All eyes were on Lachlan Ilias as the young halfback went to work in his first chance to impress in the number seven jersey this season. There’s no denying that all eyes would be on whoever stepped into the number 7 jersey as head coach Jason Demetriou looks to fill the big shoes of the departed Adam Reynolds, and the Dragons targeted the 20 year old early in the match. Ilias didn't let the pressure phase him, with a number of quality involvements showing that he could help get the Rabbitohs out of trouble early on. The youngster was applauded in particular for his kicking game, including producing just the second 20/40 since the rule was introduced. It came in the 16th minute and paved the way for Jaxson Paulo to get South Sydney back in the match. Those efforts showing evidence he’s on his way to help filling a crucial void.
Who other than Cody Walker. The star half picked up right where he left off in last night’s Charity Shield clash against the Dragons. Walker was back to last year’s attacking brilliance setting up Jaxson Paulo for his sides first try. Right on cue whith half time approaching, Walker allowed Rabbitohs fans to breathe a sigh of relief when he barged over the try line to trail the Dragons by just two points at the break. Walker ran for 73 metres, had 15 tackles and seven tackle breaks. A 60-minute performance that showed why he’ll remain a key figure within the Rabbitohs attack.
There’s nothing like some brotherly competition, and while it may not have been for too long it was no doubt a big moment in the Burgess household on Saturday night. Rabbitohs Tom Burgess and Dragon George Burgess were both named 16th man for their respective clubs. George was a crucial part of the Rabbitohs' drought-breaking premiership win back in 2014, scoring a momentous try in the grand final victory over the Bulldogs. Last night’s traditional Charity Shield was just the first of many meetings between the brethren with George now on a two year deal at the Dragons. He ran for 69 metres. Tom, 82 metres. A match up we could be treated to again as early as round five.