Round 5: South Sydney 12 defeated by St. George-Illawarra 16
“You only have so many comebacks in you” and that was the case of last week versus tonight.
If you’re relying on scoring three tries in the last 10 minutes to win then you don’t deserve to. I know some will say that it doesn’t matter when you score them it’s just that you do, well that might work in soccer but not rugby league.
Once again Souths can pride themselves in their defence and resilience but can’t convert these efforts into early points. St. George-Illawarra had that much ball that at one stage possession was 80% in their favour so when we went into the sheds down 8-2 the scoreline really did flatter us.
The Outsider’s five key areas
Attack – 2/5
We lacked direction in attack and spent a lot of time playing hot potato with the pill instead of troubling St. George-Illawarra.
I am not sure why we kept persisting with attacking the edges. When working the edges doesn’t work it’s time to play out and in and cause some damage. We started doing that towards the end and got results.
We were on the back foot in the first half and old habits crept in. We got to a stage where we were going through the motions playing one out footy.
I would have thrown Doueihi in after 25 minutes and sent a message out to him on the sideline saying “change the game”. I am not sure why it took 70 minutes and a HIA for him to get a start. We went from 0 to 100 when he came on at the expense of Adam Reynolds.
The Coach Potatoes are calling for Reyno to be dropped to Fake Souths but what will that achieve? It’s Reyno’s first game back from injury and he hasn’t had much footy or a proper preseason.
Our left edge is the place to be with a lot of play going down that side but for little to no result.
The problem is that we were poorly organised down that side and too bunched up when running plays. To use the edge you need speed and quick hands, we didn’t have either tonight. St. George-Illawarra’s defence adjusted accordingly and it became merely a training run for them.
Players like Greg Inglis and Cody Walker need space when they get the ball and they were stuck in traffic all night.
Defence – 3/5
We showed a lot of ticker in our red zone to keep them to two tries.
The first try was embarrassing and I can’t ever recall seeing Greg Inglis get beat like that. Even Greg knew it was embarrassing as he dropped his head when Euan Aitken crossed the stripe. If you’re brave enough to watch the replay of that try take notice of Willie Peters on the sideline and his reaction. Also, why is Willie Peters that far down the sideline? Shouldn’t he be back on the bench as per the rules?
The try to Dufty was against the play and there’s not much we can do about it.
We missed 21 tackles again which isn’t good and makes the job a lot harder for us. We definitely missed Sam’s defence.
Completions – 2.5/5
29 from 38 = 76.31 % The golden 80% is still a long way away and doesn’t look like being achieved anytime soon.
Kicking game – 3/5
Our kicking options were tacky but the inclusion of Adam Reynolds got us a few repeat sets. Adam found a bit of grass as well off the boot so it was refreshing to have him back.
Discipline – 1.5/5
Getting marched an extra 10 for back chat doesn’t do us any favours with the referees.
Where to from here?
Our goal line defence was solid and we only let one try in from defending on our goal line. Adam Doueihi’s appearance in the last 10 minutes resulted in our only two tries being scored.
If Seibold can improve his bench rotations and get Doueihi on earlier then he can really run riot.
Cameron Murray was outstanding again,
Robert Jennings performed well and it was good to see Alex Johnston defusing those high balls under pressure.
It was great to see Jason Clark back and he played really well. It makes you wonder why wingers and centres were being picked on the bench ahead of him. Jason plays his 150th first grade game next week.
We still have lots to work on but if we can sort a few things out and string a solid streak together then we can still be a force come September. There’s a lot of hope and determination in this side.
We lack game management and are not capitalising on opportunities in attack.
I mentioned in the preview that George shouldn’t start and he was replaced after 15 minutes. He is better suited rotating with his brother as they had been doing all season. George adds a lot of punch when he comes on off the bench and we lacked that when he and his brother were both off the field.
It was disappointing to score two tries a piece with the difference being two penalty goals.