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3274466905?profile=RESIZE_710xWe are favourites, shooting for three wins on the trot against a tigers outfit, whom would be looking to make amends for last week’s loss, as well as the 51-6 round 6 Bankwest demolition. That was their second worst loss to us, in their 20 year history, since the 66-12 annihilation in R11, 2001. Also, the Tigers tend to bounce back from losses and we tend to bounce back from wins with losses.  

A few points suggest this could be a danger game, if we're not switched on:

1. The three in a row challenge

It was 2 seasons ago, since we last won three in a row. Back in R26 of the 2017, beating Souths 22-16. We've been consistently inconsistent.

2. Eleven years: Since R23, 2008

It's been almost 11 years since we won three or more  in a row against the Tigers. Before Arthur’s tenure.  

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Back in R23, 2008, 40-12 a home game at Parramatta Stadium, where Nathan Hindmarsh, Feleti Mateo, Fuifui Moimoi, Jarryd Hayne all scored tries. That was the end of an 8 match winning streak against the Tigers. Oddly enough, Robbie Farrah,Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence played in that match and are playing this Sunday, almost 11 years on.  

3. The Sutton factor: 28%, 5 years, 11 years

We have won only 28% under him since 2009 – over a decade. 

 LLLLLLLLW. That's our recent history under Sutton - eight consecutive losses  - before our R6 demolition of the Tigers at Bankwest. Even he couldn't stop us, then.  

 But it’s been 5 long years since we last won two games in a row under Sutton. - like we’re trying to do this week. Back in August 2014.  

A win in R17 would be only the third time in 11 years – ever- we have won two in a row under Sutton. 

 From all 15 referees in our game we have the second worst record against Sutton. From all the refs that have refereed us, in our 72 year history, for over 10 games, Sutton is the third worst ever. Only Pearce Col (1947-68, 13.6%) and Kelvin Jeffers (1992-2000, 25%) are worse from an over 10 game sample size. Perenara looks like a walk in the park, with 44%. Jack Gibson used to complain about Greg Hartley. We had 63.6% under him.

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Sutton looks like the devil in comparison. Or at the very least there are striking similarities to him being our Lord Voldemort, are uncanny. Not just the striking similarities initheir body language and want to assume centre stage.

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Also, the Tigers have a much better record of 48.3% in 29 games under Lord Voldemort. And it’s their home game in theory. 

Will Sutton continue in the same vein as he has over the many years and spoil our party ? 

Meanwhile, it will be Adam Cassidy's first outing against us. Please be fair. And don't learn all your tricks off any older dogs that I shall not mention again.

4. LL WW L WW L WW

 Under Arthur’s reign that's been the form guide v the Tigers since 2014.  It suggests a loss is next, if this bizarre pattern continues. Nonetheless Arthur has a good 60% winning ratio against the Tigers overall.

5. And now for some good news.

 The Tigers have only won 1 game at Bankwest. And we're going marginally better than 2017. For now. 

At the end of R16 we’re on the same 18 points, 8 wins as we were in 2017, but now travelling a little better.  We’re currently 7th,  with the 4th best attack (333), and 3rd worst defence (322) and a +11 differential. At the same time R16 2017 we were in 8th, with he 9th best attack (282), 4th worst defence (318) and a  -36 points differential.  But 2017 we had a better away record. It suggests we’re a better attacking unit. I would also subjectively argue we have a better team than we did in 2017 with the additions of Fergo, Lane, Paulo, Sivo, and Dylan Brown.  However, in 2017, we went on to win  8 of the next 9 games to get us to 4th; and that’s quite a feat. It’s doubtful we will do that again, based on the evidence of 2019, hitherto. 

Looking at every year in the last 16 years, since 2004 (golden point started), 11-13 wins has been enough of an entry pass to the top 8. Except for last year. Incredibly, only 1 win separated no.1 from no.8, where every top 8 team had either 15 or 16 wins and points differiential separated the teams. 

So I would say we need another 5 wins to be safe as there is a 9 team log jam of 6-8 wins between 6th to 14th position. That's why this week is important. We need to continue the momentum.

Will we man up this week? Time will tell.  

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    • Great Blog HOE'y ......interesting stats but as my Lawyer always used to tell me......we can only control the controllable.

