Trial 2: South Sydney 22 defeated St. George Illawarra 18
A scrappy performance with patches of brilliance and moments that had me saying NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! Seibold goes through the preseason 2 from 2 and gets his first piece of silverware. How good is Mudgee? It felt like being back at Redfern Oval when the Charity Shield was in its heyday, except no big hits or biff.
The Outsider’s five key areas
Attack – 3.5/5
When the passes stuck it was poetry in motion with those sweeping backline plays. John Sutton wound back the clock when he set Cody Walker up. And once again, Sutto left the Coach Potatoes with egg on their face after a solid 62 minute performance. Surely, he’s cemented a starting spot for Round 1.
Speaking of starting spots, don’t book a flexi-ticket for Damien Cook to Perth. He has moved to $1.01 as starting hooker after that performance. He made a brilliant run from dummy half but nearly butchered it by not passing to an open Alex Johnston who would have scored under the black dot. Cook instead went for the glory play by making a b-line towards the sideline and nearly ended up on a picnic blanket. He did the exact same thing in the 2016 Charity Shield and went over the sideline as there was no great support play by Angus Crichton to bail him out. It was great to see Gussy get a meat pie.
Jacob Gagan had a solid performance and will be pushing for selection. It is refreshing to see new signings proving their worth. Speaking of new signings, Dane Gagai did what he had to do to get through the trial. Let’s hope he goes up a few more gears in Round 1.
Defence – 2.5/5
Very disappointing tonight. Lots of missed tackles and poor defensive reads. We are very lucky that St. George Illawarra bombed at least three tries tonight otherwise we’d of been on the other end of the score.
St. George Illawarra troubled us at stages when they had the ball and if we don’t tighten up our defence, especially out wide, then New Zealand will have a field day. It feels like the problems of last year are still lingering around.
Macdonald’s try, Kennar charges in off his wing – Campbell Graham did the same thing last week too. We did this all of last year as well, are we being coached to run in? Well, when players run in there is usually a defensive jam that occurs to cover the gap but it’s not working. I can’t see us making the finals if we continue to have our wingers flying in.
Dufty’s try, our right edge was a shambles. Fuimaono, Doueihi, Gagai and Kennar were all over the shop and St. George Illawarra rightfully ran rings around them.
Look at the Ah Mau try, sheer laziness on your own goal line. No commitment at all there. We have seen plenty of tries like that scored against us over the previous two seasons. It is moments like these that seperate the men from the boys when it comes to the final standings.
Completions – 2.5/5
Overheard a punter at the game say “Souths either look like scoring or they drop the ball”. This summed up tonight, a lot of brilliance in attack but we also dug ourselves a few holes by turning the ball over cheaply.
Kicking game – 2.5/5
Our stand-in kickers did their best with Adam Doueihi providing a lot of pressure off the back of his kicks. Cody Walker is lucky that Adam Reynolds takes most of the kicks as we’d be on struggle street if he was the go-to on the last.
Discipline – 1/5
We were pathetic tonight and it is a real worry for the season ahead. We really did make the job a bit harder for ourselves with avoidable penalties that we gave away. The sin bin was the icing on the cake and we were lucky that it did not cost us the match.
Where to from here?
Brilliant attack. The return of Greg Inglis. Angus Crichton showing the Coach Potatoes why his heart is still in it for this season.
Poor discipline and defence. We have a lot to work on in those areas.
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