Ill Discipline Mars Contest
There were plenty of penalties and two sin bins during this game which really marred the quality of the contest.
A George Burgess brain explosion lead to the hulking English forward having a ten minute spell, although plenty, including myself, thought that he should have been sent for an early shower. The flurry of punches and elbows on opposition forward Mitch Barnett was unacceptable and he’ll be on the sideline for a few weeks.
Knights captain Trent Hodkinson was controversially sent as well with ten minutes to go for talking back to the referee after the the Rabbitohs won a scrum feed the Knights had fed. It was good to see the referee not tolerating any verbal abuse from players, but it definitely needs to be more consistent, particularly with players like Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston who get in their ears on a weekly basis but get no punishment.
But Individual Brilliance Brought Back The Entertainment
Some individual brilliance from Adam Reynolds and Mitch Barnett just reminded us of why we love rugby league.
In the 58th minute Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds hoisted a beautiful pass to his winger Braidon Burns to score his first NRL try. The pass was a showing of how creative rugby league players can be and I’m sure it’s something that Rabbitohs fans, and Burns, want to see more.
Young tearaway backrower Mitch Barnett channelled his inner Gorden Tallis by dragging Souths fullback Alex Johnston back into the in goal by the collar. The physicality of the game is something that attracts fans and this was just a great example of that.
Robbie Finally Gets Milestone Win
But he was benched for a long period. In what was an odd move from coach Michael Maguire, Farah, playing his 250th NRL game, was benched after just half an hour on the field.
The thing that confused me more was that he didn’t return until 10 minutes to play, where his team was only up by ten points. Considering it was not only a milestone game but also the fact Farah was directing his team well it was a move that has question marks over it.
Knights On The Rise
In both of their losses they were in the game for the whole 80, and it was great to see the Knights instill some of the Newcastle spirit into their game. They might not compete for the top eight just yet, but the red and blue legion are on the rise.
Their recruitment has been solid as the likes of Mitch Barnett, Jamie Buhrer and Josh Starling traded blows with the Rabbitohs, not taking a backward step to their more fancied forward pack.
Youngsters like the Saifiti and Mata’utia brothers, Brock Lamb, Luke Yates and the likes are the future of the club and they will slowly make their way up the ladder in the next few years.
South Sydney Rabbitohs – 24
Tries: Alex Johnston (7m), John Sutton (20m), Bryson Goodwin (42m), Braidon Burns (58m)
Goals: Adam Reynolds (4/5)
Newcastle Knights – 18
Tries: Trent Hodkinson (24m), Peter Mata’utia (30m), Ken Sio (78m)
Goals: Trent Hodkinson (2/4), Brock Lamb (1/1)
Sin Bins: George Burgess (24m), Trent Hodkinson (69m)