FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE CHARITY SHIELD

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE CHARITY SHIELD Written by SHAYNE BUGDEN, February 13, 2016

THE Rabbitohs were too good for the Dragons in a scrappy affair to take out the Charity Shield for 2016. Here are the five things RLW learned:

1. Luke Keary was a late scratching so Souths went with Sutton at pivot and Cody Walker at half.
Walker had a good game, showing a lot of energy, good pace off the mark and a decent kicking game that included a sideline conversion. He barked at the other players and backed up on line breaks. You can see why some at Souths have raps on him.

2. One of the more intriguing battles was between Cameron McInnes and Damien Cook, to see who leads the race to be the Bunnies’ hooker.
McInnes did nothing wrong but Cook shaded him, with outstanding speed out of dummy half, a great line break and good kicking game. He’s more creative, backs himself and can kick goals.

3. Russell Packer did well in his first Dragons game.
He played three stints and put in quality hit-ups, quick play the balls and the odd offload, plus some starch in defence. Siliva Havili did a few good things in the middle, too. But Dragons fans would’ve had their hearts in their mouths when Ben Creagh lay motionless after getting his head in the wrong place in a tackle early on. He walked off and returned to the field, though.

4. It was a low-quality game with stacks of dropped ball.
You expect a bit of that at this time of year but the coaches couldn’t have been happy. The teams never got into a good rhythm. That meant a fair few scrums with the new shot clock. Neither side exceeded the time limit and they left up to 17 seconds on the clock at times. Sutton said he didn’t even notice the shot clock.

5. Some quick hits: the crowd was 3000 down on last year.
Saints’ left-side defence with Faifai Loa and Lafai got run through for two Souths tries. Jason Nightingale had the play of the game with an outstanding effort to keep the ball in play for the Dragons’ first score. In good news for both sides there were no major injury concerns despite Ben Creagh corking his neck in a tackle.

Rabbitohs 18 (Sutton, Auva’a, Murphy tries; Goodwin 1, Cook 1, Walker 1 goals) beat Dragons 14 (Mann, Havili, Aitken tries; Marshall 1 goals)

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