NRL Round 2 – Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs: Missing intensity

 

 

 

 

 

South Sydney DRLFC v Penrith Panthers
Penrith Stadium
Thursday 9 March 7:30pm

 

Thursday night football, the 2021 Suncorp Stadium Grand Final rematch …

My game day pie ritual was another great example of Barossa baking – from the historic Apex Bakery in Tanunda, four generations of the Fechner family stoking the famous wood-fired scotch oven, every working day since 1924.

Highly recommended.

Apparently, Latrell had noted cracks in the Penrith windscreen. The Panthers had lost to both St Helens and the Broncos by a point in their first two games of 2023.

 JTH and I enjoyed much on a Thursday evening in the beautiful Barossa: the ambiance of the Tanunda Club, the Soul Growers Equilibrium GSM, and the open steak sandwich. However it became quickly apparent that there were no cracks anywhere in the Penrith performance.

Souths’ inability to deal with the high ball gave the up-tempo Panthers early opportunities. Stephen Crichton, who scored the decisive intercept try in the 2021 premiership decider and a scar that will never heal for this rusted-on Rabbitohs member, haunted us again, for Penrith to lead 4-0.

***

The Mario Fenech-George Piggins inspirational play of the day: With Souths under immense pressure, following an off-side penalty from a scrum, Latrell Mitchell found himself one on one in the in-goal with the barnstorming Luke Garner. Off a typically deft pass from Isaah Yeo, Garner looked certain to score. Using his considerable size and strength, Latrell managed to hold Garner up. In the process, the young Panther lost the ball. No try. Outstanding work, Latrell.

The Tony Rampling-Les Davidson tackle of the match: The tackle made by Lachlan Ilias and Campbell Graham on Luke Garner, ten seconds before half-time. The ball spilled out of the tackle, somehow it was play on. Another opposition fan favourite, Jarome Luai streaked away to set up a decisive try right on the half time hooter. 10-0 at half-time.

In the fair dinkum department, the scoreboard probably flattered Souths.

The Michael Andrews-Luke Stuart work rate award: Shaquai Mitchell. Off the bench, the other Mitchell was very, very solid. 155m running metres. Shaquai’s early season form has been very impressive.

The Phil Blake ‘chip n chase’ best attacking moment: Latrell’s classy flick pass to Isaiah Tass, who deftly kicked ahead, regathered his own kick and scored to make the scoreboard interesting at 8-16. Latrell converted to make the last two minutes a little more interesting.

In a statistic of almost Souths-Melbourne Storm extreme lopsidedness, Penrith have now won ten of the last eleven matches between these two ‘modern day’ rivals, including the 2021 Grand Final.

For Souths to be serious contenders in 2023, to improve from perennial preliminary finalists, we need to match Penrith’s intensity.

We need our leaders to remain composed in the big moments of big games.

***

Full time: Penrith 16 – South Sydney 10.

On to Eastern Suburbs, the sombrero, the Sydney Roosters, this Friday night.

The most intense rivalry in the NRL.

First leg of the Ron Coote Cup.

Since 1908 we have played the Evil Empire 229 times, for 120 wins and five draws.

The draw. Remember when a draw was a result?

Call me old-fashioned.

What a great concept.

***

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

3- Isaiah Tass
2- Campbell Graham
1 – Shaquai Mitchell

 

LEADER BOARD:

3 – Lachlan Ilias, Campbell Graham & Isaiah Tass;
2 – Keon Kolomatangi
1 – Shaquai Mitchell

 

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

    Russel, Penrith’s enthusiasm, mobility up front and general teamwork were just too much for a Bunnies side that looked wooden by contrast. And you’re right when you say that the score flattered Souths. I hope the GSM was more to your taste on the night.

    I see that the bookies have Souths as favourites against the Roosters – I’m not so sure about that, especially with JWH and Radley back for the Chooks.

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