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It was a fantastic inspiring moment for me. - If I manage to find video on what I saw indoors of Dylan coming through the paid members section that finally opens up to the whole stadium as the players run out to the field I'll put it up here. 

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  • Superstar wingers in NRL semi spotlight

    4 hours ago

     

    Parramatta's game-breaking wing duo of Blake Ferguson and Maiko Sivo have an unlikely fan in Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy.

    The Storm mentor says he loves to watch the in-form duo play, with the exception of an 80 minute period on Saturday night at AAMI Park when his Storm host the Eels in their must-win semi-final.

    "Fergie (Ferguson) adds a little bit of interest to any game he plays," Bellamy said.

    "He's a very colourful personality and I love watching him play, when he ain't playing against us - he's really good for our game."

    The match sees rugby league's version of the awesome foursome in action, with the Storm boasting their own top-shelf speedsters in Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu.

     

    Sivo has usurped Vunivalu as the leading Fijian flyer in the competition, leading the try-scoring tally with 22 in his debut season - the same figure the Storm winger racked up in his rookie year.

    Vunivalu, who held the titles in 2016 and 2017, has only managed 10 this year.

    "Suli's been a really good player for us for a long period of time," Bellamy said.

    "Young Sivo - he's obviously scored more tries than anyone else in his debut season so there's a few comparisons there so they will be excited about playing against each other.

    "We've got two of the best wingers in the game on either side of the field so I'm sure the fans are looking forward to that."

    Two years younger, Vunivalu said he hadn't crossed paths with Sivo in their homeland but the pair played together in Fiji's Test this year and became close friends.

    In the mid-season match against Lebanon they shared the spoils collecting two tries each in the 58-14 victory.

    The Storm gun said he was looking forward to the challenge of taking on a fellow Fijian.

    "It's not every week you verse a Fijian on your wing so I can't wait for Saturday," Vunivalu said.

    "Everyone in Fiji loves supporting any Fijian that puts a jersey on, especially at NRL level.

    "I know everyone will be supporting at home. Especially from his village and where I'm from."

    https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/superstar-wingers-in-nrl-semi-spotligh...

    Superstar wingers in NRL semi spotlight - Nine Wide World of Sports
    Craig Bellamy says he's looking forward to the wing clash between Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vu...
  • https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/superstar-wingers-in-nrl-semi-spotligh...

    Eels playmaker Mitchell Moses has earned a huge plaudit from Andrew Johns, with the Eighth Immortal branding him "probably the best half in the competition" on current form.

    Moses has been on fire for Parramatta this season, topping the NRL's try assist chart. He has 31 for the year after adding another two in Sunday's 58-0 finals thumping of Brisbane.

    His tally leads Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary (27, from five fewer games), while Daly Cherry-Evans is the closest halfback (24). Storm No.6 Cameron Munster, Moses' opponent in Saturday's elimination final at AAMI Park, has 19 try assists this season.

    Johns told Wide World of Sports that Moses was in exceptional form, but also offered a warning ahead of the Melbourne showdown.

    "I think Mitchell Moses has got to be careful," Johns said on Freddy and the Eighth.

     

    "Sometimes you have those really big wins, massive wins, and you can take that mindset of the last 20 minutes into the next game. He has to build it again, he has to break down the Storm wall by field position and his kicking game.

    "Which I don't think will be a problem, because at the moment he is just ... he's probably the best half in the competition."

    https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2Fef400f60-7bb9-40ae-a0e3-0a9914034a10
    Mitchell Moses has been in great form for the Eels. (Getty)

    NSW coach Brad Fittler, who has flirted with the idea of picking Moses for State of Origin in the past, agreed that the Eels No.7 would need to regroup.

    "Gus (Gould) used to always use a good analogy of a cricketer going into the second day after scoring a hundred," Fittler said on Freddy and the Eighth.

    "The next day, he didn't go out like it was the last over; he'd have to rebuild the innings and start again. Get your eye in and go again."

