It was a close encounter between the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs on Good Friday, with plenty of talking points coming from the 14-6 victory.
Here are my Five Takeaways.
Another Good Friday Classic
We all know the history of the Good Friday clash - they’re usually tight affairs with plenty of feeling in them. You just have to look at 2015's Bad Friday to see what I mean.
And this time around was no different, with Sam Burgess and Rhyse Martin coming together towards the end of the first half and there was plenty of controversy with a number of tries disallowed, and a number of decisions going against both teams throughout the contest.
Continuous niggle in the tackles, along with the hostile reception from a 30,000-strong crowd and a tense finish made this one another classic.
A Frustrating Match
From the eyes of a Rabbitohs supporter, it’s fair to say it was a frustrating match, to say the least.
While the side at times dominated on field and in the stats department, they just couldn't seem to capitalise on their opportunities particularly in the second half
The Bulldogs, clearly looking to bounce back from their loss last week, came out to fight, and continually held down in the ruck and frustrated our players - mounting a 12 to 8 penalty count in the process.
While it worked at times, the Rabbitohs, led by Sam Burgess, ended up taking the victory, but it’s fair to say it wasn’t our prettiest match of the year.
Birthday boy showing great signs
He had plenty of hype behind him in the pre-season, and after a handful of NRL games under his belt, Corey Allan had his best game to date, most appropriately on his 21st birthday.
After nearly scoring a try in the first half, only to be denied due to interference in the lead-up, Allan exploded in the second. He made a try-saving tackle on Bulldogs giant Jayden Okunbor, which is no easy feat considering their difference in size, and soon after he broke open the line with a great bust down the left-hand side.
Despite being bundled into touch, it was great seeing Allan growing into his role in the team, particularly with the retirement of Greg Inglis. He finished the match with 128 metres, 2 line breaks, a forced drop-out and two tackle breaks.
Pundits predict big things for this kid, and he’s starting to show the signs of a great player.
Although there were a number of opportunities missed, it was pleasing to see how easily the side made their way downfield and continued to pressure the Bulldogs.
The Rabbitohs ran for 1844 metres, with quick play the balls giving the side time and space to move, not to mention penalties.
It was most evident at the end of the second half when prop Thomas Burgess burst through the line, after a string of quick play the balls, with the side completing nearly 300 more metres than their opponents and making 44 tackle breaks compared to 13.
Reynolds on a dime, kick-chase perfection
It’s been a talking point for most of the season, and once again the side’s kicking game was on point for most of the match.
The spine continually put the Bulldogs behind their own twenty with early kicks, with the kick pressure from the support players forcing a number of drop-outs.
The side produced 4 drop-outs in the first half, and after mounting a bundle of pressure, Damien Cook threaded the needle to send Alex Johnston over for a memorable try.
That then continued in the second half in the second minute, again forcing pressure and giving the side the ascendency they needed.
Despite an erratic end to the match, Reynolds finished with eight kicks for 227 metres, while forcing two drop-outs, while Corey Allan and Cody Walker also pinned the Bulldogs behind the in-goal as well.