We don't like Manly but we're loving what we've seen so far. Here's all the big talking points from the first half.
Our Best 40 all Season
It’s been our best half of football so far this season...Maybe it’s because Wayne’s back, who knows. One thing we do know is that completions are key, and our boys are mastering this at moment at a high rate. 96% to be exact. In fact, it took 26 minutes until our first and only error. Manly on the hand have coughed the ball up five times. Put these two stats together and it’s no surprise to see that we’re dominating possession 65% - 35% and the scoreboard 38-0…. That’s a point every 1.05 minutes.
Cook gets Graham into space down the blindside
Double Debutants getting the job done
So far this year we’ve had seven players make their debuts for the Red & Green, and now, you can throw Steven Marsters and Kurt Dillion’s hat in the ring too. After a standout season for the Dragon’s Canterbury Cup side last year, Marsters earned a call-up this week following an injury to Dane Gagai during Friday’s Captain’s Run session. He’s been impressive so far, opening the scoring for Souths in the opening ten minutes when he took advantage of an overlap, then showed us all his skill by planting the ball in the corner in the corner with the cover defence closing in quick. He’s also been more than happy to get his jersey dirty, opting to take some hard carries out from our half and amassing x metres in the process.
Kurt Dillion on the other hand, previously played four games for the Cronulla Sharks back in 2018. After joining Souths in 2019, Dillion has had to bide his time after numerous injuries but will be looking for some hard carries in the second stanza.
Welcome to the NRL, Steven Marsters
Loving the Left
We’ve been loving the left side all year and this game’s been no different. So far we’ve seen both Campbell Graham and Alex Johnston dot down for a double each. This avenue became became a cakewalk in the 15th minute following a sin bin to Manly winger Tevita Funa after knocking out AJ on his way to the try-line. Graham was able to capitalise shortly afterwards when he was shifted to the flank while Cameron Murray has filled in admirably once more in the left centre position and looks set to stay there after AJ failed his HIA assessment.
Johnston continues fast start for Rabbitohs
Johnston scores, Funa sent to sin bin
Disarming the big guns
Manly have welcomed back their representative trio of Addin Fonua-Blake, Jorge Taufua, and Martin Taupau. While Taufua waits on the wing locked and loaded, Fonua-Blake and Taupau’s influence has been limited. Big Marty Taupau’s return has seen him run for just 36 metres while Fonua-Blake’s run for 83. When we’ve given the left edge a break from scoring, Reynolds has looked to pepper Taufua with a few bombs knowing full well he’s not the most dynamic in the air. Keep an eye out for our kiwi boys Paulo and Marsters to fly high in the second stanza.