These are the key takeaways from South Sydney’s 30-12 win over the Parramatta Eels at Accor Stadium in round 16 of the NRL.
WELCOME BACK LATRELL
We’ll never get tired of seeing Latrell Mitchell in that number one jersey.
After an extended layoff with injury and then Covid, Latrell made his long-awaited return and was very solid in his first outing since round five.
He did what he had to do in the first half, before really coming into his own in the second stanza and coming up with some nice passages of play.
Mitchell played a key hand in both second half tries to put the result beyond doubt and sign off on a great return.
TAKING THE GAME TO PARRA
South Sydney didn’t wait for the game to come to them, they dictated terms right from the outset and were duly rewarded.
In atrocious conditions for both sides, it was the Rabbitohs that showed more intent early, willing to use the ball and chance their hand when given the opportunity.
That saw them post first points within five minutes, and set a good standard against one of the competition’s heavyweight teams.
A big attitude adjustment was needed after round 15, and they delivered.
TRY OF THE YEAR CONTENDER
It’s hard to put into words just how special Jai Arrow’s try was.
It started with a regulation kick from Cody Walker to try and create a contest, with Damien Cook doing just that, batting the ball back into the hands of Mitchell.
He ran to the sideline looking for options, finding Jaxson Paulo who came back the other way, putting in a kick across field.
Isaiah Tass outjumped his opponent to take it cleanly, before somehow getting an offload away to Arrow to score.
It was a daring play in dry conditions, but was a show of the confidence the Rabbitohs came to play with.
Arrow finds the target
FORWARDS PRODUCE DOMINANT DISPLAY
One of Parramatta’s strengths it it’s hulking forward pack and ability to steamroll teams through the middle of the field.
South Sydney’s big men rose to the challenge, getting the better of their Eels counterparts and completely dominating that key area.
Tom Burgess was one of the best on the field with a superb display from the bench, while Arrow and Junior Tatola led the way in the first half with some big metres between them.
The Rabbitohs finished the night with four forwards running for more than 150 metres, an indication of just how much punch they were able to provide.
ILIAS RESPONDS IN STYLE
You never know how a young halfback will respond after getting the hook, but Lachlan Ilias showed he is mature enough to get on with the job.
He played well and didn’t let that get to him against the Eels, working well on the back of a good display from the forwards to get the team around the park.
Ilias was good in tandem with his spine partners throughout the night, with Cody Walker in particular helping to take some of the load.
It’s the football we know he’s capable of, and it was great to see him respond to a setback in fine fashion.