Great win - but plenty to improve on

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First Grader
Premium Member
What I liked most - when the desperate Eels came back, Manly in 2022 would have folded and lost by 16.
And here's a few key points -

It's early season
We came off the bye
Played a desperate team

Still some of that defence in the red zone was terrible and the Hodgson try, he looked like Latrell Mitchell from 30m out ?
Some poor turnovers from Croker and Aloiai at critical times really gave them hope and Tuitilopu does not know how to stay on his wing and made some plays that had me in shock including dropping the ball where any NRL winger should score, ordinary bomb drops and continually coming in off his wing panicking....look at the other edge led by Parker, where they slid and shut down numbers confidently on every occasion.
Ready for the fire, but that's how I seen it

Great win - bonus to beat the Eels and maybe over expectatious, but happy to hear the views...


First Grader
Premium Member
Lots to like and lots to work on.

On the improvement side, Kelma certainly needs to work on his defence as does Schuster though I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as it is his first game back.

Tuipulotu......can be frustrating, hopefully Saab hits the ground running when he returns.

Great to get the win though and more positives then negatives

Dion Johnson

Premium Member
Tipping Member
Agree with work to be done, not much happening in the middle of the ruck, would like to see Gordy on the pine adding some speed in the middle.

The bench in general needs a bit of adjustment, I would like to see Fifita or young Fainu on the pine for Ben T, Weekes in the 13 for me also at right centre and Koula on the left.

In saying that a winning team is a good team, though can get better with few adjustments.


@maxta i think you've nailed it saying last year if this happened and the Eels were up 16-14....we lose and lose badly. And it becomes embarrassing.

There was some serious deficiencies tonight, but there was still a mental toughness to get the 2 points.


Reserve Grader
Tipping Member
Crocker was gassed very early tonight. He made a few crucial mistakes which swung the momentum Parra’s way in that 10mins before half time. I like Crocker but I feel as though we need two dummy halves. I know weekes came on later but I reckon either he needed to come on earlier or in future bring lawman on earlier. Was bloody hot down there and dummy halves are doing a crap load of work.


First Grader
I like the fact that we won and that many players really stood up.

I really don't like the fact that we nearly lost because 3 players didn't put in a first grade quality performance.


MWSE fanatic
Premium Member
Agree about last year we would have shat the bed and lost by 20 once we lost the lead, it was a positive we kept with them. There were a lot of areas we need to improve, and that is where Siebold will show if he is up to it.


Rarely does big posts worth reading....maybe
The end of that game was a debacle.

It's nice to beat quality opposition, at home, on super hot days (we did beat Parra 54-0 last time we played them in serious heat..) - but the way we fell apart at the end of that game had shades of the NthQld and Melb games from last year - as well as i'm sure other late-game capitulations I haven't mentioned.

Let's not kid ourselves, Guac's intercept try was against the run of play and was 6-pts we probs shouldn't have had. Take that out and we lose. Parker's try would have been called back and overruled if it was Atkins or some other prick as Ref. Then not even Guac saves us.

Both Gutho's tries were soft as sponge-cake, and momentum turners both times.

Playing that first 30 and going in only 4 in front at Half Time was disappointing. Having Parra in front in the early part of the 2H - concerning. We pulled it back, and whilst that was encouraging that we didn't mentally capitulate, it was not a win I would gloat about. How does Seibold say what needs to be said (as the defence coach he should be fkn ropable) without being too critical? We'll see...

Our completions went to absolute ****e in the 2nd half - to finish at what - 65%? - horrible. Souths will destroy us on that showing.

Our fitness - which looked so encouraging in the pre-season and Bulldogs game - seems to have disappeared in a fortnight after 1 week off with the bye. That's a worry. Lots of guys cramping in the conditions, some seriously. I get it, it was a sticky bog of a night - but the Parra team were not overcome as noticeably.

Our intensity in the early stages of each half was a positive - but we had drained the tank by 30-mins in 1st-Half and by 25mins in the 2nd. I couldn't even pin it on the defence on 1 edge, we were pretty horrible on both - but the left edge attack for Parra was more potent (basically where Parker wasn't - even though he wasn't perfect either).

