Barrett’s bench management is going to need to be up to scratch to keep this Eels pack in the contest.

The Great Turnaround?

While I’m not pulling out the NRL draw and pinning red string across rounds to find a way for the Eels to play finals football, there’s no harm in expecting things to get better now that Mitchell Moses is back. I’ve spent the best part of two months hating this football team, it’s time to allow a little hope through and catch a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel. We’re about to cross the halfway point of the season, so theoretically if the Eels can be as good in the second half of the year as they were poor in the first, there’s a chance.

Welcome back, King.

The problem with that is just how bad the Eels were to start the year. If some Eels reversed form that dramatically, I’d be having them tested for not just performance enhancers but their DNA, because there is no way they could be the same player. One man can make a lot of difference, but I’d be amazed if Mitchell Moses can put life into the tired legs of his forward pack or give them the energy to chase a play after it moves past them.

Some of the problems we’ve seen coming for a long time. After accusations of being meaner than former grades master Mitch in my postgame columns, I went and read some old work and found back in 2021 he was lamenting Maika Sivo not reaching the peaks of his 2019 form. Now in 2024 I’d walk across glass to get one 2021 Sivo performance, and I remember 2019 Sivo like a fever dream, unable to discern myth from reality. That there is nobody to push underperformers in the backline remains a hindrance, and Trent Barrett hasn’t shown any rush to make mass changes and blood young players.

So it has been a while since we’ve seen an Eels side with Moses and Gutherson together, how does that make this rabble better? Gutherson alone is worth a try or two a game on the current form, both saved and iced. Blaize Talagi is an exciting player but he’s been caught out of position plenty of times in defence, and some embarrassing tries were scored close to the ruck that Gutherson would likely have cleaned up, both with his tackling and positioning. Moses and his kicking game will ease the pressure on the Parramatta forwards, reducing workloads ever so slightly and reducing the chance of the famous fiftieth minute fadeouts that we’ve become accustomed to. That’s before considering what he can do with the attack, and how he can improve the game of Dylan Brown by allowing the five eighth to pick his spots.

Talagi injected off the bench could also provide some spark we aren’t used to when watching Parramatta football, a livewire that could exploit tired defenders. How he can be integrated into the attack without taking away from Gutherson, Moses or Brown remains to be seen, but Trent Barrett just throwing him out there and saying “I don’t know, hang around behind the ruck a bit” would still be interesting enough.

The Game

Hands has earned his start.

Last weekend would not give Sharks fans great hope for how they perform without Nico Hynes, who went down early in that clash. Admittedly we are not the Panthers, and with a week to prepare Cronulla should come out with enough of a gameplan to make this a challenging task for the Blue and Gold. Still, many thought the Sharks had exorcised the flat track bully demons of the last few years, and completely capitulating against the defending premiers will have people asking those same questions; can the Sharks win against good teams?

Even in the last two years, Parramatta has been the exception to that “good team” rule when playing the Sharks (if you want to be so generous as to call the 2023 Eels “good”). They’ve matched the Eels in the middle then had more firepower of their own, and that will be the gameplan again here. That four forward bench is a roaring flame and smoke signal of intent from Craig Fitzgibbon: we are going through the middle here.

That’s a scary prospect for Parramatta fans, who are well used to seeing about 30 minutes of competent football, 20 minutes of barely hanging on and then a complete and total folding from the Eels forwards. Maybe Mitch’s kicking and glaring will drag out those numbers a bit, but unless this team can respect the footy and really dig in and show some grit, this match will go the same as plenty of others this year. It’s a tough test for a side who would use a confidence boost, but considering they folded against the Tigers, capitulated against the Dolphins and were belted by an injury ravaged Souths, even the easier tests have left the Eels stumped.

I’m expecting better here, and honestly a Moses miracle wouldn’t even be a surprise. Coming off a hiding, Origin taking their best player and their toughest forward, maybe the Sharks are there to be beaten by an Eels team with a clean slate and nothing to lose. They’ve been abysmal for two months, but this is still a fairly talented group of players, at least on paper. They could win this.

