Five Takeaways From Round 5

It was a chaotic match up on the Sunshine Coast, but it was also a memorable win for the Red and Green against the Warriors after a lacklustre performance last week.

Here are my Five Takeaways. 

 

The Cody and Cookie Show

What a game from Cody Walker! 

The five-eighth had one of, if not, his best game in first-grade to date, scoring four tries, running 138 metres, making three linebreaks, while laying on a line break assist and a try.

Usually we expect halfback Adam Reynolds to take the reigns in pressure situations, but this time around the no.6 took full responsibility in the final quarter of the match, setting up Ethan Lowe to close the deficit to six before scoring a second-half double to seal the match. 

Damien Cook also had his best game of the year, popping up early on and bursting through to set up Walker's second, then holding up a beautiful pass for his five-eighth's third. 

The Australian and NSW Hooker ran for a game-high 152 metres and also made a game-high 41 tackles, while also producing a line break, a linebreak assist, and two try assists. 

I think I speak for all South Sydney die-hards when I say I could definitely get used to seeing more of that! 

 

Kicking Game Dictates Outcome

Although kicking is more influential in wetter conditions, I certainly thought that it dictated the outcome of the match for both sides. 

We saw three drop-outs in the first twenty minutes of the contest before Corey Allan nearly scored after a pinpoint bomb forced an error from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. 

Walker then scored his first try from individual brilliance off a grubber kick, with Adam Reynolds forcing numerous errors from the boot soon after. 

In the second half the Red and Green struggled behind the gale-force wind behind them, which handed the Warriors three seven-tackle sets due to the change of conditions, with two of them directly leading to tries.

But once Reyno found his groove it was back to business, with a miraculous grubber nearly gifting Junior Tatola his maiden NRL try, only for the bounce of the ball to sit up in the in-goal, earning another drop-out. 

Finally, it was Warriors rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita who's missed field goal gave the Rabbitohs a seven-tackle set, and the rest, they say, is history. 

 

Patience Pays Off 

No doubt there were plenty of frustrating patches during the match for the Rabbitohs faithful.

There were a number of unnecessary passes pushed and at times it felt like the side wanted to score with every touch of the ball - which ended up costing them time and possession.

But when they built up momentum, the rewards soon followed - shown in the first half as Reynolds' forced drop-outs gave them time and space to move and score points.

The same can be said for Cody Walker's final two tries, the former coming from a beautifully held up pass by Damien Cook, and the second produced from the forwards trundling downfield and getting the side on the front-foot.

There are numerous attacking points in the side, and if they can continue to build pressure, plenty of points will come throughout the year. 

 

History Repeats Once Again

Once again it was an absolute points-fest between the Rabbitohs and the Warriors, with both sides going hitting the 24-point mark.

In an interesting set of statistics, the last ten matches between these sides have seen the winning side score at least 24 points, which once again continued today. It was just the points that were impressive though, as both sides racked up plenty of linebreaks (Rabbitohs five, Warriors six), tackle breaks (Rabbitohs 36, Warriors 37) and running metres (Rabbitohs 1629, Warriors 1492).

With great conditions at the ground, you could tell it was always going to be a point-scoring frenzy, particularly in the last second half with five of the nine tries being scored in that period. 

 

Sam-Inspired

While Cody Walker and Damien Cook were no doubt the stars of the show, a big shout-out needs to go out to slammin' Sam Burgess.

Suffering a shoulder injury just before half-time, the stand-in captain inspired his side by continuing to play on through the pain for the full 80 minutes.l 

One moment that caught my eye was his huge hit on David Fusitu'a mid-way through the second half, putting the giant winger on his backside.

That hit alone lifted the side's intensity after a lacklustre defensive performance in the first half, which went a long way to securing the two points.

Sam finished the match with 111 metres, 3 offloads and 33 tackles, and although he did make a number of errors, his presence in the side more than made up for it. 

 

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