A Member's Perspective - Round Seven, 2013

We were tested against Melbourne and did a great job.


Next we had a rest, saw some of our best players in their rep jerseys and now we are ready for our next test - Manly - a team many are fearful of.


We have only beaten them three out of our last ten games, all being home games and tight scores.


At one stage they beat us in every game between 1993 and 1998 and shut down our dreams with a thud in 2007 in our first Finals appearance since reinstatement.


They are a bit of a bogey team for us, but I'm confident that this will no longer be the case.


Our army will cross The Spit on Friday night and our soldiers will take the field to turn this tide and shake the history books.


There are some good match ups against Manly that are exciting. The one that stands out is Reynolds vs Cherry Evans.


Both recent number one rookies with potential to don the number seven one day for their State.


Level heads, great kicking games and the ability to dominate the field.


However these men cannot dominate unless their forwards get them in suitable field position, so Stewart, Kite and Watmough vs Burgess, Teo and Asotasi is the key.


We cant let Manly have field possession in our half. They know how to capitalise, they know where the try line is so if our big men push hard (especially in the opening 20) then we can give Reynolds that opportunity to dominate over Cherry Evans.


I am nervous because the table up top is tight. There is no room to lose because the Knights, Titans and (God help us) the Roosters are right behind us and would love to join us on points.


However, just because I am nervous doesnt mean my faith isnt at a high.


I can see us ruining Manlys party.


I can see Sutton pushing his worth after missing out on playing for City last week. He has really impressed me this season so far.


I am sure I have said it before, but he is reminding me more and more of Trent Barrett in his prime. In Origin (when NSW were contenders) if Barrett was given the ball with only ten metres to the line his opposition would be puzzled, wouldnt know what he was going to do and when he took on the line he was unstoppable.


Sutton is showing this talent, and week after week getting stronger and better. This confidence is developing not only because he is growing as a player but his partnership with Reynolds has taken the pressure off his shoulders, which has seen him settle and foresee the right plays at the right time.


In the past we used to rely on individuals showing singular glimpses of brilliance to score tries like Joven Clarke scoring long distance tries, or Owen Craigie chip kicking and hoping to regather to set up a try. But now a patience has fallen over the team. We know there is 80 minutes to win a game and we have Melbournised to wear down a team. Tries come from set plays and it is clear the team works hard in training to cross the line in the game.


A try is now a team effort and it is an honour to watch.


The main thing I would like to see us improve on in this game though, is more repeat sets.


When we got our first repeat set in the second half against Melbourne the crowd grew. The noise we made just because we got a repeat set was enormous. It was as though the crowd knew that when we grind a team we dictate, almost as though we know a try is eminent.


I want this against Manly. I want to knock the powerhouse from Brookvale down, and I want our boys to do it in style.


Let's outplay them, let's beat them at their own game and break their winning form against us at Brookie.


Souths are like a power ballad. Last year was the introduction of the song, the bit that evokes your interest.


This year we are building the voice, warming the cords to belt it out to give the goose bumps in the finals.


I'm confident we will hit that high note when it counts this year.


2013 might be unlucky for some, but its not going to bother us.


I look forward to this game and hopefully getting over the top of Manly and regaining second place on the table.


I hope my fellow Members and fans have this same confidence and I look forward to cheering our boys across the line.


Up the MIGHTY Rabbitohs!