I’m hopeful, maybe even a touch positive, but I’m not tipping us. The Sharks have found ways to get it done against the Eels in recent years, and their big men look primed to out grind a Parramatta side that has had very little grind in them all season long. This is still first against should be last, after all. I think we’ll be better, but whether that will be good enough, well I’d love to be proven wrong.

Prediction: Cronulla 32 d Parramatta 22

Man of the Match: Will Kennedy


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38 thoughts on “The Preview – Round 13, 2024: Eels vs Sharks

  1. B&G 4 Eva

    Thanks Gol, an honest assessment of where we are as a club, The failure of recruitment and sensible retention since 2021 is really coming home to roost now, the juniors are decent but in the main a year or two removed from NRL relevance.

    Like most we will be there more in hope that we can turn the corner against what is generally a big committed Sharks team, more nervous about the speed and line break ability of their backs even without Hynes. Anyway, let’s get there early and give them all our support.

    There is a definite need for the club to target fresh injection in this coming off season, with some speedy backs and younger legs up front, fingers crossed that’s achievable.

  2. Sec50

    I was feeling a little confident before I saw Klein ref and Atkins bunker. The NRL really don’t want us to win apparently. This is not a ref bash it is purely based on empirical evidence. Our record with both is appalling.
    Let’s hope for a change of fortune.

  3. Hughie

    The interesting thing for me is when does matt arthur get at least a bench spot in the nrl side , this kids the best junior prospect weve had in years and if we dont give him a go he will probably walk like his brother , theres no excuses now with ba gone , we need to show this kid we want him at our club because from what ive heard now ba has gone he,s on the radar of a couple clubs bigtime and there starting to circle .might had dummy half is the weakest position in the nrl side and this kids carving them every week in ko cup .

    1. sixties

      Hughie, this is a critical point. The quality and consistency of Matt Arthur’s performances in NSW Cup have been extraordinary. Last week was then an example of his resilience, mindset and professionalism. In a week when his father was sacked, and he was no doubt either upset or fuming, he produced yet another outstanding game. For a 19 year old to put the events of the week behind him and produce the game that he played says volumes for where he’s already at in his development.
      Arthur is ready now. Both Moses and Gutho are back. I reckon it’s time to introduce him to first grade. He and Charlie Guymer have had a match day warm up. Get Boods onto the first grade interchange. He’ll shake things up from there.

      1. Ron

        I don’t understand how we get in these positions – the presumption, or perhaps better the conceit of those in charge re keeping juniors such as sanders, Martin, stefano and now blaize + Parker + Arthur is staggering. The kid is best young hooker in nsw cup and only parra would have him unsigned and not even on dev deal. Only parra would bring back a brnch player from uk (Lussick) and bring up a reserve grader (hands) to put in front of their best young talent in many years. only parra would let another you young in zaidus magatguia leave and then also lose the person they groomed – ending up with no one.

        1. sixties

          Definitely sharper tonight and asked questions. Something that we’ve needed. You’d probably have him in tandem with Boods when he debuts.

      2. Muz

        Hey 60’s, do you think that they are moving slow on Boods because of what happened with JA?

        Regardless, as you’ve mentioned Boods is absolutely a class young dummy half.

        It would be a crime to not reward this young man a opportunity.

        I wonder if the Eels have plans for him moving forward.

        And BA not being head coach may help Boods avoid some scrutiny when he debuts.

