Five Takeaways From Round 7

It was a closely fought match against the Penrith Panthers but we got the two points in an absolute heart-stopper in ANZAC Round. 

Here are my Five Takeaways.

 

Fast-Starters

It was another great start from our boys, scoring within the first few minutes of the match. 

The Panthers put in a strong opening set, with a fourth-tackle kick putting us on the back foot and needing to get out of our own end in a tricky situation. 

But as they’ve shown all year, our boys don’t back down, and a penalty after a slow release on Sam Burgess saw the side restart on the half-way line. 

From there we got into gear, with a number of quick play the balls seeing Cody Walker send Kyle Turner crashing over for his first try of the year.

It was the fifth time this season we’ve scored the first try of the game, with all five matches ending in victories, so it was good to see the boys on the board early on and continuing that roll-on. 

 

Showing the ANZAC Spirit

In such an emotionally-driven round, our boys certainly showed the ANZAC Spirit against the Panthers.

They put on the pressure on their opponents early on, forcing a number of errors with committed defence. 

The Cardinal and Myrtle, in their strapping ANZAC Round Jersey, scored the first try after just three minutes thanks to a barnstorming effort from Kyle Turner. Then twenty minutes later, Corey Allan was the recipient of some helter-skelter play on fifth tackle, with his teammates displaying the famous South Sydney never-say-die attitude. 

After conceding just the two points at half-time, due to a penalty goal on the siren, and then losing captain Sam Burgess to a HIA early in the second half, the side faced an uphill battle as the Panthers rallied to bring it back to a four-point game in the last five minutes. 

But the Rabbitohs remained composed, employing committed defence and hustle to take out a 22-18 victory, doing the Club proud.

 

Adam Reynolds on song

Continuing on his strong form in 2019, halfback Adam Reynolds put in a stellar performance against the Panthers.

Reyno started off the game with some great early kicks, pinning Penrith behind the advantage line, with some towering bombs forcing errors from their opponents and putting doubt in each of their back three’s minds.

Our little general then helped set up the first try, keeping the ball alive on fifth tackle to see Corey Allan touch down, and he nearly provided his winger with a second with a pinpoint grubber then forcing a drop-out.

At a critical point of the second half, with the scores at 10-8 and the side on the back foot, Reynolds put in a beautiful banana kick to force a drop-out. The kick changed the entire momentum of the match, with Cody Walker scoring soon after. 

He then kicked a pressure kick to give the side an important 8-point lead heading into the final quarter, and with the Panthers on the prowl, he set up what would end up being the match-winning try in another pressure moment by putting Walker through to send Dane Gagai over. 

Reynolds finished the game with 44 metres, a linebreak, a linebreak assist and two forced drop-outs and importantly, put in another great game. 

The Redfern Brick Wall

Although we ended up conceding 18 points, it was a superb defensive display from our boys. 

Conceding only two points before half-time thanks to a penalty goal in the last minute of the first half, it was a strong opening stanza in defence. 

And although we conceded more tries in the second half, it was a defensive masterclass, with the highlight being Alex Johnston's try-saving tackle on Viliame Kikau - one of the plays of the season. 

The Panthers continued their raid midway through the second half, but with the game on the line, the defensive attitude ended up holding them off at the death. 

It's attitude like that which leads teams deep into the finals, and we've got plenty of it. 

 

Best start since 2013

With six wins from seven games, it's our best start to a year since 2013. 

That year we came second and within a whisker of the minor premiership only to stumble at the last hurdle, and currently, the 2019 side sit equal first along with the Roosters and Storm.

Although we aren't playing pretty, we're winning, and it's the competition points at this part of the year that matter most at the back end of the season.

A lot of people forget we're still battling a number of injuries throughout the squad, and with plenty more improvement left in the side, the Rabbitohs have plenty to offer in 2019. 

 

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