2015 Return to Redfern Preview
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Northern Pride
Saturday 14 February 2015
Two champion Clubs will come together this Saturday on the hallowed turf of Redfern Oval, as the State Championship winning Northern Pride come up against the reigning NRL Premiers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Both Clubs were at ANZ Stadium on Grand Final day 2014, with the Pride defeating the Penrith Panthers in the first clash of its type – NSW Cup winners (Penrith), playing Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup champions for supremacy, right before the Rabbitohs defeated the Bulldogs to claim Premiership glory.
Now, the two champion sides will trade blows at the spiritual home of the Rabbitohs in a pre-season clash that is sure to be a just remedy for your Rugby League withdrawal symptoms.
A youthful Rabbitohs side will take the field at the traditional clash, including young guns such as Damon Goolagong, Aaron Gray and Liam Coleman, with experienced campaigner, Glenn Stewart, set to don the red and green for the very first time.
Thomas Burgess, John Sutton and Ben Lowe make up the remainder of the Rabbitohs’ regular first-grade contingent. With so many young-guns peppering the red and green outfit, the 2015 Return to Redfern Clash will be a look into the future.
Last Time at Return to Redfern
As the Rabbitohs prepare to take on the State Championship winning Northern Pride this Saturday at Return to Redfern, we take a look back at the last instalment of the clash in 2013.
The Rabbitohs last returned to Redfern inwhen they took on the Papua New Guinea Residents XIII 38 points to 12, two years ago today (Monday).
Rabbitohs 2013 Return to Redfern Captain, Jason Clark, registered a double, with South Sydney crossing the line on seven occasions compared to the Papuans two.
It was an ordinary start to the game, with the Rabbitohs kicking off dead on the full, followed by errors to both sides.
With nerves set aside, the Rabbitohs tried to settle into a rhythm, with young halves Luke Keary and Justin Hunt forming a combination on the run.
In the ninth minute of play, second rower Ben Lowe crossed for the first try of the match, straightening the play and charging hard and fast at the line to score. Bryson Goodwin converted to take the score-line to six-nil.
PNG struck back almost immediately, with halfback Israel Eliab scoring under the posts three minutes later, following through a chip kick to score. He converted his own try to level the scores at six-all.
A great charge from Rabbitohs hooker Apisai Koroisau in the 16th almost led to points, but it was PNG that would lead at the quarter-time break, with Eliab scoring his second try, this time a 70 metre intercept. He converted his try to take the scores to 12-6 to PNG after 20 minutes.
Dave Tyrrell copped an almighty hit to open the second quarter, but dusted himself off to get through a mountain of work and get his team back on the front foot. He scored a try in the 24th minute of play, bustling over from close range. Goodwin converted to level the scores at 12-all.
Ben Lowe was held up over the line in the 31st minute and Justin Hunt pulled off a magnificent cover tackle in the 33rd minute to keep PNG camped in their own 30 metre zone.
It paid dividends with Clark scoring his first try in the 34th minute, again burrowing over from close range. Bryson Goodwin converted to give the Rabbitohs a six-point advantage at the half time break.
The second half was all red and green.
Five minutes in Chris McQueen scored after spinning out of three tackles to score on the right, giving the Rabbitohs a 22-12 lead.
The forwards started to dominate, with George Burgess, Tyrrell, Clark and Kyle Turner all making inroads into the PNG defence, and Bryson Goodwin looking classy out wide in the centres. Apisai Koroisau was causing all sorts of issues for the Papua New Guineans from dummy half and when backing up the ball runner.
In the final quarter, Thomas Burgess made a long break, offloading to Greg Waddell who in turn shifted the ball to Apisai Koroisau, giving the Rabbitohs quality field position.
Aaron Gray would be the recipient of their good work, crossing in the left corner in the 64th minute. Goodwin converted to take the scores 28-12.
A rampaging charge by George Burgess in the 68th minute put the Rabbitohs back into a commanding position, and three minutes later, North Sydney Bears player Bennett Leslie scored for South Sydney, making a short range charge on the left fringe.
Clark would score his second try in the 73rd minute after halfback Luke Keary broke the line in the middle of the field, putting Clark away under the black dot. Koroisau converted to finalise the score line at 38-12 in favour of the home side.
Ones to Watch
Liam Coleman: After getting some game-time in the Charity Shield, Liam Coleman will take his place at five-eighth for the match. Partnering Jordie Hedges in the halves, Coleman – along with all the Rabbitohs’ young-guns – will have the chance to show their wares under game conditions to Michael Maguire.
Daryl Millard: A former Bulldog, Dragon and ESL player, Millard arrived at the Rabbitohs this pre-season on a train and trial basis, and he gets another opportunity to shine after a solid 80 minute performance in the Charity Shield. The winger/centre could prove to be a handy addition to the Rabbitohs’ 2015 squad.
The 2014 Premiership winning South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the 2014 State Champions, the Northern Pride, on Saturday 14 February at Redfern Oval in the next instalment of ‘Return to Redfern’. Kick-off is at 6pm.