Let's go take a look at where the game was won and lost by both sides with 'By the Numbers.'
The Battle of the Dummy-halves; Cook vs Koroisau
Two in-form dummy halves who suit the rule changes perfectly.
It was a mouth-watering match up before the game had even started. How would the two premier hookers of the competition square up against each other?
Koroisau, the competitions current leading tackler had 59 for the game, while Damien Cook - who currently sits fourth for total tackles in the NRL - was almost identical with 60. Both players suit the new rule changes like a hand in glove but neither ran the ball as much as they have in recent weeks.
Su’A the ‘six-again’ specialist.
Jaydn Su’A was the pick of our forwards and ran with a lot of gusto. While he was guilty of a couple of unforced errors, Su’A generated three ‘six-agains’ which obviously put South Sydney on the front foot. Su’A has made that starting position his own playing arguably the best game of his career against the Storm a few weeks ago.
The Bench made metres
The whole talk during the week was how Wayne was going to use Jimmy the Jet off the bench. He slotted into his familiar right centre position just after half time, but didn’t go sniffing for the ball. He did almost take an intercept which could have changed the game after Api Korisau almost found him at blank-point range. Interesting to note; the Rabbitohs lead the competition in intercepts so you have to be careful when throwing the long ball!
But back on the bench, it was the remaining three South Sydney players - Sironen, Knight and Sele who generated big metres, outrunning the Penrith bench 354 to 156 metres. Bayley Sironen also picked up his debut NRL try after a brilliantly-worked inside play found him lurking off Reynolds’ shoulder and put him under the posts.
Completions as a whole weren’t up to scratch for South Sydney’s standards with a completion rate of 75% to Penrith’s 85%. What the Rabbitohs found difficult was defusing the kick with a kick-defusal rate of just 50%. Brent Naden scored off a cross-field bomb that was batted back by Villiame Kikau and a knock on from a bomb by Alex Johnston resulted in points the next set courtesy of Stephen Crichton. The back three have been solid in recent weeks but this is an area that they’ll be looking to improve.