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2024 Rabbitohs Charity Shield - Vs Dragons

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
11,706
Ahhh yeaaaaa, it feels good to be back doing this!! Here's my match report for the 2024 Charity Shield.

Attack

I'm not going to go into our attacking shapes, plays or structures too much because this was a trial game. And not only that, but we were missing three of our biggest attacking lynch pins in Trell, Cody and Jack so I think the way we will attack will still be very different come the Season proper once we have those guys out on the park. Can't delve into it and analyse it too much when you know the real side will be different.

We looked very scrappy with the ball in the first half and made things a lot harder than they should've been. There were plenty of errors, mistimed or misdirected passes, badly timed runs etc and a lot of the plays we tried to do just shut down. That's pretty understandable though given it's the first hit out of the year and we had a different make up to the side, so the combinations aren't quite there. In saying that though, to the boys' credit, they well and truly got their shit together and put on a bit of a clinic in the second half which was great to watch. it was like we flicked the switch and really just went for it. Man, there was some beautiful tries out there. Minimal errors, a good effective game plan, and it was executed perfectly. A big thing I noticed that is different to last year is that there seemed to be a lot more offloads. That's a positive sign as we didn't see a lot of that last year and we looked good off second phase Footy and that's even without some of our instinctive big guns there.

I want to give a massive wrap to our entire forward pack. They were getting beaten in the first half as we spent most of it coming out of our own end and making errors, but despite that, they just absorbed all the pressure, still managed to somewhat hold the Dragons at bay and somewhat match it with them. Then, in the second half, they just went 'bang' and really stuck it to St George Illawarra's pack. We had a constant roll on and constant momentum as we completely dominated them through the ruck and this was a big reason for the win. We have one hell of a middle rotation with the likes of Junior, Keppie, Tom, Davvy, Liva and big Shaq. That's very exciting and impressive.

Defence

Probably what pleased me most about the win last night was the defence though, especially in the first half. Yea, we were playing the Dragons who aren't the greatest team, but they did play pretty well in that first half, and they threw a lot at us. They put us under a lot of pressure as it seemed like there was times there where they were just constantly in our 20 and knocking on the door. But our defensive structures held and held up very solidly to deny them every time. We absorbed all that pressure and the boys just kept turning up for each other. There were some huge defensive efforts out there.

Even our line speed, first contact, wrapping up the ball to stop an offload and actually putting the ball carrier on their back were much better and much more aggressive than last year. There were all areas where our D struggled in 2023 and although I know it's only one game, there are some pretty positive signs there.

The only try they scored was directly off our error. That's a pretty big wrap for your defensive line against a near full strength side.

Player By Player

Gagai: Played a lot less minutes than I thought he would, but he did impress, certainly didn't look out of place at all and looked very comfortable. Positional play was good, his carries were strong, and he saved our asses on a couple occasions. Just very solid. Has he done enough to make the Round 1 side? That remains to be seen but if he does, I won't complain because I'm confident he can do a job there now.

Johnston: Pretty quiet night for our AJ but that's fine in a trial. For someone like him, a game like this is more just about having a run and blowing out the cobwebs, that's exactly what he did. Strong carries, safe at the back under the high ball and no defensive errors. that's all you can really ask for.

Kennar: His first stint was a bit poor with a couple drop balls and he made little impact on the game, but when he came back on later and had another stint, I thought he was pretty damn good. His carries were strong and he was safe defensively. He's not going to pose a real threat in the backline but he is a good meter-eater and that's exactly what he did last night. Great to see him position himself well off the kick for his try right at the end, that was a highlight.

Tass: probably the only player I was actually disappointed with last night. I know he copped a knock to the ribs which didn't help but even before that, he wasn't running hard, and I thought many of his carries were actually pretty weak. Then he dropped that pass which led directly to the Dragons only try. I'm not worried as we know what he is capable of, but it was just an off night for Tassy.

Milne: Apart from a bit of ill-discipline early on, I thought Taane was great!!! His hit ups were immense, and I lost count of the times I said, "great carry Taane!" he got us out of trouble a lot. No defensive clangers which was nice and that kick he put in for Richie to score was just a thing of beauty!! It was nearly off his shin, but we'll just ignore that ahahaha.

Hawkins: I'm going to say a little bit of a mixed night for Hawko. Look, he was good without being great. I think it's very clear to see that he's not a 5/8 at all, he's clearly a halfback and would perform better there. Granted, he did have some nice touches, played a lot better than the last time he played 5/8 for us and combined better with Lachie but he still didn't really offer a lot or create a lot for mine. Some of his long-range kicks were great but others like the one he kicked dead, or the one he put out on the full were disappointing. I also didn't like his 'bombs' to the corners, they were like big chip kicks with no real height.

