NRL Round 1 – Sharks v Rabbitohs: A report from Rabbit in the Vineyard

 

 

For general use

 

 

South Sydney DRLFC v Cronulla Sharks
Shark Park
Saturday 4 March, 7:30pm

 

What a long wait!

Game 3 of Super Saturday. Life as an NRL tragic in the Barossa Valley is certainly a different proposition to Queensland, rugby league heartland.

Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson marrying his sweetheart is The Advertiser front page news.

My game day pie ritual was an absolute standout – the Angaston pie, featuring chunky beef pieces, slow cooked in local Yalumba Shiraz. Smoky bacon and garlic metwurst.

Sensational.

The Rabbitohs: five consecutive preliminary finals, with one losing grand final appearance in that sequence means much pre-season hype, particularly with human headline acts at the club, including Latrell Mitchell and assistant coach, Sam Burgess.

Shark Park on a Saturday night is a graveyard for most teams. Round 20 last season, Souths lost the game in golden point extra time. Self-destructed.

Sam Burgess’ brother Tom was sent off.

The human headline fullback missed several field goal attempts that evening.

To the more recent clash:

A very gutsy win to the men in cardinal and myrtle, after Junior Tatola was out of the game from the first hit up. His replacement, Queensland origin forward Jai Arrow, also limped off with a hamstring issue.

At half-time, at 12-all, the game could have gone either way.

My most recent preliminary final scar, the 12-32 loss to the Panthers, threatened to re -open. Half-time in that game was also 12-all.

A great team performance in defence, with Lachlan Ilias’ mature play in both attack and defence also a feature.

The Mario Fenech-George Piggins inspirational play of the day: Lachlan Ilias’ try saving effort on Sharks winger Mulitalo. With the score at nil all early in the game, Ilias’ work to deny Mulitalo a try was brilliant. Minutes later, Ilias scored for Souths in what could accurately be described as a 12-point turn around.

The Tony Rampling-Les Davidson tackle of the match: Young gun Davvy Moale deserves mention for surviving that Wade Graham hit. Miraculously, Davvy maintained possession and was straight to his feet to play the ball. Souths scored through Campbell Graham soon after.

The Michael Andrews-Luke Stuart work rate award: Keon Kolomatangi had a whale of a game: a try, 154m and 30 tackles. Damien Cook ran for 134m and chalked up 45 tackles.

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment: The lead-up to Campbell Graham’s second try. Following a penalty against the Sharks for yet another dubious tackle, Souths hit the ball to their favoured left side. A quick sweep to the right side, with young Ilias involved again, saw Mitchell throw the last pass for Graham to dive over.

Latrell kicked a late field goal, after landing a long range penalty kick to give Souths an eight point lead.

South Sydney 27 – Cronulla Sharks 18

R.I.T.V. player of the year points:

3- Lachlan Ilias
2- Keon Kolomatangi
1 – Campbell Graham

***

I wore my SSFC gold members’ scarf at work today. Also referred to as the Ray Martin scarf.

A colleague clarified, “Did the Rabbits win?”

“Yes, one from one this season! Undefeated in 2023.”

My colleague’s response, “The Crows are undefeated in 2023 as well!”

I rest my case.

‘Glory Glory’, and on to Penrith Thursday night.

2021 Grand Final rematch.

 

The Rabbit in the Vineyard, Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley, South Australia

 

Russel Hansen has worked in schools for over thirty years – as a teacher, coach, coach educator, sports coordinator and in pastoral care roles. Whilst at Brisbane Boys’ College as Director of Athletics, he led teams to six GPS premierships in track and field, and cross country. He has coached at all levels from school to international, most recently coaching a lad to the Australian U/20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 world U/20 championships. He is married to Heidi, a Primary school principal, and is father to two adult daughters.  

 

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About Russel Hansen

Russel Hansen Has worked in schools for over thirty years – as a teacher, coach, coach educator, sports coordinator and in pastoral care roles. Whilst at Brisbane Boys’ College as Director of Athletics, he led teams to six GPS premierships in track and field, and cross country. He has coached at all levels from school to international, most recently coaching a lad (100m personal best 10.34secs) to the Australian U/20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 world U/20 championships. He is married to Heidi, a Primary school principal, and is father to two adult daughters. Twitter: @Russel_Hansen

Comments

  1. John Harms says

    Love it R.I.T.V. Are you up for Rabbits-Panthers in a Barossa venue Thursday night? Suggest The Clubhouse.

  2. roger lowrey says

    Russel,

    As a confirmed heavily biased AFL Victorian, you may be interested in a column herein I wrote on 6 September 2019 regarding my unlikely closet affection for South Sydney.

    In short, my old Year 10 Geography teacher was Father Arthur Moynihan. It seems that before his call to the priesthood, Arthur played a fair bit of rugby with the Rabbitohs, mainly in the reserves, but with just four senior appearances.

    One of these was the “brutal affair” of the 19/12 Grand Final loss to St George in 1949 where Arthur played five-eighth (wherever that is) although – Ruben Carter like – he never talked about it “all that much”.

    Arthur has, of course, long gone to his heavenly reward however his legacy still lives warmly in the hearts of we former Chanel College Geelong students who were taught by Arthur and his Marist Fathers colleagues. We miss them all dearly.

    RDL

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