The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – The King’s Double Ton Edition

NRL Team List

Round 14, 4:00PM Monday, Accor Stadium


Welp, the Parramatta Eels couldn’t even go a week with good vibes and good luck in harmony. An upstart victory over the Cronulla Sharks helmed by the returns of Clinton Gutherson and Mitchell Moses has quickly given way to awful news of Bailey Simonsson’s season ending ACL injury while the future of Ryan Matterson is now shrouded in uncertainty due to neurological concerns.

While it is a vicious combination blow to the guts of the team and fans in equal measure, I can’t begin to imagine the frustration and consternation both players must be feeling right now. Bailey has been nothing short of heroic for the club as he battled through a partial tear of his ACL for weeks on end now and his absence will be a huge loss to the team. The timing is also particularly brutal given that he is off-contract but his 2024 form still gives him a good platform to negotiate from and ideally, he and the club has hash out a deal.

Matteron’s health issue has far more significant long-term concerns given his history with concussions and I can’t fault him for taking extremely cautious steps with any recovery process. Given that we are seeing players willingly (and correctly) walking away from the game for the sake of the health of their brain, I won’t fault Matterson for doing the same if it ends up leading to that path.

Trent Barrett has adjusted his team in light of these developments as Blaize Talagi returns to the starting team in the centres. Sean Russell is back on the right flank as a result where he reunites with Will Penisini while Talagi partners up with Maika Sivo. I do have serious concerns about the defensive fragility of the left edge as a direct result of the changes but it is also pretty clear that Barrett is essentially hand-cuffed in what he can do due to injuries and a short roster.

J’maine Hopgood is expected to back up from his maiden State of Origin game with the long turnaround to Monday aiding him in that regard. Joe Ofahengaue returns to the interchange bench and it is a beefy rotation to take on the Bulldogs with Shaun Lane, Makahesi Makatoa and Wiremu Greig named to win the middle of the field.

Fittingly, given that it is the King’s Birthday long weekend, Clinton Gutherson runs out for his 200th NRL game in a massive milestone for an iconic Eel. Long may he reign.

The Bulldogs have been one of the big improvers this year after years of false starts and futile attempts to rebuild and sport a 6-6 record as a result. They dusted up the Newcastle Knights 32-2 last week and welcome back Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton this week in a big double boost. Someway, somehow the bookies have installed the Eels as early favourites for this clash but that feels very speculative. The Dogs have played some good footy over the last month and will ask plenty of questions down both edges – even without Viliame Kikau.

A win is mandatory for the Blue & Gold if they are to build towards an unlikely tilt at the Top 8 but they will have their work cut out for them on Monday. The result, whichever way it falls, will likely tell us a lot about whether the Eels are ready to make a serious attempt to build on the big win over Cronulla.

Parramatta Eels Canterbury Bulldogs
Clinton Gutherson 1 Connor Tracey
Maika Sivo 2 Jacob Kiraz
Will Penisini 3 Bronson Xerri
Blaize Talagi 4 Stephen Crichton
Sean Russell 5 Blake Wilson
Dylan Brown 6 Matt Burton
Mitchell Moses 7 Toby Sexton
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8 Max King
Brendan Hands 9 Reed Mahoney
Junior Paulo 10 Samuel Hughes
Kelma Tuilagi 11 Jacob Preston
Bryce Cartwright 12 Jaeman Salmon
J’maine Hopgood 13 Kurt Mann
Joe Ofahengaue 14 Bailey Hayward
Shaun Lane 15 Josh Curran
Makahesi Makatoa 16 Kurtis Morrin
Wiremu Greig 17 Lipoi Hopoi
Daejan Asi 18 Poasa Faamausili
Morgan Harper 19 Blake Taafe
Joey Lussick 20 Jake Turpin
Ryan Matterson 21 Drew Hutchinson
Luca Moretti 22 Harry Heyes
NSW Cup Team List

Round 14, 5:40PM Friday, WIN Stadium


Dreams of a 5-game win streak were snapped by the Newtown Jets amidst errors and poor goal-kicking but the Eels still pushed the Bluebags even in spite of the aforementioned. They have no time to lick their wounds as they travel to Woolongong to take on the 5th placed Dragons on Friday night.

Nathan Cayless has rolled out largely the same roster as we have grown accustomed to through the last month as Joshua Lynn returns to the halves. Curiously, both Daejarn Asi and Joey Lussick are absent from the team sheet although they are present in the extended NRL roster. Could they be late inclusions to the side ahead of kick-off on Friday?


1 Zac Cini
2 Lorenzo Mulitalo
3 Jake Tago
4 Morgan Harper
5 Isaac Lumelume
6 Joshua Lynn
7 Ethan Sanders
8 Luca Moretti
9 Matt Arthur
10 Brock Parker
11 Dan Keir
12 Matt Doorey
13 Charlie Guymer
15 Meni Luke
16 Kyle Cassell
17 Will Latu
17 Reece Alderton


Jersey Flegg Team List

Round 14, 11:15AM Saturday, Collegians Sporting Complex


A huge comeback victory against the Cronulla Sharks was exactly what the Eels needed in the Flegg and now they need to back it up against the Dragons this week. Fortunately, they are fielding a consistent roster from round-to-round with only the availability of Joshua Lynn hanging in the balance. They take on St George on Saturday as they look to keep their campaign alive.


1 Zach Hunter
2 Mohamed Alameddine
3 Antioch Faitala-Mariner
4 Araz Nanva
5 Beau Newlands
6 Apa Twidle
7 Matthew Hunter
8 Sam Tuivati
9 Ryley Smith
10 Teancum Brown
11 Jock Brazel
12 Dom De Stradis
13 Saxon Pryke
15 Yehya Ayache
16 Max Tupou
17 Damascus Neemia
19 Raf De Stradis
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9 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – The King’s Double Ton Edition

  1. Eels93

    Probably the most logical choice. Get Blaize as much game time as possible, in the hope he will be a walk up starter somewhere in the backline.

    I would really love to see either Doorey, MA, Moretti or Guymer on the bench over Makatoa. He is 31 now and not required with 3 other middles on the bench. He is meant to be a defence oriented player but he has missed his mark too often this year.

    On another note. Does anyone think that Lynn can be our genuine back up next year? With potentially Asi at 5/8? He has handled himself well in Cup and looked to have a hand in every try in the flegg game on the weekend. Seems to be building into senior footy nicely.

  2. BDon

    Tks Forty, the Dogs won’t forget how easily they whacked us out wide when they finally got some good ball back in March. They frustrated the Knights last week with good defensive formation and scramble. Even without Addo-Carr their backs look fast and strong, we seem to be looking to the forward battle however, and if we can replicate last weeks discipline, we’ll be a big chance.

  3. pete

    So sorry for Bailey. He’s been playing injured and putting in 100%. Out for the season and not signed by the club in 2025.

  4. Muz

    Our edge defence will be blasted on blaize’s side all night – we need a miracle performance defensively or the dogs will snag a easy 2-4 tries on that edge.

    Let’s hope they been practicing a lot and gotten blaize’s defence optimised fingers crossed 🤞

    1. Eels93

      I am pretty confident he will be next to Sivo. It will definitely be our weaker side but I’m not expecting an avalanche.

      He’s only played 1 game at centre and that was with Harper on the wing. In that game we beat a good Manly side. If we hold the middle he’ll be fine.

      1. Leigh

        Actually I’d prefer Blaize at centre; he came up through the juniors playing 5/8 and centre.

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