It's time to see where the game was won and lost with Ingenia Holidays' By the Numbers.
Knights take their chances off six-agains
The Knights were clinical with ball-in-hand, particularly in the opening stanza. While both sides were relatively even with six-agains (5-4 Knights), it was the Knights who took their chances by firstly building pressure then scoring off the back of it.
Two of the Knights' four tries came from back-to-back six again calls in the sets leading up to it.
The Rabbitohs could not crack Newcastle’s defence, however they had multiple sets on their line just before half time.
The Rabbitohs did in fact cross through Mark Nicholls which was technically off the back of a six-again, but this was from a ‘bat-down’ not by slowing the play-the-ball down.
It’s a kicking kind of game
Both Adam Reynolds and Mitchell Pearce kicked a 40-20 for their sides tonight. Since the implementation of the six-again rule, we have seen 40-20s dry up with only a total of eight being kicked across the competition prior to round 10.
We saw a 20% increase just from this game alone.
Both sides could not capitalise after dropping the ball in the set after kicking their 40-20s.
Can’t win without the footy
It’s almost impossible to build any momentum if you are constantly defending set-after-set. There was a period where the Rabbitohs went 10 minutes without the ball in the first half (between the sixth and 16th minute); let’s break it down play-for-play.
- The Knights registered three six-agains in a row, during the one passage of play then cracked the Rabbitohs try line through Enari Tuala in the 10th minute.
- In the set after points the Knights received another six-again then scored their second try through Kurt Mann in the 13th minute.
- Finally, in the set after Mann’s try Pearce kicked that 40-20 to get them upfield - a total of eight sets in a row.
But the Rabbitohs proved once they got the ball they could score points. With the late surge at the end South Sydney had 80% possession over a six minute period and scored three tries as a result. Due to the late flurry, the Rabbitohs clawed back possession to 49% while at the break they only had 44% of the footy.
Cook double gets the Rabbitohs to within two
Damien Cook crossed for his first NRL double.
Solid on Debut; Jaxson Paulo
Jaxson Paulo should be happy with his first game in the top grade. He looked confident with his first touch when he diffused a cross-field kick (and looked to be hit in mid-air). He also came up with a brilliant trysaver on a rampaging Lachlan Fitzgibbon. In fact, the Rabbitohs right edge as a whole did a fantastic job.
Dane Gagai had yet another stellar game proving his versatility on both side of the field. He ran for close to 200 metres while Paulo ran for 143 metres and picked up a try assist with that brilliant kick back on the inside for Damien Cook.