Ilias: I'll say mixed as well. He did some not-so-great things like a few wayward passes and stuff like that, but I put that down to rust and a lack of combinations more than anything. Aside from that, he was pretty good. He was taking the ball to the line each time and wasn't afraid to have a run either which we don't see enough of. A solid kicking game. Still not a massive improvement on last year but there was a kick or two there what were outstanding floaters or spirals so that's promising. His defence was awesome though, especially that shot that led to our first try. All round, not a bad night and I can't wait to see how he goes in 2024 with a full compliment of players around him.
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
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11,706
Tatola: Absolutely outstanding. He really lead the way in our pack and man he was good. Honestly, just about man of the match for me. Every run he had was so strong and bent the line. Played big minutes too! He's looking really fit and ready to go.

Mamozelous: The definition of a game of two halves. He was pretty average in the first half not gonna lie. His passes just weren't crisp, they were mistimed and a bit sloppy. He didn't have his timing right as players were overrunning his passes and he threw one forward. I noticed he was getting bumped off a fair bit in defence too. However, to his credit, his second stanza was the polar opposite and he was outstanding!! Fixed all the stuff he wasn't doing right, and he honestly didn't put a foot wrong the whole half. I loved the way he was bringing the forwards onto the ball and honestly, his work with the crash plays was better than Cook's. He just seemed to give the ball carrier a bit more time and space. He almost put a couple of guys over. Very deceptive with his eyes and very crafty. Was a great play when he put Davvy over. Well done Pete!

Keppie: I was a little worried with his start I'm not gonna lie as he didn't really bring the physicality. Got monstered a couple of times, let Sloan go straight through at one point, and gave away a silly penalty. I remember saying to the people I was watching with, "Keppie is losing every collision." But that was as far as it went. Once he got settle in, he was amazing, and I mean absolutely amazing to the point where he was close to my man of the match. Loved the aggression he brought and he carries so hard. He was one of the real forward leaders out there and he really went on a search and destroy mission. Loved his offload in the lead up to Burns' first try, that was class. Honestly, he was so good and you have to think he's now got that starting spot sewn up. If that's what we can expect from him, and if he's going to be consistent, he will be a very good signing.

Koloamatangi: A few really strong carries and some good shots in D, but honestly, he was a little quiet. Didn't do anything wrong by any means, but just didn't make a massive impact. I'm not worried though, you just wait until Cody is feeding him.

Arrow: Toiled hard all game and went about his business somewhat quietly but had a really good game. I was particularly impressed with his defence. Nothing got past him and he was cutting everything that moved in half. Loved his try saver, that was a great tackle. No massive impact with the ball but he did his job.

Murray: Well, it looks like thankfully, nothing is going to change with Cam in 2024 as last night was another typical Murray performance. Just all class. One of our best hands down and really lead from the front. He was just battling away in the first half taking carries and making his tackles, but he really came alive in the second 40 with his ball playing, runs where he poked his nose through and his offloads, one of which was a beauty which led to Burns' first try. He worked himself to a standstill and still didn't want to go off!! hats off to you Cammo.

Gray: Well, honestly what do you say?! Amazing club debut! absolutely amazing to the point where he was one of our best out there. it looked very shaky for him early on as his first touch was a mistake off that kick, and then on his first hit up, he got hammered but from then on, he was brilliant. I absolutely loved how he didn't shirk the tough stuff, he ran hard and fast on his kick returns and actually returned the ball really strongly. Not once did he get rag dolled which was great to see. He's deceptively strong. His speed, accereration, combined with his Footy smarts was the most impressive though. Some of the touches he wad were just class like the final pass for Burns' first, or when he almost got caught on the last but evaded a tackle, stepped around a couple and still managed to force a line dropout. He just looked so threatening every time he touched the ball. Despite his stature, this kid is going to be a super star I hope.

Host: Probably the best game I've seen Hosty play since before he first got injured in 2022, he was really good. Haven't seen him run that hard in a long time and he was just so solid there for us. Pretty impressive. Right place, right time for his try. That would've been a nice little gift. Honestly, if he can play like that every week, it solves a lot of issues with our back row rotation and depth.

Moale: One of the main guys I was blown away with last night. He looks like he's gone from a boy to a man in one off Season. He's got bigger, appears to have gained a real hard edge and a bit of a 'f**k you' attitude which I absolutely love. He was sooooo good out there in relatively limited minutes and it's probably the best game I've seen him play. Constantly folding blokes both with and without the ball and he actually bent the line pretty consistently which I loved to see. Great barge over try, he made that look easy! I really hope this is the year he breaks out and really arrives on the scene.

