21st March 2018
Well it was a tradional day of Rugby League at Penrith. Back to the good old days of 3 grades on game day, with Reserve Grade and U20s also playing. Conditions were once again hot with 38C reported during the day. It was a game that we started well and should have closed out the game and won. But our travel woes continued. We have now played 10 games in Perth and now lost 9 games after returning home. It will now be a dificult assignment against a red hot Manly team in another double header match, this time at ANZ Stadium.
2018 has seen 5 players debut so far for Souths with Kennar, Nicholls, Tatola and Gagai in Round 1 and Doueihi in Round 2. Kennar has made the most of the pre-season and his chance with very solid performances and adds much needed power in his runs and kick returns. Doueihi had a solid debut last week and is building nicely after his RLWC campaign last year.
Last week saw the return of Kyle Turner in the Bears with a solid 60 min performance. He was rewarded with a return to the extended bench this week.
Kurtis Preece has settled back into the Rabbitohs system very well since following Willie Peters back from Manly. He is guiding the team around the paddock nicely, we will monitor how he progresses over the course of the year.
There has been a huge growth in Womens Rugby League over the last 2 to 3 years. Participation number have jumped in the order of 70%. With Rugby Union and AFL also trying to cash into this growth. This week see's the first ever Rabbitohs Womens team play in the NSWRL Premiership. Last year, The Redfern All Black's flew the Womens RL flag for the district, but this year has seen a evolution to "district" representation with Souths, Norths and Newcastle competing.
Where to start, politics has once again taken over in the need to refurbishment of Sydney stadia. ANZ Stadium has been targeted for a significant $1.25 billion dollar upgrade to bring it into a true rectangular configuration stadium. With a knockdown and rebuild now the prefered option for a 75k seated stadium. But also as part of the plan is the desire to address the aging SFS facility. The SFS was built in mid 1980s, with its well documented roof problems, and ageing concrete infrastructure, has been deemed a security risk. It also has a knockdown and rebuild strategy. But has a cost of $900 mil for a 45k configuration stadium. ANZ is planned to be completed first with a MOU between the NSW Government and the NRL guarantee to play Grand Finals at the new ANZ for the next 25 years. But with a election campaign smack bang in the middle of rebuild timetable, it is now being dragged into the political debate. With $300 mil Parramatta Stadium rebuild progressing well, there has been a push by the SCG Trust to get the SFS built before the election and cancel or reduce the ANZ rebuild. With the AFL joining the debate and not wanting to loose the oval configuration option, even though the Swans no longer use ANZ stadium. While we have the opposition wanting to reduce significntly the $2.1 billion dollar costs of the rebuild. The rest of the country and other sports are just laughing at the political bum fight going on in NSW on this necessary peice of sporting infrastruture.
Round 2 - Stat Attack
Statistically again the match started well but ended poor. Completion rates improved to 79% from 66% last week. Errors dropped to 9 from 14 again last week. We gave away 13 up from 7 penalities last week. Souths Effective 1st tackle was steady at a poor level of 40.6m from 40.0m last week. But impacted by a very poor 2nd half of 52.0m. Our missed tackles dropped to a horrid level of 40 missed tackles from 33 last week. Opposition offloads were steady at 10 again this week.
Looking at our left side defence - Jennings-Inglis/Fuimaono-Walker-Sutton (1-5-4-0) dropped to 10 from 8 missed tackles last week. On the right side Kennar-Gagai-Doueihi-Crichton (1-3-1-4) was improved to 9 from 13 missed tackles last week. Ruck defence TBurgess/GBurgess-Cook-SBurgess/Nicholls/Tatola-SBurgess/Murray (6-5-2-6) dropped to 19 from 13 missed tackles last week.
Our go forward this week improved to 1660m from 1557m last week. TomBurgess, George Burgess, Nicholls, Jennings and Inglis made 10+m per run. Cook, Sam Burgess, Murray, Tom Burgess, Crichton, Jennings, Gagai, Kennar, Walker and Johnston making 100+m in the match. Defensively Cook was our best in the tackling raking up 49 tackles. Sutton and Tatola not missing a tackle.
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