A South Sydney Rabbitohs fan channel. Grant ‘Chaps’ Chappell & former players Steve Mavin & Darren Brown dig deep into all things South Sydney & interview special guests each week. Please subscribe to our Rabbitohs TV YouTube channel. We are an independent show and not affiliated with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
This morning Chaps and Mavo sat down to dissect last nights loss to the Panthers and looked towards the run to the finals.
Browny watched the game at the new Rabbitohs friendly Pavilion Surf Club on the beach in Bali and his thoughts on the game were – “We looked like the only team that was going to win that game, their attack didn’t trouble us at all.”
“However a 69% completion rate will not win you games against any team let alone the Panthers even without their superstars.”
“We failed to nail our opportunities, another area you need to get right in the big games.”
What a painful loss. Souths just threw that away. And while it’s easy to point the finger at certain players for their mistakes, Souths were outsmarted and outsmarted by a Penrith team missing their best two players.
But having said that I can also say that Penrith are also cheats in defence – two metres in front of the ref all night and laying all over us on the ruck so long I’m pretty sure they’ll still be a Penrith player laying there when we play the Cowboys next week. I was at the game and I’m telling you, Penrith were not only in front of the referee, they were running up off the line before we even played the ball. But this idiot ref had zero control – he was so out of his depth he needed floaties. The penalty count should have been 10-0 in Souths favour.
Kikau, who looked like an oversized cotton bud with his bleached blonde hair, must have had some sort of special leave pass to be exempt from the rules tonight because I could have counted on one hand the number of times he was actually onside. And Penrith had so many escorts to protect their fullback they should be working in Kings Cross. How are they allowed to get away with that? I can recall Cody Walker was once penalised because he looked over his shoulder and yet Penrith run at angles in front of our players without giving away a penalty.
OK, enough about Penrith, now we need to take a long hard look at our own backyard. It doesn’t help us in the fourth minute when Damien Cook, the current NSW Origin hooker, throws the world’s first intercept pass that rolled along the ground for Crichton to snatch up and score the easiest try of his career. That was the worst start to a game for while.
Now as much as I think Latrell is a genius (had made a good offload for Cody’s try) he also makes some dumb decisions and that happened again tonight. In the 27th minute he runs the ball up and tries to milk a penalty in the ruck and ends up losing the ball. Off the next scrum, Edwards ran past Paulo and Graham like they were mannequins and scored another easy Penrith try that came from our mistakes. That penalty he gave away when he dived on the ball on our line because Penrith never had a dummy half was a line-ball decision that could been judged fair by another ref with a higher IQ. There were some heart-stopping passes he threw on our line as well to Paulo and AJ. His short dropouts backfired again tonight and even his short kick off near the end of the game didn’t even make 10m. Ilias was also caught out a few times and couldn’t get the fifth tackle kick away and didn’t have enough to inspire and organise his side.
When Souths had the ball, they struggled to make ground and maintain field position. Souths needed to adapt to the conditions – if they pull a knife, you pull a gun. For a start they should have stayed in Penrith’s faces like they were in ours in defence. Instead there were periods when we let them come to us. With the ball we were pretty well contained and our battering rams who usually make a lot of ground were barely reaching the advantage line. One way they could have adapted was trying to offload more and getting players to support the ball carrier. With Penrith having four to a tackle, any ball we managed to offload resulted in some good second phase play and we made some progress. We also needed to fight to play the ball – that would have made the time Penrith were laying on us seem even longer.
And as if this night wasn’t miserable enough after that loss, they also decided to close the M5 East after 9.30pm. Who’s the genius who decided to close a major motorway on the night of a Souths game in Homebush. It took me more than an hour to get home – I’m pretty sure Penrith had something to do with it – they got away with everything else.
Apart from handing Penrith the minor premiership we’ve also put finishing in the top four out of reach as well. And unfortunately the job doesn’t get any easier with Cowboys next week followed by the last game of the regular season against the Roosters. At least we have a nine-day turnaround to get things right before the match against the Cowboys. Now is the time we discover just how far we are willing to go and how deep we want to dig. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!
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The Rabbitohs trained strongly at this mornings captains run on a sparkling day at Redfern Oval. Latrell Mitchell trained at fullback and Lachy Ilias, Campbell Graham and Daniel Suluka Fifita all got through the session with no set backs.
Bunnies fullback Latrell Mitchell has been named to play on Thursday night against the competition leaders the Penrith Panthers.
Latrell left training early yesterday with a reported groin strain but it appears he will be ok to play against the Panthers.
Campbell Graham returns in the centres so Izaac Thomson aka ITOM moves to the extended bench for Jaxson Paulo on the right wing. Big Dan Suluka Fifita comes back into the side with Davvy Moale making way.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are pleased to announce their NRL squad for round 23 against the Penrith Panthers at Accor Stadium to be played this Thursday 18 August at 7:50pm.
Rabbitohs Head Coach Jason Demetriou welcomes back Campbell Graham to his centre pairing this week with Jaxson Paulo shifting to the wing. Daniel Suluka-Fifita also returns to the starting front row with Hame Sele starting from the interchange bench.
The Rabbitohs NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg Cup teams will take on the Penrith Panthers in round 23. The NSW Cup game will be a curtain raiser to the NRL fixture at Accor Stadium on Thursday 18 August at 7:50pm, with the Jersey Flegg Cup match commencing at 2:30pm on Sunday 21 August at Erskineville Oval.
