The Sydney Roosters recorded four victories in a row to start their year since the 1995 ARL season, defeating arch-rivals South Sydney on a soggy Thursday night at ANZ Stadium.
Room For Improvement For Both Sides
It was a solid win for the Roosters and while the Rabbitohs never gave up, there is still plenty of improvement for both teams.
While they shot out of the blocks, the Roosters once again struggled to pace themselves and fell away in the second half, where they could have easily run away with a win. The Rabbitohs on the other hand, struggled to hold onto the ball and did well to give themselves opportunities but failed to capitalise on them, making 11 errors compared to the Roosters 6.
Luckily for both teams it’s still only early days and there is plenty of room for improvement.
Rabbitohs Depth Tested
They may have only scored one try but it was a gallant effort from South Sydney, who were missing a glut of their starting roster due to injury and suspension. Greg Inglis, Aaron Gray, Hymel Hunt, Braidon Burns and George Burgess were all out of the contest, while Sam Burgess and Sifa Talakai were forced to go off due to concussion during the match.
The team was affected by absences so much that they were forced to play North Sydney Bears contracted player Sitiveni Moceidreke on the right wing, who was solid in his NRL debut.
But considering the Bunnies only conceded 6 points in the second half is a testament to their grit and determination, and with a more complete roster they should be able to compete much better.
What A Night For Goal Kicking
Big ups to Michael Gordon and Adam Reynolds who nailed all their conversions last night; most being from the sideline.
On a wet track with the odd downpour, it was great to see both sharp shooters put on a strong display despite the obvious distractions.
Considering the importance of goal kickers in the modern game, it was pleasing for both sets of fans to see four points turn into six more often than not.
Has The Spark Gone?
The mantle of best rivalry in rugby league has now gone to the Broncos and Cowboys.
I know it was a wet Thursday night but only 10,000 people attended what was supposed to be the NRL’s biggest rivalry.
There wasn’t a whole lot of feeling on the field either, as it felt like players were just going through the motions.
Perhaps it was the scheduling but I expected more from both fan bases and players.
In fact, the last two matches between the sides saw my team lose, and yet it didn’t really feel like that big a loss.
Sure, I may have matured slightly from previous years, but it just felt like a regular season loss, not a loss to the arch rivals who I hate to lose to and hate to see win.
Unfortunately, I think the spark has flickered on this one.