The Bunnies were always going to be up against it here, but few would have seen this type of performance coming from the minor premiers.
At times, the Storm looked as though they were playing against a reserve grade side from a park footy club. At other times, they looked like the “reggies” team. Now, this might seem like a strange thing to say about a team who not only put up over 60-points in the best rugby league competition in the world, but also kept their opposition to a lone try against them. But, here is the warning part, they can get better.
You see, there were many occasions, specifically in the period between the 8th and 28th minute where the Storm were guilty of trying to rush things and lacked poise and patience. Coach Craig Bellamy, as happy as he would be with a result like this, would be hammering this period into his players during the week because the game could have been very different if they had been playing against an opposition who were capable of making the Storm pay for their errors.
As it was, they were not and they went on to post a massive victory. But, the Storm can get better.
Will Anyone Challenge The Storm?
A few teams have shown that they can definitely put the points on the board this week, but the question of defence is still to be answered by those teams. The Parramatta/Broncos game was an exciting game to watch, but considering both are in the mix to take on the likes of the Storm in the first week of the finals, both may well be brought back down to Earth very quickly if they are unable to solidify their defences.
The Storm already have their defence in order, and their attack is definitely getting to where they want it to be. In short, they are already the team that everyone wants to stay clear of.
You get the feeling that until someone is actually able to beat the Storm, you doubt anyone has the game to not only push the Storm, but actually get over the top of them. It really appears that the 2017 premiership is the Storm’s to lose.
One of Those Nights For Souths
South Sydney came into this game without their in-form strike weapon in Alex Johnston which put them behind the 8-ball to begin with. However, not long into the game, they also lose Adam Reynolds along with his kicking game. Add the fact that the Storm scored two very quick tries to open the game, and the Rabbitohs just never recovered.
One of the things coach Michael Maguire can take out of this game is the fact his players never threw in the towel. Despite everything, the effort was there, the execution and quality wasn’t though. With players playing out of position and a lot of talent on the sideline, few expected the Rabbitohs to win this game, but looking at things from a long term perspective, the young players will learn a lot from these kinds of experiences, as long as they are supported throughout.
Actually, It’s Been One Of Those Years
2017 has been one of those seasons where nothing has gone right for South Sydney. Key injuries throughout the season has been detrimental for them, however, there has been the odd rainbow. The form of Alex Johnston before his unfortunate injury had been huge turnaround for the club. All of a sudden, they looked like the team many of us know they can be. If he comes back next season with the confidence of knowing he can be a real factor in matches, the Rabbitohs will benefit from this.
The return of Greg Inglis, hopefully in a much better mental and physical state than ever before, is something to look forward to. An injury free Angus Crichton will be hugely beneficial to them. The absence of Robbie Farah will help the play of Damien Cook in that Maguire won’t have to appease Farah and have him in the squad. Cook can become an 80-minute threat.
There are signs for a brighter future at Redfern.
Tries: Vunivalu (1m, 27m, 39m), Munster (5m), Addo-Carr (32m, 50m, 77m), Smith (37m), Slater (44m), Glasby (57m), Harris (69m)
Goals: Smith 9/9, Munster 1/2
Tries: Fuimaono (64m)
Goals: Goodwin 1/1