By Steve Mavin
Latrell Mitchell ‘Trell Mit’
Of the 13 Rabbitohs players that took the field to start the game against the Warriors on Saturday, 12 of them ran for over 100 metres.
The only player who didn’t knock up a tonne was fullback Latrell Mitchell, his total was 66 metres. Latrell did however get an early shower with 18 minutes left on the clock after he scored 2 tries, 2 try assists, 2 line breaks, 3 tackle busts, 2 line break assists, 3 offloads and kicked 8 goals from 8 attempts for a total of 24 points in one of the greatest individual Rabbitohs performances of all time.
While the metres gained stat is usually a good indicator of solid performance, Latrells underwhelming total does not give a true indication of his domination of the opposition on ‘Super Saturday’.
It’s true that the Warriors can’t be considered quality opposition but the Rabbitohs still had to take advantage and ‘Trell Mit’ certainly did that.
Cameron Murray – Captain Courageous
Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray was simply sensational in the middle and the boys from across the ditch had no answer for his power running, exquisite ball play and rock solid defence.
At 3.07pm after Cam had just passed Lachlan Ilias the ball for the opening try Grant Chappell sent myself and Darren Brown a message that read “The Warriors can’t handle Murrays speed around the ruck”.
Minutes later Cam sliced through the Warriors pack to send Damien Cook over for a try then did it again gifting Junior Tatola his four pointer.
Chaps was right as usual and captain Cam had 3 try assists before the 17th minute of the game then produced 20 runs, 191 metres, a line break and 35 tackles with no misses.
Cams number one fan Browny was at the game and told us later that “Cam was outstanding”.
Lachlan Ilias – The Solid Seven
Lachy opened the scoring for his team and while the pass from Cam was a good one he still had a bit to do to get the ball over the stripe. This kid can beat defenders, digs into the line in attack to set up his teammates and has no fear in defence.
A big shot from Warriors hooker Freddy Lussick was an example of our rookie half backs courage in the face of often brutal defence to create space for his outside backs. Freddy was on a mission and played well making 42 tackles but Lachy had the last laugh with a try assist, 13 runs for 113 metres and a good kicking game.
Junior Tatola – Our JT
Besides being one the nicest blokes you will ever meet, Tevita ‘Junior’ Tatola is in career best form this season.
Scoring tries and running for 200 metres is becoming the norm for our starting prop and he just goes about his business with a determination that fans like me are absolutely loving. Bring on this tough run home to the finals, Junior is ready.
Alex Johnston – AJ All Day
With yet another try down the lethal left on Saturday AJ took his career total to a lofty 159 which moved him to equal 8th all time alongside Matt Sing and Hasem El Masri.
The next few legends in his sights on the list are ‘The Prince of Brookie’ Brett Stewart 7th 163 tries, Terry ‘Baa’ Lamb 6th 164 tries, Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen 5th 164 tries on his way to the top spot of 212 held by Ken Irvine.
The way he’s going it’s entirely possible that AJ will be in the top 5 scorers by seasons end and the bookies would have him at shorts odds to finish as the games greatest try scorer before he hangs up the boots.
Izaac Thompson – A Try On Debut
After scoring 20 tries in 16 games in the NSW Cup I was expecting big Izaac to score on debut and he did just that, barging past Reece Walsh to score a tremendous try in the right corner.
An NRL debut is special, a try in that debut is a dream come true. Izaac also pulled off a magnificent try saving tackle on top of his 17 runs for 175 metres giving coach JD something to think about when Campbell Graham returns to the team.
A big try scoring body on the right wing is an appealing thought but I suspect that Jaxson Paulo might still be ahead of him in the pecking order…for now.
Jaxson did his job in the centres, took the tough carries and ran for over 100 metres.
Keaon Koloamatangi & Jai Arrow – That One Two Punch
Another 80 minute barnstorming performance on the right edge from our star Mascot junior.
Keaon is unstoppable at times and his try in the 21st minute where he just brushed off a one on one defender was pretty to watch. More and more of the same please mate.
Special mention to his back row partner Jai Arrow who also played 80 minutes and pumped out 12 runs for 105 metres and 36 tackles thank you very much.
The Keaon and Jai back row combo is the nuts and bolts of this forward pack, they both can play the whole game and their contribution is priceless.
Isaiah Tass – Metre Man
Isaiah went close to scoring on a couple of occasions on the left side and while he could have passed to AJ a few times, I like the fact that he backs himself when he sniffs a gap and takes them on.
19 runs for 188 metres in an NRL game gets a big tick from his coaches.
Damien Cook – Shake & Bake
A nice try from our rep hooker, is there a better sight than seeing Cookie darting in, around and past the opposition to score under the posts?
Our Blues star rake also had a try assist and helped himself to 12 runs for 141 metres, love your work mate.
Daniel Suluka Fifita – DSF YES
Big Dan the Matto Tiger junior was excellent again pounding out 15 runs for 135 metres and some bone jarring tackles.
DSF keeps improving and looks happy to be home.
Cody Walker – Run Free
17 runs for over 100 metres from your five eight is great production and it was good to see Cody in the clear cutting through the defence and playing a bit of footy. More magic moments to come, stay tuned.
Davvy Moale – Damaging
I’m a huge fan of big Davvy and his work off the bench was another step to becoming an essential forward in this team.
In limited minutes his 9 runs for 111 metres were impressive but his 43 post contact metres were most noticeable of all and were among the best of anyone on the field. Davvy is as strong as a bull and defences feel the strain when he runs the football.
The future looks bright for our young gun prop.
Blake Taaffe – Taaffey Touch
Taaffey had a real spring in his step when he got out there and looked dangerous every time he got the ball. That 14 spot may be his to lose now.
Mark Nicholls – The Goats Back
Nico gave his team another valuable contribution off the bench, churning through 11 runs for 139 metres on the way to ticking every box required from our bench forwards. Welcome back Nico!
Siliva Havili – Hope You’re Ok Liva
One of the stars of our season Liva was good again until what looked like a leg injury ended his day early. Hope your alright mate we need you healthy.