OK i havent done this for last few rounds for a few reasons. For Manly game i had a Wedding that night, plus the NFL Draft was on all weekend so i watched that first then the replay of the game. By the time everything was done i lost my thoughts and felt no need to add to it as by the time it comes up the game is over and done with. Brisbane game i had things on and just go so busy. But i am back for this one as i have been under the weather for last 4-5 days, so resting while writing this before team list Tuesday.

You know it is bad that when Melbourne started putting on points i did not even react, compared to the Dolphins game where my dog was hiding under the stairs from my reactions. It is at the point where i was not surprised nor phased. Of course i do not want to see them lose like that, but lately i have been so unethusiastic about the team as a whole i am sort of in autopilot mode as a fan now. It is different to the days of say 2018 where i wanted BA gone then too but saw promise with the young players. This squad is much better than the 2018 squad and yet i feel the 2018 squad could get past them if they played today. When Moses was ruled out i thought we are going to struggle, however felt there was enough talent in the squad to hold us afloat just. 2 more wins out of the 7 without Moses would have us around 9th, sitting in an ok spot ready for Gutho and Moses to come back. Now it is fair to think had Moses not been hurt would we be in same predicament? Well no as i believe we get minimum 2 wins with him here, Wests being one. With that the team morale might be higher and we could have beaten say The Dolphins or Manly. Now in the first half i felt we were doing pretty well. Though again, it is pathetic and yet not surprising to have 48 points on us. It is a sign of how the club are feeling and where they are heading in terms of the age of the squad and the ideas they are handed. We can blame BA, i agree he deserves blame, but these players also need to show some pride, if they loved BA so much they would play for him. Yet just happily got embarrassed. Yet don't have the energy to get into them like i did in the Canberra and Dolphins losses, as it is common now.

Ok so i was writing this prior to the BA news, so just going to continue. I was not feeling well for the past week, i jumped out of bed like Grandpa Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hearing the news. It is news you think of and dream of happening, when it happens you don't know what to do. Overall, he did great for us, gave up a lot of effort and heartache and the way he went out was admirable where he fought til the end. 


We split the possession, yet completions were lopsided with 86% for Melbourne to our 72%. Melbourne ran for 179 more metres off 16 less runs, again is a common trope for Parramatta of late. 9 line breaks to our 5, 35 tackle breaks to our 25 and 21 offloads to our 20 capped off a dominant display for an overall better team. 11 errors to 9 from us and only 4 to 2 penalty count in Melbourne's favour. Not really to leaning in one way in terms of errors or giving away penalties just beaten old fashioned way.


Most Impressive:

Bailey Simonsson: Now this is more so least worst, but Simonsson is playing his way into a possible new deal. He has had a nice few weeks on the wing. He looks busy, he is bending the line and scoring tries. That is all i can say since it was not difficult to look ok in a team like this.

Blaize Talagi: Again the kid had mistakes, but is showing talent week in week out. Nearly 200 metres running again, which shows he has the ability to show up in games and get through work. Long way to go but he has a future.


Most Disappointing: 

Shaun Lane: Now Barrett is in charge, surely the axe will stop being sharpened and actually used. He needs a week or two away to get his head straight. Just a lack of focus and his body language screams disinterest. Not sure if it is the injuries last year knocked him around or what but he is getting dangerously close to getting the tap on the shoulder talk. Bring in Matt Doorey and see how he holds the spot for a week or two.

Joey Lussick: Let's be fair, if JA was not ran out of the club, MA would have debuted by now and pushing for Lussick's job. Hell, Hands can do his job just fine. Hands is a very basic Hooker, but this team needs that right now. Lussick has not gotten through one convincing 80min performance this year. He made a team high 41 tackles but missed 5. Whether it is MA or a new Hooker we somehow sign, we cannot persevere with Lussick starting.

Makahesi Makatoa: I like him, i feel he is a cheap and reliable member to keep in a squad. But what would have been his 50th NRL game against Souths may be gone with his average performance. 3 missed tackles, only 62 metres on 8 runs, 0 tackle breaks. Wiremu Greig might not be playing that well in Cup, but surely has more to offer. 

Will Pensini: Confidence is low and is not gaining any type of repreive from the opposition. One of his worst games in defence and is not making those runs that he was once making in the early rounds. Maybe now should look to shift him to the left when Lomax moves to the right next year. Penisini is still young enough to develop further but might be a new voice that gets him going again. 

Junior Paulo: Just not leading, he should move on from co-captain as he has not played well since. 109 metres off 13 runs, 17 tackles and 2 misses. No impact in a role where coming off the bench we needed impact. Junz is declining but i wonder if it is heading rapidly due how the form of the entire squad is going? I will say he spoke well as a captain in the presser, a record 0 words.


That is it, no point putting everyone on there as all of them in some way deserve blame. I was going to go into a where to go from here with BA, but now it is an audition for players to impress the new man in charge and an audition for Barrett. Is Barrett a chance of getting the job full-time? Yes, though very slight chance, he is definately a chance depending on how the coaching search is going and how the players respond. In the next 14 games, i can see 5-6 wins being realistic. Now if we go higher Barrett could be in for a chance. But i do not think he gets it based being there as an assistant and didn't work and past jobs.


As for team changes, well now all is up in the air. There will be changes, though where. First, Lane will be dropped with Tuilagi or Doorey starting the other to the bench. I also think MA will get a debut with Moretti dropping off the bench. Carty will start too with Matto to bench. Bench would look like Arthur, Matterson, Ofahengaue, Doorey/Tuilagi. I also can see Harper coming back in with Russell to the Wing for Sivo. 


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  • Great effort LB. Wonder if Barrett will try some new strategies and rotations.

    We're cooked. Our energy dropped off again second half again. You can just about set your clock to it.

    The thing is we overwork our ageing middles, relying on them for go forward, domination and to hold the defensive fort.

    Is it any wonder why we fall off a cliff in the second half, and our slow edges get exposed badly in a Vlandy's Universe which is all about Speed?

    • Great observations LB and HOE. Mine was almost totally the importance of having a fast scheming 9 jumping out frm the play the ball with his speed and having a dart or drawing defense and spreading the ball to set up a movement to go wide and use the speed of their outside men to outflank us time after time. No wonder we were tired in the 2nd stanza.  We had no answer to Grant who was a revelation. Oh to have a Jimmy Dymock type in our team again.                                  As you say Simmo is all effort and must be retained, but I excuse Penisini for not showing out, as he has been tremendous in defending our right side and doesnt get a lot of help with Moses missing. He's simply tired and you can understand that. He just needs a freshen up. I can understand the reason Reg and Junior are split up to start but they're more dynamic as a starting duo.           I've seen Lane, down on form and confidence, and when in support of the playmaker is too flat continually and repiticiously knocks on, not giving himself a chance to take it. Russell is too slow in making decisions with the ball and continually dies with the pill. Sivo has lost his mojo as well and sadly has to go down to cup. We wont get back to our best till we get some speed on our flanks and bring MA in>



  • Nice write-up LB on a tough week where positives were minimal.

    Good to see you back doing these. Hope you're on the mend.

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