    Fittler has backed Melbourne to win on Saturday after being upset by Canberra in their opening final, but Johns believes that Parramatta will cause another boilover.

    "Two points, I've got the Eels winning by," he said.

    "They play a style of footy which worries the Storm. They offload, they move the ball. But it's a fine line. You have to do that without making errors. I'm going to go the Eels (because of) momentum and the way they play."

    https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/parramatta-eels-mitchell-moses-best-ha...

    Superstar wingers in NRL semi spotlight - Nine Wide World of Sports
    Craig Bellamy says he's looking forward to the wing clash between Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vu...
  • Tigers set to grant Matterson permission to negotiate as Titans option looms

    Author
    Michael ChammasChief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Fri 20 Sep 2019, 01:03 PM
    Michael Chammas

    The Wests Tigers are set to grant Ryan Matterson permission to negotiate with rival clubs, as his position at the club becomes almost untenable.

    Tigers officials and players are furious with the way Matterson has conducted himself over the past few weeks and are bracing themselves to part ways with the 24-year-old forward.

    Matterson's management requested to negotiate with clubs last week, and the Tigers will grant him formal permission to do so in the coming days.

    It comes as the Gold Coast looms as a potential destination for the disgruntled forward, who has a close affiliation with incoming coach Justin Holbrook during their time together at the Sydney Roosters.

    Holbrook was instrumental in luring Matterson from Parramatta to the Roosters, making him captain of the under 20s team he coached.

    Matterson and Holbrook are managed by the Orr brothers.

    The Tigers are aware of interest in Matterson north of the border, however won’t agree to releasing him to any club unless they reach a favourable outcome.

    The club is in the process of drawing up a hit list of targets to replace Matterson.

    Wests Tigers backrower Ryan Matterson.
    Wests Tigers backrower Ryan Matterson.©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

    The joint venture is on the lookout for a fullback and would entertain a swap deal for AJ Brimson.

    The Titans, who declined to comment on potentially signing Matterson, are trying to free up space in their salary cap for next season, with several players being shopped to rival clubs.

    The option of placing a transfer fee on Matterson’s release has also been discussed.

    The Tigers showed last year, through the way they handled the Ivan Cleary saga, that they would only release someone if they benefited from it.

    That came in the form of a $250,000 compensation pay-out.

    The other option for Matterson is understood to be Parramatta, with the Eels keeping a close eye on things between the Tigers and the potential future representative player.

    Matterson, who was 18th man for NSW during this year's State of Origin series, has been a no-show at training the past few days, granted leave by the club to sort out personal issues.

    The club also provided him with support to deal with those issues, despite their frustrations with the situation.

    Matterson still has two more years to run on his deal worth around $350,000 a season.

    The club has been dealing with Matterson on this issue for almost two months, when concerns were first raised about the forward’s feelings towards coach Michael Maguire.

    Club officials also believe the events that have unfolded over the past weeks are part of a push for more money.

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/20/tigers-to-grant-matterson-permi...

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  • Stat Attack: can Parra's record-breakers snap Storm hoodoo?

    Author
    Chris KennedyNRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Fri 20 Sep 2019, 12:08 PM
    Chris Kennedy

    The red-hot Eels ripped up the record books when they humbled the Broncos in week one of the Telstra Premiership finals series – and they'll need to make some more history to get past minor premiers Melbourne on Saturday night.

    The Blue & Golds have been involved in the two most one-sided matches of the 2019 Telstra Premiership.

    In round nine, they suffered the biggest loss of the regular season, a 64-10 belting at the hands of the Storm up at Suncorp Stadium for magic round.

    That 54-point loss remained the biggest margin of the year until the Eels bettered it, this time on the right side of the ledger, with their 58-0 demolition of the Broncos at Bankwest Stadium in Sunday's elimination final.

    That, perhaps poetically, sets up a rematch against the Storm in this Saturday's semi-final.

    So how much can we read into either result heading into this weekend, and which Eels team will show up?

