Five things we learnt from Rabbitohs v Panthers

Five things we learnt from Rabbitohs v Panthers

Unstoppable force … Sam Burgess.1.South Sydney can go deep into the season.

That might seem a strange comment when the Rabbitohs were playing the second-last placed team. But yesterday’s match was exactly the type of match the Rabbitohs have struggled to win in the past. In previous years, when some hype developed around the side, they generally deflated their club’s long-suffering supporters by dropping a very winnable game. The Rabbitohs of old might have panicked when the Panthers produced two late tries in the first half to level the scores. But not Michael Maguire’s men; they didn’t concede a point in the second half, while scoring 24.

2. Souths can go deep into their squad.

Strike down a few key players in the past and the Rabbitohs would be unable to cope. But their unheralded players have been instrumental in their success this season. Nathan Peats scored two tries, while Chris McQueen continues to play more than a bit-part role. Souths were missing Greg Inglis, yet they had the luxury of bringing Nathan Merritt to fullback. Like Peats, he scored a double.

3. Adam Reynolds is growing into his role every game.

The Rabbitohs halfback will surely go close to achieving rookie-of-the-year honours this season. He is rarely the stand-out, but he continues to show he is close to the perfect halfback for this team. He guides the team well, but is still capable of a surprise – as he showed when he ran the ball on the last tackle and set up Dave Taylor for the Rabbitohs’ first try.

4. Penrith should be afforded some latitude for this one.

Brisbane are always given some leeway at this time of year, as they should be. On Friday night, they had seven players missing through Origin duty. The Panthers had Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and Tim Grant in Origin camp, while Michael Gordon, was sidelined through injury. Yesterday should just be written off.

5. Some officials just do not get forward passes.

It didn’t mean much in the context of the match, but the forward pass call against Issac Luke in the second half was a poor one. There is no doubt the ball travelled forward, but not out of Luke’s hands. Yet the referees pulled the play up, denying Chris McQueen a try. You can forgive them when they miss the short passes, which can be difficult to police, but not that one.

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