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The Munro Show for Souths as rookie flyer seals NSW domination of State Championship

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1st October, 2023
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Tyrone Munro has underlined his NRL potential with a stunning hat trick to deliver South Sydney their first NRL State Championship, continuing NSW’s domination of the fixture in the process.

The Bunnies 42-22 win over Brisbane Tigers makes it six in succession for NSW, a streak dating back to 2015, and from the moment Munro rose highest to kick off the scoring in the 11th minute, this was never in serious doubt. Only goalkicking kept the score tight.

The 18-year-old flyer and departing fullback Blake Taaffe were the game’s outstanding players, but they were just a few of those dropping back to help reserve grade out. Shaq Mitchell, Tallis Duncan and Izaac Thompson also featured heavily in a stacked Souths side.

The Tigers, who are one of several Melbourne Storm feeders, could call upon Marion Seve, Jonah Pezet and George Jennings, but were something of a surprise Premier in the Q Cup, having won it from third, and couldn’t cope with the step up in class.

Top of that list was Munro: his record is a try a game in both the NRL and NSW Cup this year, and his raw pace and finishing ability suggests a serious talent. Over 200m and close to 25 runs in yardage, too, his highly encouraging.

The winger rose high above Max Lehmann to claim the opener, produced a superb sideline dart for his second and backed up well for his third. As a winger, it would be hard to ask for more.

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In the middle, Duncan was doing his best Cameron Murray impression in the 13 jumper, showing a level of dexterity and leadership well beyond his years.

Taaffe generally looks far too good at reserve grade level and was here, producing a slick set of hands to get Tom Carr in for a second. 

The Tigers, however, are made of tough stuff. They fought back through a close-range Cole Geyer and could well have had a man extra after Jacob Gagai was spared sanction for a high shot that, most weeks, would have been a sin bin at the very least.

Souths got another the chance to show their class before the half time siren. After the Tigers botched a short drop out, Souths camped in their end and, once again, turned to Taaffe. 

The fullback, this time on the right, got free of his man and found space for Munro, who showed all his speed and finishing ability to scoot along the touchline and score.

The try on the brink of the break seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Tigers. The second half opened the floodgates, as backrower Ethan O’Neill, five eighth Dion Teaupa and Munro blew the score out, with only a Thomas Rafter try in response. 

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Munro might have had a fourth, but it was perhaps appropriate that Duncan had the final word for Souths, sealing the result with five to play with a smart line through tired Tigers tacklers.

The Tigers did add two back in garbage time through Solomona Faataape and Kane Bradley, but it was far too late.

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