Well the first game of the season is now in the books and I think there were a few things we got out of the Rabbitohs 28-10 win over the Roosters. While you tend to find that early season games can be a bit messy, this one wasn’t too bad.
I have the South Sydney Rabbitohs making the Grand Final this year and from what I saw tonight, they look like they won’t let me down. The depth they have in their forwards, a good halfback and some very good back, this is a very well coached team that will be very hard to beat this season.
I’ve been a big critic of John Sutton throughout his entire career but he was sensational last night. In both attack and defense he made a huge impact and he didn’t try to over play his hand. If he can bring that type of game every week, it will compliment Adam Reynolds game perfectly.
Sam Burgess came out breathing fire and was huge in this game. You knew he was going to be fired up with all the Sonny Bill Williams hype and he didn’t disappoint He was great in attack and defense although he is facing a week out after being charged with a shoulder charge when he hit Mitchell Pearce in a high tackle. It was with his upper arm, it was clearly high, but it wasn’t a shoulder charge in my book. It would be a shame if he missed a week. His brother George also played well but overall, the Rabbitohs pack was scary good!
Greg Inglis was a little quiet early on but it didn’t take him long to turn it on and make everyone else on the field look like they were terrible. He is the best player in the world, forget about the debate. He had a pretty good duel with Anthony Minichello cutting him down a couple of time as he broke through the line. He is going to have a great season.
Other good performers for the Rabbitohs were Nathan Merritt and Adam Reynolds, but of whom looked to be in mid season form. There were so many good signs for the Bunnies last night.
For the Roosters, they started the game off well but penalties killed them. They have a few issues out wide in defense that the Rabbitohs kept going back to and finding easy points out wide.
Once again Mitchell Pearce was anonymous in a game that was close for a while. The only thing of note he did was almost getting his head taken off by Sam Burgess. Maloney wasn’t but better and they Roosters struggle against the dominate Souths pack really stifled anything the Roosters were trying to do.
Michael Jennings looked good last night. He made a couple of very exciting breaks and was one of the Roosters best in a side that was well beaten. He should have had a try assist at one point but the easy pass he threw was dropped in what ended up being a bombed try.
As for Sonny Bill Williams, when he finally came onto the field he didn’t have much of an impact at all. He mostly came into tackles as the second or third man in. When he took on Sam Burgess head on, he got steamrolled. To me he just looks too small to be playing in the middle of the field with the giants running around in the NRL. They need to move him out to the edges and hope he can use his footwork and offload to do something because grunt work isn’t his game. He did score one try, but the game was over by then and he ran onto a pass into space. The lack of crowd response said it all really. He was disappointing.
The Roosters have a lot to work on coming out of this game. Their discipline was terrible and their defense tends to panic and get themselves in a bad position out wide. As for the Bunnies, geez they looked good!
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