The Outsider #22 – Round 9 review


Round 9: South Sydney 36 defeated Newcastle 18

The Outsider

Wow, who saw that coming? I certainly didn’t. Besides the soft tries we let in we delivered a strong performance which was a polar opposite to last week’s loss to Brisbane.

There are still areas for improvement but the boys seem to be learning every week and building towards something bigger.

That’s now nine wins in-a-row against Newcastle and they may create their own Book of Feuds chapter against us.

What about the crowd of 22,718? Crazy for a 6pm Friday game. That was the second highest crowd figure for a 6pm Friday game with a record crowd of 23,516 turning up in Round 1 to watch Newcastle defeat Manly-Warringah. It was our fourth highest crowd figure at Hunter Stadium. Strange how some Sydney siders find any excuse to stay at home instead of turning up to games.

The Outsider’s five key areas

Attack – 4/5

At times we were lethal in attack and then it was like we were stuck in neutral.

Cody Walker had a red hot go today with ball in hand and is developing a nice combination with John Sutton and Alex Johnston. Cody lost his mother during the week and it was great to see him out there performing well with a brave face on.

After a game to forget last week, Damien Cook went back to the basics and had a stellar performance. We hear that Anthony Seibold didn’t miss in video during the week and Cook responded well. The try he scored showed great vision and really did put the sword into the Newcastle. The coach potatoes are demanding him to be starting hooker for New South Wales after that performance. Let’s just hope he replicates the performance against St. George Illawarra next week.

It was good to see Campbell Graham score his first meat pie and he nearly came close to a second in the second half. It’s only early days for ‘Stretch’ but he hasn’t looked out of place since returning from injury.

There are still a few issues around our game management. Last week before half time we turned the ball over and it had us on the back foot and this week we put in a poor kick which resulted in Newcastle going from one end to the other to score and put them back into the game.

Defence – 3.5/5

I am still not sold on our defence, we have lapses which lead to arm and shirt grabbing and moments of great goal line defence. For some reason parts of our line drops off when the ball isn’t near them this leads to being flat footed, retreating and second guessing in defence.

Completions – 5/5

WOW! 34/36 = 94%!! With a 100% completion rate in the first half – I can’t remember the last time we had a half with a 100% completion rate? We came close in the first half of the 2014 grand final with only one incomplete set.

I know I go on about this every week but you can really see the difference completion rates make.

Kicking game – 3/5

Adam Reynolds had one of his better kicking performances with only a couple of howlers.

I mentioned in the preview about the need for a varied kicking game considering the surface at Hunter Stadium with the short grass and room service bounce. We saw what happened when the ball was allowed to bounce!

Discipline – 3/5

Our discipline was better this week and it showed how focused and committed we were. The game s

Where to from here?

Positives

We completed really well and our attack was great. Unsung hero’s like Robert Jennings and Mark Nicholls has great games. Adam Reynolds is slowing getting back into form and the twins are unstoppable.

Negatives

Soft defence – enough said.

Until then….

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