    2. B&G 4 Eva

      Good points, and again the issue revolves around the recruitment and retention so called committee. So many good juniors have taken opportunities elsewhere and is that due to the HOF not being up to the task.
      The identification and retention has been below par, and since 2021 it’s been poor and although moving the coach on is understandable, where is the focus on a similarly important part of the club that also appears to underperform . Anyone that has seen what has occurred since 2021 needs to have the question answered, are the people in those positions in R&R good enough, easy to answer I believe

  4. 56 years an eel

    Re:bad starts to the year:
    This year started well against the Bulldogs, last year was prototyped when Moses elected not to take the penalty that would have given us an eight point lead against the Storm and win the first game.
    I can see Talagi replacing Gutherson or Moses in the second half.
    If it’s Gutho the makeup is obvious but if it’s Moses, it will be interesting to see the shape. Does Gutho go to five-eighth and Brown to half or does Talagi go straight into five-eighth?
    To win this we need to score a lot of points, just to keep the Sharks forwards going backwards.
    I agree with everyone that we need to start blooding the young guns off the bench, but tonight is about getting the band back together.

    Go Eels.

  5. Phil

    Does anyone know what the issue with Matterson is ? Sickness is a general or vague term and 3 weeks out is unusual.

  6. Milo

    No idea abt Matterson.
    I am hoping for a 80 min game from all and less errors – we do this and we win. Simple
    It’s been more than time to bring on Guymer and MA

  7. Spark

    I just don’t know about Barrett. He has spent the last two seasons as an assistant next to BA and now in his 2nd week as head coach and it appears that he doesn’t have any idea who is worthy of a bench/starting spot or the progression of young players like Arthur and Guymer.
    You would totally understand if he was just new to the joint and had no understanding of the players strengths/weaknesses but instead he’s trotted out the statement a couple of times about having no time to change anything.
    He would know intimately who is a passenger who isn’t.
    I don’t believe that the board is looking at stability here. I personally believe they want the place to be shaken up a bit, they what a coach to grab the bull by the horns and be innovative.
    If Barrett is just a replication of BA, why sack BA ?
    If Barrett wants the job, do something different. It may come crashing down but you dont get an NRL job by being a grey man.

    1. sixties

      Spark, they simply haven’t had the training days. I didn’t expect changes last week. They had an awfully tough week to navigate with the BA news. Then this week was a five day turn around. They only had a captains run and there was already three inclusions with player returns. From here on we will see what happens. And with Moses and Gutho back, the ability to debut players in a stronger team is better. Hopefully the debuts happen relatively soon.

  8. Zero58

    Why does Gol.have Lussick as starting. Is it Lussick or Hands
    What will win the game for Cronulla – their wingers. They are very good. What will lose it for Cronulla – missing Hynes. What will win it for Parra – Cronulla don’t turn up. They are starting as favorites – that’s a bad sign.
    I am doing a Gol this week and being negative.
    Go the Eels.

      1. Zero58

        Mr Sixties – you are always positive. That win took Parra off the death bed and into ICU. Still in critical condition but need close attention for the few weeks.

      2. Muz

        60’s predicted on the podcast / said he was confident we could win.

        We not only won – we played incredible.

        We didn’t rely on forwards to gain meters and utilised our backs, offloads, and dummy half’s past play the ball and even dummy half runs to gain meters.

        For us moving forward I think if we can keep this going our forwards won’t be so tired.

        Our defence in the middle should improve.

        And give us a better shot at winning more games.

        This style of play also looked far less predictable than before.

        Now obviously moses kicking helps our forwards not get as tired as well.

        But a lot of our meters came from different players last night.

        offloading and nice service from Brendan Hands did help us get on the front foot in a lot more sets than in most of this year.

        If we play even close to that good in most games – I feel like we are a very respectable football team in regards to our ability to win us a lot of games.

  9. pete

    Don’t be surprised if Sivo gets hooked tonight. Possibly playing his last game… Blaize come on with 20 carries…

  10. Muz

    That was probably the best we have played in a long time, even compared to games before moses got injured.

    Baz keeping hands in, getting lane out of second row, letting them offload & move ball more freely – we look like a new side.

    Obviously moses & gutho being back makes a huge difference but what we are seeing is a more open attacking form of play than before.

    There was no suggestion of “win the collision” and just focus on letting our forwards do most the damage.

