NRL Round 10 – Melbourne v South Sydney: Bunnies in Brisvegas, again.

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne v South Sydney DRLFC,
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane,
Saturday 6 May, 7:30pm

 

 

RIP David Stuart Bell.

Yesterday was a tough day. I returned from the Nuriootpa Park Run to missed calls and messages.

One of the truly great humans, a wonderful educator, a wonderful rugby coach, a wonderful leader, a brilliant mind, David Stuart Bell, died suddenly of a heart attack in Brisbane on Friday evening.

I had the privilege to work beside ‘Belly’ at Brisbane Boys’ College. He agreed to be a referee for me, on his conditions, that being, we did ‘mock interviews’. Incredible learning experiences.

DSB, your spirit was with the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.

No Round 10 pie review out of respect for David, I was not in the mood for one yesterday.

As I have often lamented, the Souths-Storm match up is the most lop-sided in the NRL: since 1998, heading into this meeting, from thirty-eight previous clashes, Souths have a meagre six wins, never having won in Melbourne.

Souths’ 2014 premiership winger, Lote Tuqiri, is a Brisbane Boys’ College parent. He would have been an assistant rugby coach on the same ovals as David Bell over the years in Toowong. Lote loved a chat about the Rabbitohs! I recall asking the great man, probably on Miskin Oval, ‘what was it about Souths and the Storm?’

Lote’s response: ‘mate, they are incredibly hard to play, anywhere, and not many teams win in Melbourne.’ Fair. Accurate.

I sensed last night would be different.

Magic Round in Brisbane.

Souths had momentum, four wins on the trot. Our last defeat, in yet another quirk of the wonderful NRL draw, was to the Storm, in Round 5, in Sydney.

Souths’ first try, with Latrell and Cody combining, was a typically instinctive, backyard footy moment. The boys were ‘on’!

Twelve-six at half time.

At no point can any player, any fan, any member, can anyone else, relax against this mob though.

The forwards again, were aiming up magnificently. Arrow, Thomas Burgess, Hame Sele. Cam Murray was being Cam Murray. Junior Tetola, doing it for his father, who had passed away during the week.

Cody and Latrell were in the right type of mood.

The second half was a joy to watch.

Alex Johnston, two tries in his two hundredth game. Almost a third in the last seconds of the match.

Souths’ seventh win over the Storm was memorable! It was emotional. It was personal.

Rest in Peace, David Stuart Bell.

 

 

The Mario Fenech-George Piggins inspirational play of the match: a dead heat between the two following moments around this great match. Reading a report about Junior Tetola watching a video message from his father in the Souths dressing room … what an emotional moment for the 2022 George Piggins medallist, then seeing video of the tough as teak Hame Sele taking off his jersey at full time, and throwing it to a young fan in the crowd.

A beautiful moment. To say the lad was chuffed would be the understatement of 2023!

 

The Tony Rampling-Les Davidson tackle of the match: With about nineteen minutes to play, Hame Sele drove Storm captain, Queensland Origin Prop, Villanova College old boy, and sometimes ABC Offsiders panellist Christian Welch backwards in an outstanding display of intent.

Not long afterwards, one of the most ‘blessed’ players to ever to be a part of the NRL, ‘Big Nelson’ Asofa-Solomona, turned the ball over. With possession at the attacking end of the field, running towards the Caxton Street end of Suncorp Stadium, the two hundred gamer, Alex Johnston dived over in the left corner.

Sweet!       

 

The Michael Andrews work rate award: The forwards, as a unit, were outstanding. Thomas Burgess is having a stellar season. As is Jai Arrow. As is Hame Sele. As is Michael Chee Cam. Burgess, with his fresh buzz cut, was the standout, again.

 

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment: Many great attacking moments, however Latrell and Cody combining for the first points of the match was brilliant. The bemused look on Cameron Munster’s face, as if to ask: ‘what just happened there, and how?’, was priceless.

So often since 1998, we have played from behind against the wrestlers. Not this time.

 

Full time: South Sydney DRLFC 28 d Melbourne 12

 

 

Round 10 R.I.T.V. player of the year points:

3- Cody Walker

2- Latrell Mitchell

1 – Alex Johnston

 

PROGRESSIVE R.I.T.V. PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS – LEADER BOARD:

9: Campbell Graham

8: Latrell Mitchell

6: Lachlan Ilias

5: Cody Walker, Keon Kolomatangi and Thomas Burgess

4:  Davvy Moale

3: -Junior Tetola, Hame Sele, Cameron Murray, and Isaiah Tass

2: Damien Cook

1: Alex Johnston, Jai Arrow and Shaqai Mitchell

 

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

 

Read more from Rabbit in the Vineyard HERE.

 

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. Ian Hauser says

    Your Rabbitohs are looking anything but bunnies, Russel. Solid across the field and strong off the bench. September certainties and premiership potential.

  2. Russel Hansen says

    Yes, Ian. Plenty of depth, loving the contributions of blokes like Hame Sele and Jacob Host. Thomas Burgess – now third on the all time games played list for Souths, and he is like a bottle of fine Barossa red !

    Cook is having a much better season than his last couple.

    September: let’s see how composed ‘we’ are in the big moments .. that win v Storm, in front of a full house in Brisbane, will be a great one to put straight into the confidence bank

    Glory Glory!

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