Five things we learned from Roosters v Rabbitohs

Five things we learned from Roosters v Rabbitohs Written by JOE McDONOUGH, March 6, 2016

THE South Sydney Rabbitohs raced away with an authoritative win over the Sydney Roosters 42-10 at Allianz Stadium. Here are the five things RLW learned:

1. Can’t be competitive without the ball.
The most telling statistic to come out of the first half was the tackle count on the 20-minute mark. By that stage the Bunnies had already piled on three tries to almost keep pace with the clock. And the reason, pure exhaustion. It is hard enough for players in round one, on a stinking hot day to manage their fatigue but when the Chooks have had to make 101 tackles in 20 minutes of football – and then you throw in the new interchange rule, it is always going to be an uphill battle. In comparison, the Bunnies had to make just 42.

2. GI just doing what GI does best.
It was almost slow-motion. Inglis is backing up the play, then gets the pill from McInnes, he looks around, sums up the situation in front of him, then simply palms off Mitch Aubusson, and is too sharp for Sam Moa to score next to the sticks. In the second half he also excited Souths fans when he turned on the afterburners and shot through the defensive line, before being wrapped up by Ferguson in an all or nothing tackle. He is looking as fresh and dangerous as we’ve seen in some time.

3. Pressure on Luke Keary.
Cody Walker showed he belongs in the NRL, after a sublime debut. The 26-year-old five-eighth, who is battling incumbent Luke Keary for the number six jersey, produced a number of brilliant individual plays to ensure Madge will have a selection headache for round 2. Twelve minutes in, he led the kick chase and hit Blake Ferguson with everything he had before holding him up long enough for the troops to help him force the fullback in-goal. Then from the resulting restart, Walker hit Aaron Gray on the chest with a lovely cut out pass to score. In saying that, Adam Reynolds has caused some concern in the Bunnies camp, after coming off with a suspected jaw injury.

4. We now know who Reynolds should be kicking for.
Just two tries up at the time, Paul Carter assured Souths momentum wasn’t going to swing with a miraculous try in the 17th minute. A pinpoint cross-field chip from Reynolds was plucked out of the air by Carter with his right mitt. It was the sort of grab Buddy Franklin would’ve been proud of, and was just reward for a committed 80-minute performance from the back-rower. Unfortunately, the suspected broken jaw to Reynolds could put this partnership on the back burner.

5. Roosters need their rep forwards back.
The Souths pack led by Sam Burgess made easy metres all day and easily won the ruck. Of course it’s hard when possession is in the other team’s favour 56 per cent to 44 per cent, but there is no doubt they could’ve used Waerea-Hargreaves aggression and Cordner’s class. The big positive was in the backs, with SKD troubling the Bunnies left-side every time he touched the ball. There were some good moments from both Roosters halves but they have had their reality check now and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from this next week.

Rabbitohs 42 (McInnes, Gray, Carter, Johnston, Inglis, Turner, Goodwin, Hunt tries; Reynolds 4, Goodwin 1 goals) beat Roosters 10 (Burgess 2 tries; Mitchell 1 goals)

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