    Baz has our backs doing more work, more work out of dummy half not just pass to the halves, and Kelma at second row was awesome.

    Lane also played well in the middle.

    I don’t want to hear the excuses how all these changes would of taken place under BA.

    Lussick would of still been out hooker most likely, lane at second row, and less ball movement more than likely.

    Let’s hope our administration has made the right decision moving on BA and our team continues to progress.

    Notice our team tonight didn’t rely on Paulo & RCG just winning the collision.

    Our backs played well, they ran a lot of meters.

    Hands also is far better than lussick I think nobody disagrees with this – I have no idea why BA was so stubborn picking him,

    Honestly, let’s Hope Baz is actually a decent coach (when his got good players)

    And helps our team make a late dash into the top 8.

    I’m really happy as a parra Fan to not see lussick and lane out there anymore in the same positions they’ve failed in literally all year.

    Lane is a good forward – I’m happy to see him getting some good playing in up the middle.

    Let’s hope this shift can help lane contribute to the team and regain some of his confidence.

    Brendan hands also defended well tonight, good work by all the lads.

    Gutho even ran a little harder than usual from out the back,

    Maybe he got a little bit of inspiration from the young man Blaize talagi from previous weeks, lol.

    Baz said post game Blaize has a gash on his head and he decided to not play him because they didn’t absolutely have to, and hoped to help him recover more by next week.

    He said “Blaize is part of our 17”

    Indicating he’s not going to waste him, sounds like baz has plans to help Blaize play more first grade moving forward.

    1. Brett Allen

      Interestingly, our premiership odds shortened dramatically; from 251 to 101 off that one performance. I reckon Mitch punched his ticket to the MCG if NSW don’t win Wednesday night.

      1. Muz

        And Brett, Mitch looked awesome last night.

        He definitely will be on SOO duties of hynes loses game 1 imo.

        But let’s hope not – because we need Mitch like the desert needs the rain.

        We honestly look like a different team with him and guthos presence.

        But also we moved the ball and offloaded a lot more than when BA was there.

        We didn’t heavily rely only on forwards to get us moving forward.

        We went back to the old ways of us playing football.

        Offloads, backs making strong runs up the shirt side, fast dummy half service.

        And even dummy half running from hands.

        This was almost non existent before – even before Moses got injured.

        This was the brand of play that made us a Top 8 team in the NRL in the preseason last few years.

        Let’s hope they can keep the errors low, and keep up the good work next week.

    2. sixties

      Hi Muz, let me be explicit about things. First of all, I said on the preview podcast that Parra would win. I had watched the caps run and declared it. Why? The influence of Moses and Gutherson made all of the difference even on a caps run. It was all about the talk. Moses in particular was organising the players and demanding where he wanted them. Everything had a decisive edge. Guess who got the top two points from literally every “expert” after the game? Moses and Gutho. Let’s also remember that Gutho had been playing busted before his operation.
      Secondly, there has been minimal time for change. They got one field session last week and only a caps run this week.
      Thirdly, guess who the attack coaches have been these last two seasons – Baz and Murf. With BA they had already been adapting/changing the attack for the last couple of months. Guess who was the missing component? Moses. In fact, there were plays against the Sharks that had been worked on during the preseason. Why hadn’t we seen it so effective this year? Again the missing component of Moses.
      As for Lussick, he started last week, came off the field and didn’t play in any grade this week. Could he be injured? Let’s think about that.
      Obviously, calls like bench rotation will now be Baz. And moving forward he will have more of an imprint. He and Murf may want to make subtle changes to the attack. Overall match plans will be Baz’s call along with his assistants.
      Finally, before the Souths game I defended Barrett. Fans were targeting him. I said that they couldn’t make any judgements on him before the Souths game – I expected a loss due to the impact of BA’s sacking on the group that week, and with little time to get their heads arounds it (one field session). I also said to start making judgements after the team moved past the short turn arounds. The team was always going to improve with our key players returning in tandem.