That try to Hodgson was downright embarrassing. Their ability to score at will late in that 2nd half simply needs to be addressed or we will be lucky to make the 8 - and be churning out scores like tonight's 34-30, if we're lucky. Rubbish touch-footy crap.

Some player observations:
Tuipolutu - kid has some serious upside in return-carries and 1-on-1 hits (like big Jorge), but his ability to read the play is so far Suli-esque. I don't know if his ability to put in strong carries is worth 2-3 tries per game, as it feels like his decision making led to that many tonight.

Schuster's attack today showed a lot of promise, his timing and crisp passing accuracy was immensely impressive. However, his Defence has regressed and his fitness - even at his lighter weight - still needs to improve. I really hope he plays within his scope of role, as when he was involved in backline plays we almost looked certain to score on every jinking goosestepping no-look-pass he produced. Fkn mental skill-cap on that one.

Koula's miss on Gutho was unfortunate - that no other team member was awake to backup his aggressive pressure. Otherwise kid had an off night for him. A few mistakes, no really clean breaks. But far out I can't fault his enthusiasm - and how in the actual FK does he smash guys twice his size and hit the line the way he does with 3-4 guys and STILL make post-contact meters? I think he was off his best tonight, especially on our line, but he was still in our top-half.

Keppie was great, I thought. It was the little things he did in tackles to control the speed of play combined with some decent runs. Reminded me of his impact in the finals game against the Roosters in '21. Great when he's not making stupid errors too.

Paseka is a lot of pundit's pick for this game, and his level of involvement improved as the game went on I thought. Most importantly, he stood up at times we needed him to with some big carries when Parra were on the ascendancy. If he can get this hot'n'cold **** out of his game and maintain focus he can be a huge asset.

Aloiai finally had a cause worth getting riled up about - copping a shoulder-charge to the face, then immediately after getting penalised for a bit of over-roughage on a tackle. Then him and Guac absolutely minced some poor Parra fwd - and the team intensity lifted (for about 30-secs). Even if it was a brief lift however, it beats being completely derailed by rainbows.

Some of the players above are the ones I feel will either win or lose us the Bunnies game. Let's see what Seibold does to sort out the deficiencies of the night. Stoked we got the 2pts though, and other than Turbo's performance and not getting injured, that is what matters at this stage of the the year - we're 6pts clear of both the spoon and the Eels.


1. Turbo - great to see him slowly building back to his best - just needs to not fall for the dummy as the last defender and tackle the ball player

2. Tuipolotu - surely he cannot be picked again this season and I think we all know why!
3. Koula - did some good things and did some very dumb things (goes with experience I guess)
4. Parker - toiled well - strong in D - needed to run right through the lines when running decoy
5. Garrick - was relatively quiet imo - not sure if he was carrying a slight knock (hade tape on his knee) - could have cost us by missing the sitter
6. Shu - is so refreshing for our attack - adds another dimension - needs to practice his D though
7. Dce - thought was relatively quiet
8. Paseka - thought he was damaging
9. Crocker - made some early mistakes and never recovered - service was poor
10. Jake - worked his guts out - could do with a spell occasionally imo
11. Guac - was quiet in the first half but I don't think we win without him tonight
12. Tuilagi - did some good things in attack but another that needs to work on his defensive game
13. Aloai - was good in D - don't think he added much with carries etc

14. Weekes - was impressed with his service from 9 in comparison to crocker- would have loved to see him take a scoot out of dummy half
15. Bullermore - didn't have much impact either way tonight
16. Burbo - again didn't have much impact - nearly cost us a try on the line though when he was day dreaming
17. Keppie - thought his defence and carries were solid tonight - surprisingly no dropped balls

All in all stoked we got the 2 points but very frustrating to watch at times! As Jake said though "rather learn winning then learn losing"


Rarely does big posts worth reading....maybe
Crocker was gassed very early tonight. He made a few crucial mistakes which swung the momentum Parra’s way in that 10mins before half time. I like Crocker but I feel as though we need two dummy halves. I know weekes came on later but I reckon either he needed to come on earlier or in future bring lawman on earlier. Was bloody hot down there and dummy halves are doing a crap load of work.
Hard one.

