NRL Round 12 – Bunnies v Parra: Indigenous Round, first v fourteenth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Sydney DRLFC v Parramatta
Sydney Football Stadium,
Friday 19 May, 8pm

 

NRL INDIGENOUS ROUND: FIRST v FOURTEENTH

 

A cold, wet Friday in the Barossa. A lunchtime dash to Tanunda’s Apex Bakery provided a serious contender for Barossa Pie of the Season: the lamb shank and red wine pie will, at this stage, challenge the mighty ‘Angaston’ for the Footy Almanac Pie of the Season (other nominations welcome).

A drive to Adelaide for a game day event with the ‘S.A. Bunnies’ supporters group for this Indigenous round clash with Parramatta made this clash an evening to look forward to.

Souths recent record against Parramatta was strong: winning seven of the last eight clashes, the Eels not having tasted victory against Souths since 2019

Going into the game, Souths sat on top of the NRL ladder, thanks to six straight wins, including wins over Penrith, Melbourne, and Brisbane. 2022 Grand Finalists Parramatta, by contrast, were languishing in fourteenth place.

However from the get-go, it was clear the Eels had come to play, and Souths’ heads were not in the game.

A very soft try down our left side gave the Eels an early 6-0 advantage.

Parramatta held a two point lead, 12-10 at half time.

Junior Paulo lead a rampant pack of forwards, enabling the likes of Dylan Brown and Bailey Simonsson to have games to remember.

With most of Souths’ forwards being completely outplayed, the kicking games of Lachie Ilias and Cody Walker were below par, and Latrell, the subject of many stories during the lead up to the match around NRL Indigenous Round, had a quiet game.

Cody and Latrell did combine spectacularly to lay on a try for Alex Johnston.

Souths took the lead early in the second half through a great pass from Walker to in-form Campbell Graham. Off the scrum, Graham hit a gap at pace for a beautifully executed try. The Origin hopeful bagged his twelfth try of the season. Despite great 2023 form, as well as his efforts on tour with the Kangaroos, it would seem the Blues hierarchy will not select him in the seventeen for game one at ‘The Oval’ in Adelaide, on Wednesday week.

Those points from Graham’s try would be Souths last of the night however, as the Eels ran through our defence to pile on six tries.

The inaugural Eric Simms medal, named after one of the Rabbitohs greatest Indigenous players, for Man of the Match, deservedly went to Parramatta’s Dylan Brown.

Six tries to three was possibly not a completely accurate reflection of Parramatta’s dominance, particularly in the second half.

The much-maligned Bryce Cartwright scored a gift four points, as did Will Penisini, to put the icing on the cake. Penisini strolled over for the Eels’ sixth try, with no resistance to be seen from Souths’ defence.

Highlights from round twelve for Rabbit in the Vineyard were off field: meeting some of the ‘S.A. Bunnies’ supporters group at The Grove Tavern, and the Pie of the Season contender.

Onwards and upwards for Saturday’s tricky clash with the Canberra Raiders.

 

The George Piggins-Mario Fenech inspirational play of the match: Latrell’s one-on-one strip of Junior Paulo. Souths had not forced a repeat set on the Eels’ line. An ineffectual kick had given Paulo what he thought was possession ten metres from the try line. After Latrell’s display of brute strength, Walker threw a beautiful cut out pass for that man Alex Johnson to cross in the corner.

 

The Michael Andrews work rate award: Queensland State of Origin hopeful, Jai Arrow. The man who is front and centre of the Origin promotional images at the Adelaide Airport, toiled hard in both attack and defence. He is tough, and reliable.

 

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment: Alex Johnston scored twice in this game, to take his all-time NRL tally to 173 tries, in 202 games. Latrell and Cody’s interchange of passing in the lead up for AJ’s second try was a great attacking passage.

 

Full time: Parramatta 36 d South Sydney DRLFC 16

With Origin teams to be named on Monday, the next several rounds will be fascinating. Opportunities for young guns – 2021 grand final fullback, Blake ‘splinters’ Taffe, on the bench for this match, played zero minutes; Peter Mamezoulis, a very talented young hooker, may be back in the NRL if Damien Cook is named for the Blues.

 

Round 11 R.I.T.V. player of the year points:

3- Jai Arrow

2- Hame Sele

1 – Alex Johnston

 

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

10: Campbell Graham

8: Latrell Mitchell

6: Lachlan Ilias & Junior Tetola

5: Hame Sele, Cody Walker, Keon Kolomatangi & Thomas Burgess

4:  Jai Arrow & Davvy Moale

3: Cameron Murray, and Isaiah Tass

2: Alex Johnston, Damien Cook & Taane Milne

1: Shaqai Mitchell

 

 

My ‘S.A. Bunnies’ debut at the Grove Tavern, Friday 19 May 2023;

 

Photo credit: JP Starks, S.A. Bunnies convenor

 

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 Under 20 4x100m relay squad for the 2022 World Under 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

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