      That means we turn up, do our best, and have nothing in the tank at the end of it......only bad luck can beat us!

      • Thanks Pop. Yep I agree with your lawyer. Human nature is one of those variables, too.

        And I agree with your implied thoughts on stats, that we've covered before, to a degree. Stats are vignettes. Fragments. Symptoms. But they don't really show the whole picture. 

        You could summarise the whole picture for our beloved Eels in one word: culture.

  • I’m interested to see how this game plays out tactically. We ran our forwards in behind the play the ball to devastating effect in our first match up and the Tigers have worked on that relentlessly since and have shored that part of their game up.

    Farah out of dummy half worries me with our feeble marker defence and we are susceptible to forwards in behind the play the ball and simple dummyhalf runs.

    id like us to test in and around the play the ball early but play an expansive game like we did against the broncos. You can beat the Tigers on the outside then punch them through the middle. Attack Mbye defensively he’s a solid defender but often makes a decision early and gets pulled out of position defensively easily.

    We need to pressure the Tigers early , their a confidence side so you need to keep your foot on their head. Starting well will be imperative if we want to win this game because when you play the Tigers momentum is hard to take off them but the reverse also applies they find it harder then us to wrestle it back.

    • Good point Bup. Well articulated. I'm not sure Arthur has many different tactical gears.  I hope the guys at least do the basics well first. Run straight, hard, and tackle with intent, win the ruck and battle of collisions - first. Above all, play committed and focused. With courage and toughness. Like each others'  lives depended on it. And beat the bloody Tigers ! So we can enjoy this coming week!

      • HoE I thought we showed glimpses against the Broncos like Bup mentioned.

        Using the width stretch stretch stretch and make the Tigers defend the whole field.Then come back through the middle.

        • Coryn Hughes, Agree with both you and Bup. Well said & good insights.

          I'm just saying all the tactics in the world won't stop us from being stuffed plushies, if we don't turn up with the right attitude and desire.

          And work on changing this multiple-personality culture we seem to have.

          • Thumbs up no argument on what you’ve mentioned.

             

      • Good blog this one, especially after watching the dogs do a knight out, who would have thought that?!

        Without doubt this is a game that could determine how far the eels will go this year, I believe the eels will win but I have some concerns in the following areas.

        1:  BankWest.  Not sure that we can claim this match as a home ground advantage, even though it is our home ground, Wests will be banking on the aspect that we think its a foregone conclusion for a win, and its an area where the team has to be focused on the opposition and not those in the stands, nor the brand of the ground, it could be an advantage if heads are screwed on properly.

        2: Wests team. There are 11 players in this weeks game that played in the round one defeat. Reynolds being out and replaced by Marshal is perhaps the biggest change, put him and Farrah together and both, more especially Marshal has given the eels big headaches over the years. Farrah not far behind either.  Add Thompson to the list and he's shown a lot of danger runs this year so 3 big areas to be watched.

        3:  Eels team there are 5 players from that game that are not in this weeks side, they being MJ, Alvaro, Mannah, Kafusi and Stone. Key changes I believe are Salmon to bench, Ferguson on the Wing,  Two Browns, and Evans who has started to show his form.

        4:  Refs  The same two I believe are refereeing this match.

        5:  Points for and against.  The eels have more points scored than Wests 68 more in for column HoE has pointed out, likewise the defence is 9 worse than Wests.   In essence we are better placed in that line.

        6: The key though I think in why we should win is the difference and changes in the team, No Fergo last time round and he will be looking for a continuation of his SOO form. The two browns add a lot to the team, especially NB. Overall I believe this is a stronger team than in the first match but, I also believe Wests are also potentially stronger.

        Lastly I don't see another scoreline like the first round match.

        • Good points Colin. Good post.

           

    • Hi Bup, as usual you have summed it up pretty well and your right Farah could cut us to ribbons if the marker defence is similar to what we let Cam Smith get away with, Farah is capable of the same.

      That being said and we have been vulnerable there all year, I have hopes that DBrown will read this better than we have managed previously. I don't expect him to do the actual tackling, although he will contribute as much as direct the defence there by the nature of his own tackling ability which is streets ahead of Smith and Salmon. NBrown also adds the obvious line speed.

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