      1. Muz

        Hi 60’s,
        I listened to the podcast and as you suggested before the game, they looked totally different with our two key players in.

        Also regarding baz etc being attacking coaches for us before.

        I’m aware of that – but also we must take into consideration our main game plan & team each week generally is most influenced by the head coach.

        Moses himself has stated in the past in conversations & interviews referred to Ba’s game plan he gave to them.

        It’s not to say ba’s game plans were bad – we’ve been a solid team for years whenever we aren’t holding too many injured players on the roster.

        But you can witness subtle game plan approaches to our Game currently even during our loss last week.

        Baz like you said – can’t make too many changes too fast.

        And to be fair – there isn’t a lot to change as when we are full strength we are a solid team.

        As for baz’s influence as head coach.

        Majority of us who watch the game and formerly played.

        Can see there has been tweaks in our approach / game plan already.

        There’s more ball movement, offloads, and backs doing more work.

        Most Fans don’t realise adjustments in both players & game plan have already begun.

        And if baz did make too many changes too fast – it would most likely only have a negative effect.

        Also as you know the team wasn’t bad before.

        The main issue was gutho + moses not playing.

        Ba probably should not of been sacked.

        But I was critical of him keeping lussick on constantly + lane.

        I predicted on previous posts here watch for baz moving lussick really quick.

        Because having met him and had beers with him before the season even started – I got the idea baz wasn’t confident in lussick (due to his body language)

        Baz is a professional and would never bag anybody directly.

        But he didn’t look too confident when I mentioned lussick.

        But he did give a huge rap to Talagi & Tualagi (like you did)

        About the upside potential he said of them during the pre season.

      2. Muz

        60’s – I don’t know if lussick is hurt or not

        But after watching our cup team the last few weeks

        I don’t even know that Cayless would want lussick in the team changing their current hooker rotation

        It’s definitely working

        To put into context how average lussick has been this season

        If you look at our cup team & weekly performances as of late

        I don’t know that Lussick is a better option at #9 than Boods or Meni Luke?

        Both of our cup hookers possess great attacking ability’s and quality service from hooker

        It makes me sad to say it because he’s a human and obviously we don’t mean to always best people Down in our analysis of players

        But honestly – coach cayless may be better off sticking with his current hooker rotation

        That’s how poor lussick has been as a dummy half

        Maybe lussick is good but needed a reduction in minutes and more time to get into better form?

        But I can’t see that our NRL hooker lussick would even be better for our cup team at this point in time

        Than Boods + Luke.

        Maybe lussick is good but was overestimated by our coaching staff on his ability to fill the role of 80 mins hooker.

        He may be just injured? But just looking at our cup team weekly.

        I honestly can’t see how Boods or meni luke should be removed from the Cup 17 to accommodate him

        If Lussick isn’t injured and our cup side doesn’t want him playing over their current hookers

        It would be a big indicator of how bad lussick has been all year and a possible reflection of why Ba may have been moved on

        There’s rumours that the club wasn’t happy with BA wanting Hodgson (which failed) and lussick (which also kind of failed)

        And then his persistence of playing them over hands who’s clement been more effective both last year and this year

        Let’s hope it’s just rumours, and lussick is just injured

        It would be sad if lussick ends up on the outta already – it wouldn’t be good for his own well being or confidence moving forward in his career

      3. Zero58

        Just remember Bailey was hurt just before that and was hobbling with a knee problem. Cartwright had just gone for a HIA. The defense was out of kilter. It was bound to happen. I agree the chase could have been better.
        But the best sign is they didn’t give up. How many times of late we saw back to back tries. Cronulla would have been expecting Parra to drop off in the second half but they stood tall.

      4. Zero58

        I am glad you brought this out Mr Sixties because human emotions were involved concerning a close friend of the players who were not expecting it.
        They had to figure it out and how to adjust to it. Not only that but Souths had 74 percent possession for the first 27 minutes. Parra were gassed. Souths in the end were not that good and Parra did out score after the initial onslaught.

