The 2022 season may not have got off to the start Rabbitohs fans were hoping for. However, there were still plenty of promising takeaways to look too as the season progresses.
Errors Prove Costly
The story of the night for the South Sydney attack was an uncharacteristic inability to complete their sets, finishing the night completing just 30 of 45 sets. Many of the Rabbitohs attacking raids were foiled by dropped balls and compounded by penalties, putting the side under pressure. On the flip side, the defensive resolve of Jason Demetriou's men was encouraging, conceding just one try due to a defensive lapse in spite of the additional workload. Completing at closer to 80% will be top of the agenda on the training paddock at Redfern throughout the week, and if the Rabbitohs can hold the ball, points will follow.
The Bronco's middle forwards started the match in dominant fashion on Friday evening led by NSW forward Payne Haas and the returning Patrick Carrigan, but when Demetriou turned to his bench the momentum began to shift in the middle third of the Paddock. Thomas Burgess and Siliva Havili in particular made solid contributions to get the Rabbitohs into the attacking third, and Jacob Host was troubling the Bronco's right edge defence with some speedy play the balls. Depth is likely to be an important factor for all sides in the 2022 campaign and nowhere more so than the Rabbitohs engine room, and having solid contributions from the likes of Host and Havili, alongside names like Hame Sele, Liam Knight and Davvy Moale who will play a part throughout the season will be key to the Rabbitohs success.
Mansour puts it down in the corner
There's no denying expectations are at an all-time high for last year’s grand finalists. But Demetriou made sure that outside noise didn’t get too loud after last night’s hard-fought defeat against the Broncos. Together Demetriou and former Souths head coach Wayne Bennett led the club to three straight preliminary finals and last year’s decider. Last night’s clash marked the beginning of Demetriou’s head coaching career after serving a five-year apprenticeship under the super coach. While 32 thousand screaming Queenslanders was no place for his official debut, it would hardly phase a man whose coaching career began “under candlelight” in Yorkshire. Demetriou became the first Australian without NRL experience to captain a Super League team and he’ll use that role and his time as a player/coach to build his new-look Rabbitohs outfit.