Burgess: Typical Tommy game where he came on and made a noticeable impact right away. fantastic impact off the bench and his stints were full of barnstorming runs which really helped lay the platform and helped get us on top. He played long minutes too.

Duncan: Really good. Really, really good. Jeez I'm excited about this bloke, he's just such a class act already. As his mantra goes, he won every single collision last night and his ball playing was great. He really is like Cam. A smaller forward, yet still seems to poke his nose through.

Chee Kam: Not too much to report on for Cheeks but he had a good hit out and did his job, that's all we really ask of him so well done.

Fletcher: Yet another young fulla who really stood up in this game and had an impressive showing. There was nothing super flash about what he did, it was all the tough and gritty stuff, but you just know by watching him that he has first grader written all over him.

Te Hau: He was one guy I wanted to watch with great interest as he hasn't played much recently but has some talent. He didn't disappoint at all in the Charity Shield, looked pretty comfortable out there. I'd say he's still quite a while away from being in the first grade conversation but I can see him getting there. Had a touch of class about him for sure.

Burns: How good was Burnsy!!! He still has that touch of class about him, and it was pretty evident in this game as each carry he took was pretty strong and he was still showing us some late footwork to step around some blokes. Great to see him bag two meat pies, that's well deserved. I'd seriously be considering giving him a spot in the top 30 or making him a dev player so he can play if I was the club. I really do think he still has something to offer.

Subloo: Not a lot to write home about but just good to see him back out there. The cut out pass he did throw for Burns' second was amazing though! All class.

In Conclusion

Well, that's the Charity Shield all run and won again for another year. I know it's just a trial but the Charity Shield means something and it's always a game you want to win and start the year on a good note. We certainly did that and did it in impressive fashion.

It's certainly not anything to get carried away buy but we can be impressed. Still lots of work to be done though!

Well done lads! Enjoy the win before Round 1 prep begins.
 

Thadius

Juniors
Messages
87
Pretty average game with a boring first half to be honest.

Saints completely lost their mojo once Hunt did not return for the second half and they also ran quite a lot of park footballers out there as well.

Still, it was always going to be a nothing game and ditto the Easts trial coming up.

But a special mention to young Gray, who is exciting and looks the ideal replacement down the track should anything go amiss with Lachlan.
 

Steenson123

Juniors
Messages
511
Team was
Ahhh yeaaaaa, it feels good to be back doing this!! Here's my match report for the 2024 Charity Shield.

Attack

I'm not going to go into our attacking shapes, plays or structures too much because this was a trial game. And not only that, but we were missing three of our biggest attacking lynch pins in Trell, Cody and Jack so I think the way we will attack will still be very different come the Season proper once we have those guys out on the park. Can't delve into it and analyse it too much when you know the real side will be different.

We looked very scrappy with the ball in the first half and made things a lot harder than they should've been. There were plenty of errors, mistimed or misdirected passes, badly timed runs etc and a lot of the plays we tried to do just shut down. That's pretty understandable though given it's the first hit out of the year and we had a different make up to the side, so the combinations aren't quite there. In saying that though, to the boys' credit, they well and truly got their shit together and put on a bit of a clinic in the second half which was great to watch. it was like we flicked the switch and really just went for it. Man, there was some beautiful tries out there. Minimal errors, a good effective game plan, and it was executed perfectly. A big thing I noticed that is different to last year is that there seemed to be a lot more offloads. That's a positive sign as we didn't see a lot of that last year and we looked good off second phase Footy and that's even without some of our instinctive big guns there.

I want to give a massive wrap to our entire forward pack. They were getting beaten in the first half as we spent most of it coming out of our own end and making errors, but despite that, they just absorbed all the pressure, still managed to somewhat hold the Dragons at bay and somewhat match it with them. Then, in the second half, they just went 'bang' and really stuck it to St George Illawarra's pack. We had a constant roll on and constant momentum as we completely dominated them through the ruck and this was a big reason for the win. We have one hell of a middle rotation with the likes of Junior, Keppie, Tom, Davvy, Liva and big Shaq. That's very exciting and impressive.

Defence

Probably what pleased me most about the win last night was the defence though, especially in the first half. Yea, we were playing the Dragons who aren't the greatest team, but they did play pretty well in that first half, and they threw a lot at us. They put us under a lot of pressure as it seemed like there was times there where they were just constantly in our 20 and knocking on the door. But our defensive structures held and held up very solidly to deny them every time. We absorbed all that pressure and the boys just kept turning up for each other. There were some huge defensive efforts out there.

