Let's dive into the stats post-game to see where the Rabbitohs fell short to the Roosters, with round three of 'By the Numbers'
Match: Roosters v Rabbitohs
Round 3 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Despite having a total of 42 sets to the Roosters' 37, the Roosters managed to slow the ruck right down. Their average play-the-ball speed was 3.3 seconds, while the Rabbitohs' averaged 3.7 seconds.
With the quicker roll-through the middle, the Roosters managed to find speedster, James Tedesco on multiple occasions, doubling South Sydney's linebreaks 6-3 and winning the offloads 7-5.
The Rabbitohs led the tackle breaks 36-32, but the Roosters averaged eight more metres per set (44 metres to 36 metres), a result of this roll-through the middle.
Kicking Was Critical
While the Rabbitohs out-kicked the Roosters 4-1 in line drop-outs, the Roosters found ultimate success with the boot as three of their tries came off kicks. Usually Reynolds is the go-to kicker but debutant Troy Dargan took over a lot of the general play kicks from the Skipper.
Flanagan and Keary shared the load better between them and Friend was decisive on last tackle with his selection - finding playmakers with crisp service. Braidon Burns had three kicks while Jaydn Su'A had one; something I'm sure wasn't in Bennett's play book. Communication on last and composure to come up with the right play was the difference.
Graham solid at Centre
The last time Campbell Graham wore the number three was in the round 25 victory against the Roosters where he crossed for a try of his own. Despite being involved in a play where the Rabbitohs were out-leapt by Tupou early, the 20-year-old had solid numbers to show tonight, drawing on his experience playing through the Rabbitohs junior system primarily as a centre. Certainly a class NRL winger, having already represented his country in the world nines - Graham showed his versatility tonight with a solid performance at centre.
Roosters' Back Three making Big Metres
The Roosters back three ran for a total of 596 metres while the Rabbitohs ran for only 337. The majority of these metres came from James Tedesco, who thrived from the 'six-again' rule and found success by sniffing around the ruck to support his middle forwards.
Lot's to dissect from that game but the Rabbitohs will take plenty from that with full attention now going towards Melbourne next weekend.