    NRL.com Stats has crunched the numbers on that stunning victory at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday as well as some of the stats standing between the Eels and an unlikely preliminary final berth.

    stat-attack-1-possession_20190919.jpg?center=0.3%2C0.5&preset=photo-inline

    Historic win

     

    Last Sunday's 58-0 demolition was the biggest ever win by the Eels over Brisbane and the Broncos' biggest ever loss against any side. It was also the biggest ever team score and biggest ever margin of victory in any first-grade rugby league final going back to 1908.

    But in terms of the sheer in-game dominance, NRL.com Stats has also uncovered some other remarkable figures. In terms of the possession rate and run metres, the proportion of Parramatta's dominance came in at No.1 for any NRL game this year.

    The possession tally finished 65% to 35% in the Eels' favour. In the 195 NRL games this season prior to Sunday, the next biggest disparity was in Manly's win over Wests Tigers in round 22 when they held 64% to 36%.

    It's been six years since a team so dominated the Steeden in an NRL game, when North Queensland dismantled Wests Tigers in Townsville 12-tries-to-one with a 64-6 win in round 22 of 2014 with 67% of the ball.

    The difference in tackles made last Sunday was 149 as the Broncos were forced into 352 tackles compared to just 203 for the Eels. Only that Manly-Tigers game produced a bigger difference this year with Wests asked to make 170 tackles more than Manly in that game.

    "From 1-17 everyone played their part and we should definitely be happy with the way we performed," forward Tepai Moeroa told NRL.com. "It's the first time this year we've all played as a team for 80 minutes. It's a good time to do that."

    stat-attack-2a-run-metres_20190919.jpg?center=0.3%2C0.5&preset=photo-inline

    Eels run Broncos ragged

     

    While possession and defensive numbers were weighted hugely towards the Eels it is the run metre figures that are really eye-catching.

    Parramatta's 2106 metres was the second-best run metre tally by any team in a game this year, behind only Wests Tigers' recent thrashing of the Knights in which they racked up 2208 metres.

    Brisbane's 812 meanwhile was easily the worst running tally in any game this year, with Manly's 980 metres in a big loss at home to Melbourne in round 24 the only previous time this year a team has failed to reach 1000 run metres in a game.

    Needless to say the disparity in team run metres of 1294 is easily the biggest in any game this year. The biggest previous differential of 976 metres came against the Eels in their big Magic Round loss to the Storm. Sunday's figure trumps that one by a third.

    The only time in the past six years a bigger difference was recorded was in the final round of last year's regular season when Souths monstered the luckless Tigers 51-10 at ANZ, outrunning them by 1328 metres (2190 to 862).

    Defensive improvement

     

    For all the chatter about the monster score racked up by the Eels it was the decision-making, intensity, line speed and contact in defence that set the tone.

    It's been an area of huge improvement for Brad Arthur's men over the back end of the season; they are 6-2 since a poor loss at Lottoland in round 18 and even the two losses they conceded just 12 and 17 points.

    From round 1-19 the Eels averaged 22.1 points per game conceded; from round 20 through week one of the finals that figure is just 10.7 per game.

    "Semi-finals is all about defence. I say it all the time, defence wins games and defence won that game," centre Michael Jennings told NRL.com.

    "To keep them to nil is unreal, the first time we've done that this year. We've been working really hard on our defence and we need to step it up another level this week."

    Parra no road warriors

     

    The Eels finished the regular season with the equal-best home record of any side, with nine wins and three losses. However, they are the only team still left in the title race to finish with a losing away record (5-7).

    That gets even worse when you narrow it down to their top-eight rivals. In away games against 2019 top-eight teams the Eels finished with no wins and five losses at an aggregate score of 178-72, or an average of 36-14. Even factoring in a 'home' win against the Raiders in Darwin doesn't paper over the cracks.

