Round 2: South Sydney 14 defeated by Penrith 18
Talk about going form the penthouse to the shit house, all it took was 40 minutes. As the sun set so did our chances of winning.
Winning would have given the team a massive confidence booster but all losing has done is add another dent.
Souths lack a leader, they throw the captaincy to stars like Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess but your best players are not always the best leaders.
There were times in that game when someone needed to stand up, rally the troops and make sure that the foot was kept on the throat. Look at Penrith’s late penalty goal attempt, Souths had thrown the towel in looking like Brown’s cows and not strategically placed for the missed attempt. It is the little things like this that prevent you from building a winning culture.
The dodgy kick off call and two HIAs are a cute excuse for today’s loss.
Since winning the premiership, Souths have gone backwards.
The Outsider’s five key areas
Attack – 2.5/5
Our attack was missing in action, yes we scored two tries in the first half but besides that we didn’t look like troubling Penrith. The Coach Potatoes will celebrate these tries but we rarely got into Penrith’s red zone and never looked a threat.
The first try was a length of the field effort involving Kennar with Jennings and Walker backing up. And the second try was a bit of individual brilliance by Cook that caught Penrith off guard.
We controlled the ball well in the first half with 61% possession and a few piggy back penalties but we couldn’t convert these into points.
Damien Cook was very quiet out of dummy half which was disappointing, especially when Penrith’s middle was sluggish at times. Off the back of Cook, Souths should have been up by more. He showed what he was capable of in the trials but if you’re going to be basing your attack on his quickness from out of dummy half then you need a plan b. There were plenty of instances to exploit Penrith’s lazy markers but we just seemed to keep going one out.
Defence – 3/5
We showed a lot of ticker in defence, to keep a side like Penrith scoreless at halftime after our efforts of late is a great achievement. It looked like we ran out of gas in the second half though and we fell back into old habits of shirt grabbing.
The addition of Cameron Murray tightened up the middle but he can’t do it on his own. Souths sides of old were able to defend a lead but the game has changed, it’s too fast now. It was game over when Tyrone Peachey checked-in with 18 minutes to go and the momentum swung resulting in Souths being on the back foot.
We really don’t cope well with second and third phase play. When we control the ruck we make sides go through the motions but once they get a sniff we retreat and second guess ourselves.
Completions – 3/5
29 from 38 = 76.3% which is an improvement from last week and not far from the golden 80%. There were a few crucial errors towards the end of the game that didn’t help the cause.
Kicking game – 2.5/5
Not much to write home about, there were a handful of good kicks but the rest were gifts to Penrith’s backs. It’s was a tough day at the office for Adam Doueihi who got one or two good kicks away. Cody Walker tried his best but the grubber that went dead would have ended up at Richmond if there wasn’t a fence there. One of the best kicks was Damien Cook’s one out of dummy half, I mentioned in my preview that Cook needed to do more of these to make up for the meters we’d lose without Reynolds’ boot.
Once thing I’ve noticed is that our warm ups have changed, we don’t focus on practicing kicking as much as we used to. I think this needs to be brought back especially when you’re playing away from home in conditions that you’re not used to.
Discipline – 2/5
It’s hard to play at Penrith Park but we did ourselves no favours with some of the penalties we gave away. We lost the count 13-9 and it makes you wonder if Seibold’s relaxed approach is really paying off? Our on field discipline is poor and is costing us.
Where to from here?
We kept Penrith scoreless for 51 minutes, controlled the ruck and were direct in the first half plus Adam Doueihi looked good with the ball.
Need to stay in the fight for the whole game, cut out the silly penalties and increase our speed out of the ruck.
Where did they play?
With 40 contracted players, not all can make the First Grade 17. Visit our player tracker to see where everyone played this weekend.