After taking home the Charity Shield for a seventh consecutive year, there were plenty of talking points from the match. Here are the Five Takeaways from the 2019 Charity Shield.
Ill-discipline costly, but Rabbitohs turn around
No doubt it was discerning to see so many penalties conceded in the first half of the Charity Shield.
The side’s discipline wavered through the first half, giving away 9 penalties which eventually handed the Dragons opportunities and territory. Eventually, a 12-nil advantage became an 18-12 deficit going into half-time.
But to the side’s credit, the ill-discipline was alleviated in the second half, as they stormed home to take out an emphatic 36-24 victory.
The Red and Green absolutely shot out of the blocks in both halves, scoring two tries within the first five minutes of each stanza.
Campbell Graham streaked away to score the first try of the match, before his wing partner Corey Allan went over for the first of his three tries to give the side an early 12-nil lead.
In the second half, Cody Walker was the first to go over as a trademark dummy saw him slice through the Dragons’ defence, and just a few minutes later young lock forward Cameron Murray took advantage of his teammates’ expansive play to crash over under the posts.
If the side continues to replicate that kind of form from the outset during the season, it could be quite the task for their opponents to catch up on the scoreboard.
Young Guns and New Recruits Shine in Litmus Test
One of the most pleasing aspects of the Charity Shield victory was seeing so many young players step up to the demanding expectations of first-grade.
It was no secret that the Dragons had a near full-strength line-up, with Jack de Belin being their only absence, while the Red and Green had Greg Inglis, Adam Reynolds and George Burgess on the sidelines.
But it was no problem for the Rabbitohs as they took out a hard-fought victory, with plenty of the credit to go to the youthful contingent of the side.
New recruit Corey Allan of course bagged a hat-trick, while Bayley Sironen took control in the second half to score a well-deserved try, spinning out of a tackle and taking a number of defenders with him to reach out for a memorable four-pointer.
Forwards Liam Knight, Tom Amone and Rhys Kennedy were busy through the middle of the field, while Cameron Murray had a match to remember scoring his own four-pointer and halfback Connor Tracey enjoying a solid outing steering the side around.
Newest signing arrived at the Club just days prior but looked right at home in Cardinal and Myrtle as he put in an emphatic performance on the left-hand side, in what was certainly a pleasing aspect during the match.
Throwing it around
There was an air of confidence around the side on Saturday night as they seemed to throw the ball around with little fear.
It was evident in a number of tries, with a John Sutton basketball pass sending Corey Allan in for his second try in the 17th minute, a Sam Burgess offload in the tackle setting off a chain of passes to send Cameron Murray over, and then Allan’s hat-trick coming from an Alex Johnston over-the-head pass.
The best part about the ad-lib play was that there were no negative implications on the side’s handling - they finished with an impressive 86% completion rate, completing 30/35 sets, compared to the Dragons' 73%.
Rabbitohs Thank Mudgee in Style
While it wasn’t an on-field piece of discussion, the fact that our players stayed on the field greeting fans and signing memorabilia for 45 minutes post-match was indicative of the appreciation they have for the dedicated Members and supporters.
The players spent more than their fair share of time after the match going around the perimeter of the field, with a number of Red and Green faithful leaving the ground grinning from ear to ear, which included a young girl who was the lucky recipient of Sam Burgess’ match-worn jersey.
It was a pleasing reception from the Mudgee locals and those who had made the trip to see the team perform, and it was easy to see that the players left a lasting impression on everyone on the ground.
It was a great piece of showmanship from our boys, who performed brilliantly both on and off the field.