Rabbitohs Premier Partner, Aqualand, is giving three lucky Rabbitohs Members or supporters the chance to win an AURA by Aqualand apartment worth $1 million at half time on Thursday night in one of the biggest prizes to be up for grabs at a Rabbitohs game day!
The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NRL squad for Thursday’s round 23 clash with the Panthers is: 1) Latrell Mitchell 2) Alex Johnston 3) Isaiah Tass 4) Campbell Graham 5) Jaxson Paulo 6) Cody Walker 7) Lachlan Ilias 8) Junior Tatola 9) Damien Cook 10) Daniel Suluka-Fifita 11) Keaon Koloamatangi 12) Jai Arrow 13) Cameron Murray (c) Interchange: 14) Taane Milne 15) Mark Nicholls 16) Siliva Havili 17) Hame Sele 18) Blake Taaffe 19) Dean Hawkins 20) Davvy Moale 21) Shaquai Mitchell 22) Izaac Thompson Head Coach – Jason Demetriou
The Rabbitohs NSW Cup squad for Thursday’s match up with the Panthers is:
1) Blake Taaffe 2) Josh Mansour 3) Jacob Gagai (c) 4) Richie Kennar 5) Jake Tago 6) Jack Campagnolo 7) Dean Hawkins 8) Davvy Moale 9) Peter Mamouzelos 10) Shaquai Mitchell 11) Maila Chanfoon 12) Jaxson Rahme 13) Tyson Hodge Interchange: 14) Shannon Gardiner 15) Yileen Gordon 16) Thomas Giles 17) Tristan Alvarado 18) Nic Mougios Coach – Dane Dorahy
The Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg Cup squad for Sunday’s game against the Panthers is: 1) Tyrone Munro 2) Zane Bijorac 3) Leon Te Hau 4) Lachoneus Paki 5) Deijion Leugaimafa 6) Dion Teaupa 7) Mitchell Chester 8) TJ Toevai 9) Romano Cook (c) 10) Isaiah Vailalo 11) Taine Woodford 12) Dranza Hawe-De-Thierry 13) Cruise Tweedie Interchange: 14) Keahlan Bray 15) Trent Griffiths 16) Marco Moretti 17) Cecil Lahood 18) Josh Rizk 19) Evan Manning Coach – Leon Latulipe
Clinical. That’s what that win was for Souths. Ruthless. And you know what else it was? A statement to the teams we have ahead of us on the ladder including upcoming opponents Penrith and the Cowboys. We’re coming for you! They are playing with a certainty and a confidence that has been built brick by brick over the last few weeks. With that comprehensive win in the bank they are standing even taller. And keeping Parramatta scoreless also spoke volumes about our commitment with and without the ball. I was cheering the team on from New Yok were the game kicked off at 6am – I’ve never been more excited to set the early alarm! I bounced out of bed like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning!!
That victory was built from the opening part of the game when Souths established great field position. We were relentlessly making excellent ground – every one of our ball carriers were just eating up the metres. And they were defending like their lives depended on it to keep the Eels pinned in their end. It was one of the most dominant starts to a game by Souths that I can remember.
We lost young Ilias with a hamstring injury late but Hawkins filled in like he’s been playing first grade every week. His kicking and his play with the ball was efficient and mature and proved to be a major part of our victory platform. It was also pleasing to see the other young guns like Tass and Izaac Thompson and rookie forwards like Sele, Havili, Moale who all turned up to play and to provide amazing support for Cam Murray, Cody Walker, Junior Tatola, Koloamatangi and Alex Johnston. And it was both their attack and defence that made it such a fine effort. Defence goes unnoticed most times but our players were putting in the work – it’s not as glamourous as a line break or a try but now it has become the backbone of our success. Latrell was once again in his element every time he touched the ball and he made yards and broke the line at will. And it all looks effortless.
I think Souths put the game away early in the second half when Parramatta made a strong start with coach Brad Arthur’s words no doubt still ringing in their ears. They were playing like Souths did in the first half, but we stood our ground and our defence held and we eventually forced them into errors. The Eels did force two dropouts – and Souths decided to kick short both times. For the life of me, I can’t understand the thinking behind this. It just puts us under more pressure if we can’t get the ball back. Tonight we didn’t get the ball back and even gave away a penalty. In a tight game this could blow up in our face. But thankfully Souths defence was up to the job to keep out Parra’s probing attack.
The ref did his best to keep the Eels in the game with a few questionable penalties and six agains in the second half. I thought Cody was unfairly punished after making a solid ball and all tackle – Eels were given six again because the ref said he was holding the player down which he didn’t. Young Thompson showed a little inexperience not stepping inside near the line and spilled a couple of balls as well – but he’ll be better for the run. But our error rate was fairly low tonight. What I liked was how they played after the errors – they contained the damage and got on with it. This team has become a locomotive that will be impossible to derail.
It’s a short turnaround for our next game against the Panthers and I’m hoping we get some Grand Final revenge. If Souths can maintain this form and build on it no one can stop us. And with Campbell Graham and Tom Burgess coming back into the side next week we’ll be even stronger. Souths are on a mission and really timing their run perfectly. The other teams have been put on notice – our run for premiership glory is well and truly under way. Let’s go Rabbitohs!!!