  11. Glenn

    Lussick was BAs pick from UK and was, without a doubt, the worse dummy half in NRL. Doesn’t run and extremely poor service, the ball literally went everywhere. Yet BA persisted with him because he was his recruit, typical BA stubbornness. Hands a lot better and just 2 players (3 if count Hands) makes the team go from cellar dwellers to almost champion club.

    Good game last nite BUT we’re still poor on the edges in D where most of Shark’s tries came from. Fix that and we’ll be a champion team imo.

    1. Muz

      As good as BA was as a coach in many aspects

      I agree from the evidence provided during his time maybe too stubborn picking lussick over and over again – when 99% of NRL analysts & fans for a long time could see it wasn’t working for our NRL team

      I spoke to Baz himself and had a beer without him before the season begun.

      Let’s just say his body language was not confident on lussick as our #9.

      My prediction before Baz even started was (I commented it here on this site on previous posts)

      Look out for Baz dropping lussick very quickly

      Baz is a gentlemen and didn’t speak badly about lussick

      But let’s just say he looked extremely un-confident before the season even begun about lussick as our 9.

      He did give huge raps to Talagi & Tualagi BEFORE the season began tho.

      Bad highly rated them as future great players for our club.

      Baz himself didn’t say anything bad about Lussick – but his friends indicated eels had a #9 problem (before season started)

      They obviously got this inside information from baz since the season hadn’t even begun.

      Let’s give props to Baz for so far making some nice adjustments, and allowing a more free flowing game of football.

      Baz is a former half – his mindset to win games is not only bash and win the collision to get a win.

      He’s a highly intelligent attacking former player who has have great success as a assist coach at clubs like Penrith.

      With a good spine & decent roster like ours at Eels.

      He might have something better to work with than his last jobs at places like bulldogs or manly years ago.

      Lussick this year has been the worst #9 in the nrl with Lane probably being the worst form back rower.

      Changing them up has been due for our team for many weeks.

      There’s no way we would of looked that good last night with lussick & lane playing in their former positions.

      And you know there’s a 80-95% chance BA would of had Lane at second row, Lussick at 9 still.

      Poor delivery and dropped balls would of Taken place – and we probably would not of won – if you go off the history of this year how bad we looked with those two players form in previous team positions.

    2. BDon

      Hands was far better than many seem to think he’s capable of. Not everyone can be Api or Grant but that was a first grade performance. The guy has never had the luxury of consistent time on the park. So with he, Moses and Gutho firing, that’s near a spine, then add in Dylan Brown…bingo.
      Yes, the Sharks were always going to nail us out wide, they’re very good at that, but that long range Kenndy try I reckon was a blot on our game, watch the kick chase by a few stragglers and you’ll see why the line was open to shredding. The classic 1%er…take a breather on the kick chase. Then I think it was Penisini who first rushed at Kennedy but there was little formation around him and Kennedy is a good stepper, we were in trouble immediately. Video session on that to show why some teams find winning hard.

      1. Zero58

        Just remember Bailey was hurt just before that and was hobbling with a knee problem. Cartwright had just gone for a HIA. The defense was out of kilter. It was bound to happen. I agree the chase could have been better.
        But the best sign is they didn’t give up. How many times of late we saw back to back tries. Cronulla would have been expecting Parra to drop off in the second half but they stood tall.

  12. pete

    Much improved effort.

    Moving Lane makes us much more mobile. Shame it wasn’t done earlier…. it frees up Dylan so much.

    That Sharks try showed a few lazy players slow to react.

    Good to see Sivo finally run over someone even though he was half his size. I really thought Blaize would be given his spot.

    When was the last time Gutho ran over 20 with almost 300m ? So good to see.

    Moses looking good. Could be selected in Origin 2?

    Reg punched out 60min just when I thought he couldn’t. The test is if he can back it up next week?

    Well done to the boys putting in the effort this week. Well overdue but welcomed.

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