Bacon and eggs. Allan Langer and Kevin Walters. Brisbane Broncos and finals footy. For years that was a combination that would never falter.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have defeated the Brisbane Broncos 46-0 at Suncorp Stadium, but the result could’ve been far uglier, with 14 errors from the boys in the red and green preventing them from scoring 50-plus points.
Cameron Murray returned for the Bunnies and absolutely tore through the Broncos defence with 26 runs for 214 metres, three line breaks, four off-loads and 37 tackles for one miss while playing for 71 minutes. Murray’s off-loads allowed the Rabbitohs to keep forward momentum, and this has definitely been Cameron’s best game this season.
Dane Gagai also returned for the Rabbitohs in what was an up-and-down game, but he was still very good. The Rabbitohs and Maroons centre ran for 256 metres, broke eight tackles, had one line break and two line break assists. He also made 15 tackles for no misses, but Gagai did bomb a try after getting run down by Xavier Coates.
Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker finished the game with three try assists, ran for 140 metres and had four line break assists. Further, the very underrated Hame Sele scored his first NRL career try and had 178 running metres, with 65 post-contact metres.
I also want to send my best wishes for Broncos forward John Asiata after he suffered a brutal head knock that saw him leave Suncorp in a stretcher. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery and hopefully no long-term injury.
Rabbitohs second-row forward Keaon Koloamatangi was once again on fire. He ran for 175 metres, including 64 post-contact metres, and made 26 tackles. Tom Burgess, who has been coming off the bench the last few weeks, was very impressive with 185 run metres, 88 post-contact metres and 19 tackles for two errors.
The Bunnies debuted future star Blake Taaffe, who has been rumoured to be Adam Reynolds’s replacement. The debutant played 18 minutes and had a few good touches, one of which was a try assist to winger Taane Milne. Hopefully we get to see more of Taaffe this year, whether it’s during the Origin period or late in the season.
Last week Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett really wanted his team’s defence to improve, and it did against the Knights after nine Bunnies players had no missed tackles, but their defence had got worse against the Broncos – only four players had no missed tackles.
The Broncos season is done and has been done for a while, but if I were Kevin Walters, I would play Anthony Milford and Brodie Croft for the remainder of the season and young gun Tesi Niu at fullback. The Karmichael Hunt and Tyson Gamble combination isn’t firing. With no disrespect to Hunt, if I were the opposition, I would be scared facing either Milford or Croft.