    And Melbourne has not been a happy hunting ground for the Eels historically; they have six wins and 11 losses at all Melbourne grounds (from Docklands to Etihad to AAMI Park) since the Storm entered the competition in 1998.

    The Eels have never beaten the Storm in a finals game in five attempts and are 0-3 in finals matches in Victoria, losing the 2006 1st v 8th qualifying final, the 2007 grand final qualifier, as well as that narrow 18-16 loss two years ago in the 1st v 4th qualifying final.

    Minor premiers don't usually fade away

     

    Just once in NRL history have the minor premiers vanished from the title race in straight sets. That came under the old McIntyre system when the fast-finishing 2009 Eels snuck into eighth spot and upset minor premiers the Dragons, who then lost a tricky away game to Brisbane in a shock result that eventually spelled the end for McIntyre.

    Prior to that, you have to go back to 1993 when minor premiers Canterbury went out in straight sets in a top-five finals series.

    Other minor premiers to lose the first week of the finals include the 2014 and 2015 Roosters; both of those were against the team that finished fourth.

    In 2014 they went down 19-18 to the Panthers in week one and in 2015 it was the Storm who beat them by two points in the qualifying final.

    In both instances the Tricolours bounced back to beat the team that came fifth the following week at home – the exact task currently facing Melbourne.

    In 2008 minor premiers Melbourne also lost in the opening week in to eighth-placed Warriors and beat fifth-finishing Brisbane a week later.

    The fourth-placed Panthers knocked off minor premiers the Roosters in 2014.
    The fourth-placed Panthers knocked off minor premiers the Roosters in 2014.

    Before that you have to go back to 1998's 20-team comp and 10-team finals series when the minor premiers didn't even play the first week of the finals. That year Brisbane lost their first finals outing to fourth-placed Parramatta before beating third-finishing Storm a week later. 

    The Eels know the way last Sunday played out will have little relevance when they run onto AAMI Park this Saturday.

    "It's going to be a different game. The game we played on the weekend is not the game that's going to be played on Saturday night," Jennings said.

    "It's going to be a grind for 80 or even 90 minutes. After losing last week they'll come our firing, they're too good of a team not to."

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/20/stat-attack-can-parras-record-b...

    News
    Breaking NRL news, scores, team lists, squads, casualty ward, injury news, trades news, judiciary, draft news
  • Eels anticipate a 'dogfight' with the Storm

    The Parramatta Eels are looking to dominate with their forward pack to allow their strike weapons to pounce in attack against the Storm, but they are wary of the tough Melbourne outfit

    Yesterday

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/19/eels-anticipate-a-dogfight-with...

    Eels anticipate a 'dogfight' with the Storm
    The Parramatta Eels are looking to dominate with their forward pack to allow their strike weapons to pounce in attack against the Storm, but they are…
  • Vunivalu and Sivo set for semi final face-off

    NRL Teams panellists Geoff Toovey and Brett Kimmorley discuss the mouthwatering match-up between Suliasi Vunivalu and Maika Sivo in the semi-final between the Storm and Eels

    7 hours ago

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/20/vunivalu-and-sivo-set-for-semi-...

    Vunivalu and Sivo set for semi final face-off
    NRL Teams panellists Geoff Toovey and Brett Kimmorley discuss the mouthwatering match-up between Suliasi Vunivalu and Maika Sivo in the semi-final be…
  • Video kills the Storm star: Why Munster lies to Bellamy

    Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Munster admits he’s not a fan video review and Coach Craig Bellamy is not happy about it

    7 hours ago

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/20/video-kills-the-storm-star-why-...

    Video kills the Storm star: Why Munster lies to Bellamy
    Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Munster admits he’s not a fan video review and Coach Craig Bellamy is not happy about it
  • Storm v Eels: Evans back from ban to face unchanged Storm

    Author
    NRL.com
    Timestamp
    Fri 20 Sep 2019, 04:18 PM

    The Storm missed a golden opportunity to earn a week off when they lost Saturday's qualifying final in the final minutes to Canberra in Melbourne.

