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Round 20: Halftime Takeaways

We feel like chicken tonight! But before we can chow down, it's time to digest all the big talking points from the first forty.

Bend, don’t break

The ‘Sydney’ Roosters had all of the ball to start the match, with twice as many opportunities with the pill than the old enemy early. While we conceded an early four pointer following an error working it out of our own half, we managed to defend a number of subsequent attacking raids before crossing the stripe for twenty of our own points, unanswered. The game could have been lost inside the first ten minutes; the Roosters have scored more points than any side in the competition through twenty rounds, so withstanding the early pressure & staying in the game was no mean feat. Every moment counts at this time of year, & momentum can change in an instant.

Johnston grabs try number 99

Walker hits 50, 100 up for AJ

It’s shaping up to be another night for the record books. With Gagai hitting the 200 game mark the moment the whistle blew, Cody Walker followed up scoring his 50th career try after bursting through with a line-break of his own just a few plays earlier. Meanwhile, a first half double to Alex Johnston saw the Souths Junior bring up his 100th career try… All in the Red & Green… Here’s to 100 more.

Johnston grabs try number 99

You can’t take that one away! 

He was controversially denied halfway through the half when he took his chance down the short side only for the Bunker official Ashley Klein to find an apparent knock on in the lead up to the put down. No one put his head down, Graham was quick to put his name on the scoresheet shortly after following a skilful kick from Allan on the fly. He’s been great all year and he’s been even better in this game. Let’s hope we see more meat tries by Campbell in the second stanza.

Graham scores as South Sydney continue to fire

Mad Minute

After try scoring freak Mark Nichols was controversially denied a four pointer by Ashley Klein, the Rabbitohs banked the two points and should have been working the ball of the restart in the dying moments of the first half. An error on play one gave the Roosters an opportunity to shift momentum & change the game, but the men in Red & Green again held strong & denied the visitors. Despite our dominance on the scoreboard - these are the plays that win games. The Roosters have enough attacking potency to turn the match around, & points right before the half would have completely changed the mood in the Roosters sheds at the half.

Sustaining Pressure

The scoreline reads 26-4 but a big contributor for that has been the forced repeat sets in the first half. So far we’ve forced three with one of these helping AJ on his way to 100. The Roosters have forced two, but on the first occasion our cheeky halfback opted for the short dropout which worked in our favour.