Croker's most obvious error came off the back of a very good and enterprising dummy run through soft butter-like defence of a gassing Eels. We criticize him for not taking on the line, and I feel bad for him - he did it that time and did it well. He was pushing for a quick play-the-ball as he should, and got roughed up by Parra that forced an error. Coulda been a penalty to him if he was wearing blue & gold. Maybe.

His forward dummy-pass was line-ball I thought, but 2 quick errors in succession finished Froggy's night of self-expression.

He may have gassed. i didn't notice to be honest - but his stats suggest you might be on to something - 25 tackles all game with 5 ineffective is quite unlike him.

I suspect that Gordie - as much as we love him - might have been challenged by the conditions like the other youngsters were tonight. It was still 31-degrees at 715pm tonight on the beaches. And Lawton, coming off a 9-month layoff, would have to be herculean fitness-wise to face that on his first game back. You saw what it did to Josh Schuster tonight (as well as Guac/Tuipolutu).

Still think Lockie is judged rather harshly by some.


Rarely does big posts worth reading....maybe
If Tui retains his spot next week the vermon will put plenty on us. He drops bombs and has bad defensive reads. Kao to starting winger and Gordie to start off the bench.
GCKT can't play off the bench until Rd.11 i'm pretty sure.

CRPSI eagle

Reserve Grader
Crocker is rubbish and kept Parra in the game! Notice his passes are floaters and nog crisp.
If we had a gun Hooker tonight we would have smoked them by 30.
Time to move him on and we’ll never win anything with him at hooker.


Reserve Grader
eels score 2 late tries. hodgson scored running at schuster (cramp) . Titipulotu had to come rushing in as he was also suffering cramp, resulting in easy try for sivo. why were these 2 players not replaced?


Looking at improvement/flaws for individual players after tonight's game I think:

Tui is becoming a huge liability who's going to get targeted similarly to Taufua back in 2020

Croker was poor with some very soft errors and just lack of spark from the DH. Even weekes who doesn't play 9 looked much better when he came on. Imagine if GCKT was running around with Schuey and Turbo off his back. We need to make the tough choice on Lachlan.

Kelma has had a hot/cold start to the season but confident he will improve. Just some soft defence in him, especially in some effort areas. He's got to look at big bro Smole and replicate his game.

Schuster was fantastic, electric, and dangerous in attack. Defence is something that needs to be sured on though, especially his combination with Kelma because that looks dodgy and something a top team will target on if it's not fixed.

Tom was obviously great once again. Just something I'm noticing that's a bit questionable for me. It seems like Tom is avoiding contact in defence and doesn't want to try tackle and save tries like he used to back in like 2021. Examples, you can see he's very timid in attempting to make a tackle in the first Gutho try, then just lets Doorey run past in the 2nd try, then had positioning issues that let Gutho and Hodgson waltz for easy tries in the second half. It's just very un Tom-like for him not to be at the back being our last line of defence to cover some of those situations. Wondering if it's just to ease him back into footy and not make him have to make those tackles but it's something I'm noticing and can tell is not how Tom normally defends.

Uk eagle

Croker does it tough in the middle for 80 mins most weeks. It's ok for weekes to look better and sharper when he's only on for a cameo. Croker didn't have his best game and we do need extra spark from dummy half and have 2 fresh hookers rather than one exhausted one.


The good -
Schuster - special player and got a real cliff lyons flair. He a match winner in 6.
Olakau’atu- immense super talent, 2 tries from nothing. Give him what he wants.
Middles- very good again, special mention to Paseka very very good.
The bad -
Edge defence on right side - seen alot of lazy stuff quite concerned koula seems to have little idea in defence and tui is a dear in headlights, let in 3 tries ans bombed a certain one.
Tuilagi - awful missed tackle leading to eels 2nd try. Add dropped ball with overlap and stupid penalty.

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