    There's no more chances this week as they host the in-form Eels in a do-or-die clash.

    The winner will advance to a preliminary final showdown with the Roosters at the SCG in week three while the loser will be left to ponder what might have been.

    The Eels advanced to week two of the finals by destroying Brisbane in Sunday's elimination clash at Bankwest Stadium and coach Brad Arthur will have his side fired up for an upset in the Victorian capital.

     

    The Rundown

     

     

    Team news

     

     

    Storm: No change for the minor premiers after the narrow loss to the Raiders.  Cameron Munster's return from a shoulder injury went smoothly against Canberra so Brodie Croft is again listed among the reserves. His season appears to be done and dusted unless the Storm suffer an injury in the halves. Brandon Smith is good to go after being hampered by a bout of the flu earlier in the week.

    Eels: Just the one change to the starting 13 which took Brisbane to the cleaners with Kane Evans back from a one-game suspension. Evans slots in at prop with Daniel Alvaro reverting to the bench and Ray Stone going to the reserves. 

    3577827811?profile=RESIZE_930x

     

    Key match-up

     

    Cameron Munster's dominance at five-eighth has not only been integral in the Storm's success, the Queensland Origin rep has had the best season of his career. Munster will be facing one of the best young playmakers in the NRL in the form of Parramatta's 19-year-old rookie Dylan Brown.

     

    For the Storm to win

     

    They need to continue to build their game around what they do defensively and that will translate to confidence and assertion in attack. It's up to Munster, Cameron Smith and Jahrome Hughes to get their kicks to the right spots, Jesse Bromwich has to lead the forwards, while dynamic fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen looms as a match-winner if it's close down the stretch.

     

    For the Eels to win

     

    Don't be intimidated by the aura of AAMI Park. If Parra can get away to a positive start and score some early points it might create some minor panic among the Storm and disrupt their game plan. By the same token the Eels can't get flustered if the Melbourne side gets away to a flyer. Moses proved against Brisbane that he can handle the bright lights of finals footy, while the contributions of the back three of Clint Gutherson, Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson will be crucial.

     

    Brett Kimmorley says

     

    Parramatta will go to Melbourne without any fear after a massive victory last week. They played once during the season in Magic Round and the Storm flogged Parra, but that scarring will be gone because of how well they played last week. They should go to Melbourne with confidence, Mitchell Moses is in career-best form and he's managing games really well. The Storm are lacking in game management at the moment and there's a bit of vulnerability in their game. If the Eels can play that brand of football they played last week and back themselves, we should see an arm wrestle for the full 80 minutes. Storm by 1.

     

    Stat Attack

     

    Eels winger Maika Sivo's 20 tries topped the NRL in 2019, while his 21 line breaks ranked second. Eels halfback Mitch Moses was first in try assists (24), kicks (326) and kick metres (8,954). They were both at their best in Sunday's emphatic triumph over the Broncos.

     

    And another thing ... 

     

    It's 10 years since Melbourne beat Parramatta in the 2009 grand final, a trophy which was later stripped due the Storm's salary cap breaches. Eels fans have long memories - they will want revenge.

     

    Experience the 2019 Finals Series and 2019 Women’s Premiership live. Make sure you get your tickets now

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/16/storm-v-eels-semi-final-preview/

     

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    Breaking NRL news, scores, team lists, squads, casualty ward, injury news, trades news, judiciary, draft news
  • Bellamy: Experienced players must rally around spine

    Craig Bellamy wants his more experienced players to help the younger members of the Storm's spine against Parramatta

    Yesterday

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/09/19/bellamy-experienced-players-mus...

    Bellamy: Experienced players must rally around spine
    Craig Bellamy wants his more experienced players to help the younger members of the Storm's spine against Parramatta
  • Whilst I initially found this blog quite odd in that u appeared to be constantly replying to yourself it’s actually quite handy and saves me having to trawl through different sites looking at stories for the eels. So.....thanks I guess.

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