An early call, but Souths look the goods
Sam Burgess scores during the NRL Finals Week 2, South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canberra Raiders, at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox)
I know this season is only in it’s embryonic stages, but it will take a very good football side to beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
I have followed the NRL religiously since I was a kid, and only in 2012 and this season have I have been worried about my team coming up against the pride of the league.
The only positions that the rabbits are short in are the centres.
The rest of the side is full of absolute superstars. Evidence of this is that Michael Crocker, one of their captains, starts on the bench.
Dylan Farrell and Beau Champion do a job for the team but they aren’t exactly what you would call as quality outside backs.
This isn’t really much of a problem for them, as they don’t rely heavily on going wide looking for them to get on the outside of their opponents.
Their forward pack is so good they just march through the middle of teams with reckless abandon.
This is when the guys like Merritt come in sniffing out tired forwards and they carve the opposition up.
If that doesn’t lead directly to points, Sutton will challenge the line with options either side or, depending on field position, Reynolds will roll the ball in goal for a repeat set.
If that isn’t enough there is a bloke known as Greg Inglis looming up from the back with the ability to create points from nothing.
The pressure doesn’t stop and the Roosters showed on Thursday night there is only so much you can withstand.
Souths execute their second man players with military precision and Merritt’s tries were evidence of this.
The Roosters didn’t help themselves by giving away cheap penalties but Souths were more than good enough to make them pay.
2012 saw the Rabbits starting fast, falling away slightly and then finishing with a wet sail.
Thursday night saw them starting a bit sluggishly, but after about 10 minutes they found their groove and were impressive for a first round game.
I suspected that Souths were the team to beat in 2013, and Thursday night gave me even more confidence they can end their 42-year premiership drought.
It will take a hell of an effort to knock them off in September.