Even our line speed, first contact, wrapping up the ball to stop an offload and actually putting the ball carrier on their back were much better and much more aggressive than last year. There were all areas where our D struggled in 2023 and although I know it's only one game, there are some pretty positive signs there.

The only try they scored was directly off our error. That's a pretty big wrap for your defensive line against a near full strength side.

Player By Player

Gagai: Played a lot less minutes than I thought he would, but he did impress, certainly didn't look out of place at all and looked very comfortable. Positional play was good, his carries were strong, and he saved our asses on a couple occasions. Just very solid. Has he done enough to make the Round 1 side? That remains to be seen but if he does, I won't complain because I'm confident he can do a job there now.

Johnston: Pretty quiet night for our AJ but that's fine in a trial. For someone like him, a game like this is more just about having a run and blowing out the cobwebs, that's exactly what he did. Strong carries, safe at the back under the high ball and no defensive errors. that's all you can really ask for.

Kennar: His first stint was a bit poor with a couple drop balls and he made little impact on the game, but when he came back on later and had another stint, I thought he was pretty damn good. His carries were strong and he was safe defensively. He's not going to pose a real threat in the backline but he is a good meter-eater and that's exactly what he did last night. Great to see him position himself well off the kick for his try right at the end, that was a highlight.

Tass: probably the only player I was actually disappointed with last night. I know he copped a knock to the ribs which didn't help but even before that, he wasn't running hard, and I thought many of his carries were actually pretty weak. Then he dropped that pass which led directly to the Dragons only try. I'm not worried as we know what he is capable of, but it was just an off night for Tassy.

Milne: Apart from a bit of ill-discipline early on, I thought Taane was great!!! His hit ups were immense, and I lost count of the times I said, "great carry Taane!" he got us out of trouble a lot. No defensive clangers which was nice and that kick he put in for Richie to score was just a thing of beauty!! It was nearly off his shin, but we'll just ignore that ahahaha.

Hawkins: I'm going to say a little bit of a mixed night for Hawko. Look, he was good without being great. I think it's very clear to see that he's not a 5/8 at all, he's clearly a halfback and would perform better there. Granted, he did have some nice touches, played a lot better than the last time he played 5/8 for us and combined better with Lachie but he still didn't really offer a lot or create a lot for mine. Some of his long-range kicks were great but others like the one he kicked dead, or the one he put out on the full were disappointing. I also didn't like his 'bombs' to the corners, they were like big chip kicks with no real height.

Ilias: I'll say mixed as well. He did some not-so-great things like a few wayward passes and stuff like that, but I put that down to rust and a lack of combinations more than anything. Aside from that, he was pretty good. He was taking the ball to the line each time and wasn't afraid to have a run either which we don't see enough of. A solid kicking game. Still not a massive improvement on last year but there was a kick or two there what were outstanding floaters or spirals so that's promising. His defence was awesome though, especially that shot that led to our first try. All round, not a bad night and I can't wait to see how he goes in 2024 with a full compliment of players around him.
Team was also absent Graham. He is a fair player too.
 

Steenson123

Juniors
Messages
511
Hawkins could be a superior player to Ilias in terms of ball skills/passing game. Further, his kicking game is quite good. Hawkins at least deserves a shot at starting with Mitchell, Walker and Graham et al back. The kicking game has been pathetic and I note that the best two kickers in the NRL recently played a heart attack GF.
Demetriou cannot continue with Walker's fairy floss punts they have the inverse impact on what is expected i.e, they put the squad under great pressure.
The pack looks for real, especially with Keppie's inclusion.
He has to be in the 17 along with S. Mitchell and Tomas B.
The defense was particularly encouraging St George did not score from their offense at all despite a stack of early pressure and favourable field position.
 

callmack1

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Staff member
Messages
11,706

Travitoh

First Grade
Messages
5,185
Hawkins could be a superior player to Ilias in terms of ball skills/passing game. Further, his kicking game is quite good. Hawkins at least deserves a shot at starting with Mitchell, Walker and Graham et al back. The kicking game has been pathetic and I note that the best two kickers in the NRL recently played a heart attack GF.
Demetriou cannot continue with Walker's fairy floss punts they have the inverse impact on what is expected i.e, they put the squad under great pressure.
The pack looks for real, especially with Keppie's inclusion.
He has to be in the 17 along with S. Mitchell and Tomas B.
The defense was particularly encouraging St George did not score from their offense at all despite a stack of early pressure and favourable field position.
I had similar thoughts about Hawkins during the game. Didn't necessarily outplay Ilias but probably compliments Cody better.
 
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