Shannon Meyer reviews South Sydney’s shock thrashing of Parramatta, as the Rabbitohs completely overwhelmed the Eels with an outstanding attacking display.
|5th||Try Corey Allen (South Sydney)||South Sydney 4-0|
|6th||Goal Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 6-0|
|17th||Try Jaxson Paulo (South Sydney)||South Sydney 10-0|
|29th||Try Cody Walker (South Sydney)||South Sydney 14-0|
|30th||Goal Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 16-0|
|32rd||Try Jaydn Su’A (South Sydney)||South Sydney 20-0|
|33rd||Goal Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 22-0|
|51st||Try Campbell Graham (South Sydney)||South Sydney 26-0|
|53rd||Goal Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 28-0|
|67th||Try Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 32-0|
|72nd||Try Campbell Graham (South Sydney)||South Sydney 36-0|
|73rd||Goal Adam Reynolds (South Sydney)||South Sydney 38-0|
The game opened up with the enthusiasm you would expect between two top eight sides, and there was an early chance for Parramatta when the Rabbitohs failed to attempt to take bomb. A Mika Sivo forward pass as he headed to touch stopped the try, but it was good early signs for the Eels.
A knock on in good attacking position for the Eels from Ryan Matterson, after a crunching Campbell Graham tackle, proved costly in the fifth minute as Souths opened up the try scoring for the evening. After a good set, Cody Walker drifted left and fired a pass to Latrell Mitchell, who delivered a quick pass to Cory Allen who cruised to the line after Blake Ferguson had come in to stop Mitchell. There were problems with the conversion of course.
Despite Souths having marginal territorial advantage, Parramatta had a few good attacking raids after the Rabbitohs’ first try, but errors and crucial penalties was costing the Eels points in attack. And once again it was about to cost them points in defence.
Following on from the next set, a set restart 10 metres out for the Rabbitohs went right through Adam Reynolds this time; Steven Marsters got the better of Michael Jennings through strength and he found winger Jaxson Paulo, who did a fine job to score his first try of his NRL career. For once Reynolds missed a sideline conversion.
A significant moment for Parramatta made their night worse in the 27th minute, as the Eels five-eighth Dylan Brown went down injured. He played on for a while, but never looked 100% from then.
After scoring down the left, and then the right, through either of the halves, they combined to tear the Eels up through the centre, with Reynolds drifting right and putting Cody Walker through a gap, who then stormed to the line, evading the Eels fullback Clinton Gutherson on the way to scoring under the posts.
Fresh from scoring the previous try, Walker split the Eels’ defense on the left; and despite a supporting Campbell Graham not being able to quite make it to the line, the Rabbitohs only needed a few more tackles to score in consecutive sets. Again Reynolds was involved, as a good grubber close to the line found a charging Jaydn Su’A, who bounced like a pinball off Eels defenders to grab the ball and score a fourth try for the Bunnies.
Half time saw the Rabbitohs up 22-0, and the Eels were entitled to feel shocked at a lop-sided half at Bankwest Stadium against them for a change.
The second half started off much as the same as the first: an Eels error and dangerous Souths attack. This time Parramatta weren’t punished.
A big moment in the second half in the 50th minute, as the Eels appeared to have scored their first try for the night, but it was called back for obstruction. Some luck for Souths on that front was countered by an injury to Latrell Mitchell, who appeared to injure his hamstring in the process of trying to stop the Eels from scoring the disallowed try. He went off and didn’t return.
Compounding the Eels’ disallowed try, the Rabbitohs went down the other end, got a repeat set and then posted another try down the left. Once again Reynolds and Walker were involved in a move to the left, with Cameron Murray providing the link to Graham, who cruised untouched to the line for a fifth Rabbitohs try, and surely a lead that the Eels wouldn’t get close to.
After a set restart, and a penalty in the 60th minute, the Eels crossed the line for the second time, and for the second time they had the try disallowed for obstruction. The two decisions were the right calls.
Once again, not long after disappointment for the Eels, Souths had scored another try, and this time Reynolds got a just reward for himself as he scored his fifth try of the season. This was after some great lead up work down the right from Corey Allen and Paulo, with the initial ball thrown right by Reynolds himself, and he was on hand for the offload from Paulo. Reynolds failed to convert his own try, but Souths led 32-0 with just over 10 minutes to play.
The salt was well and truly applied a few minutes later as Souths took advantage of a spilled bomb to earn another set close to the Eels’ line. A few tackles later, Graham had a second try for the night as the Rabbitohs stretched the Eels’ defense on the right this time. Makeshift fullback Allen was involved again, giving a hint that Mitchell may be covered well given his potential four to six week injury absence.
Parramatta had enough ball, set restarts, and repeat sets late in the game to grab themselves a consolation try, but on trend for their night they were unable to take advantage, with Reynolds finishing off his almost perfect night by finding touch with the drop out with a minute to spare. The Eels were held to nil at home, and questions on their genuine premiership chances will no doubt be raised now.
The opposite could be said of the Rabbitohs, who are building very nicely, and looking as sharp as any team in attack, and the Eels’ zero points showing they can do the business down the other end too. It’s an exciting time for Souths fans, after a mixed start to the season and restart to the season.
Possibly the best Rabbitohs’ attacking move from the first half didn’t result in points: a set late in the first half featuring some Latrell Mitchell magic, running from the dead ball line through a pile of Eels would-be tacklers, and ended with Souths getting within 10 metres of the Eels’ line, showed just how good the Souths attack is right now. They led 22-0 at half time against a side in the top four, who were averaging just 7.2 points against in the first half before this game. If they can hold their current attacking form, and decent defence, no side in the finals will look forward to playing them.
Adam Reynolds is a great goal kicker, always has been, and 2020 has proved no different as he leads the conversion percentage rates this season (86.8%), just ahead of Jarrod Croker, coming into this game. But in attack sometimes he has been a little underwhelming, with the main go-to being a towering bomb, which despite being occasionally uncatchable, had become predictable. But recently he has stepped up in attack, and it is no coincidence that not only have Souths looked better with the ball, it has also sparked Cody Walker into life, and now the Rabbitohs appear to have two genuine attacking playmakers on either side of the field, and in tandem. Against the Eels the Rabbitohs carved up on either side of the field, with Reynolds leading the charge.