NRL Round 18 – Warriors v South Sydney: Attitude adjustment in defence – box ticked!

 

 

 

 

Rabbit in the Vineyard: 2023 NRL Round 18

 

NZ Warriors v South Sydney DRLFC,
Mt Smart Stadium,
Friday 30 June, 8:00pm

 

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT IN DEFENCE – BOX TICKED!

 

Another cold, damp day in the Barossa, perfect conditions to be indoors, marking and reporting.

An excuse for a very tasty pepper pie from the Tanunda Bakery.

The Warriors were looking for their fourth straight win, while Souths, clinging to eighth place on the ladder, needed to improve, to find some of that early season form.

To say the Auckland weather was wild would have been an understatement, however Souths handled the conditions far better than the home team.

The Warriors started well on the back of five straight penalties from Origin referee Ashley Calvin Klein, scored out wide to lead 6-0.

The defensive intent from the Bunnies was back to early season levels, Cody was playing footy, not bothering to niggle the opposition, and Souths took a two tries to one lead into half time.

Tries to Alex Johnston and Cameron Murray, the skipper’s try coming whilst the Warriors had prop Addin Fonua-Blake in the sin bin, gave the believers cause for cautious optimism at half time.

“We can do this mob” was one of many upbeat texts in the group chat.

Warriors captain Tohu Harris lost the ball with seconds remaining in the half. The celebration, the back slapping, the strong body language of every Souths player at that point showed things had ‘clicked’ for the team across the ditch.

After half time, Souths scored three unanswered tries, including a meat pie on debut for Rabbitoh number 1191 Tyrone Munro, the 18 year old from Dubbo.

Rising through the ranks this season, after a Souths Cares mentorship, Munro then set up Souths fifth try with a perfectly weighted kick for the ever energetic Blake Taaffe to score.

Numerous times in the second half, Souths again muscled up in defence to force Warriors players over the sideline.

Taaffe, Johnston, and Munro were safe under some strong, high kicks from the Warriors.

Souths were strong across the field. Every member of the pack worked hard, Ilias and Walker had great games in the halves, and the rest of the backline were immense in such unfavourable conditions. The centre pairing of Milne and Kennar, in place of Origin aspirant Campbell Graham, and the expectant father Isaiah Tass, were both outstanding.

Johnston is now equal third, alongside the legendary Steve Beaver Menzies on the all-time try scorers list.

This was a wonderful team win. A famous win. Five tries to one in the sludge and mud in Auckland. Glory Gory to South Sydney!

Let’s hope the turnaround continues against the Bulldogs this Saturday at the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

 

The Mario Fenech-George Piggins inspirational play of the day:

Rabbitoh 1191, Tyrone Munro, in both attack and defence.

Dry weather footy on a wild and woolly night in Auckland.

See video below: giving some perspective to the conditions.

 

The Tony Rampling-Les Davidson tackle of the match:

Again, difficult to single out any one tackle, across a super committed 17 man effort.

Sele, Tetola, Cook, all the forwards defended like their lives depended on it.

Lachlan Ilias defended above his weight.

Perhaps the 72nd minute ‘TEAM’ tackle of Koloamatangi, Ilias, Milne and Munro combining to push and drive the Warriors centre Adam Pompey out over the sideline summed up Souths gritty attitude in this grinding win.

Defence not seen since the emphatic Round 9 win over the Broncos (32-6), Round 10 over the wrestlers from Melbourne (28-12) and the shut out of the Tigers, twenty nil in Round 11.

 

The Michael Andrews work rate award:

Hame Sele was outstanding in all areas, particularly post contact metres.

Memo Souths admin: please re-sign this guy! The “no brainer” of 2023. Mark Ellison, sort this out, ASAP!

 

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment:

A city to surf size field this week: difficult to split Cody’s kick for AJ’s second try; Munro’s try on debut, and Munro’s kick for Taaffe’s try. Munro’s try on debut, by a whisker.

 

Full time: South Sydney DRLFC 28 d NZ Warriors 6.

South Sydney’s points: tries – Johnston 22’, Murray 36’, Johnston 48’ Munro (NRL debut) 66’, Taaffe 76’, goals – Taaffe 3/5, half time – Souths 12-6. 

 

Match Highlights: the weather conditions must be seen to be believed!

 

 

 

Round 15 R.I.T.V. player of the year points:

3- Hame Sele

2- Blake Taaffe

1 – Tyrone Munro

 

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

11: Campbell Graham  

10: Hame Sele, Cody Walker and Keon Koloamatungi

8: Junior Tetola & Latrell Mitchell

6: Blake Taaffe, Lachlan Ilias, and Junior Tetola

5: Thomas Burgess

4: Damien Cook, Jai Arrow, Davvy Moale

3: Cameron Murray, Alex Johnston and Isaiah Tass

2: Taane Milne

1: Tyrone Munro, Shaqai Mitchell

 

 

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

 

 

Read more from the 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

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