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Qualifying Final - Panthers vs Rabbitohs: Saturday 11th September 7:50pm @Queensland Country Bank Stadium

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,938
This is it. That's right, this is it. This is the moment, the business end of the Season. The moment where the outcome is decided by moments. This is what we have been working all year for. In fact, this is the moment we have been working three years for. Every win, every loss, every bit of joy, every bit of heartbreak, every moment over the last three years have lead to this, to the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series. That's right, Finals Footy is here. The stakes have never been higher as we take on the Penrith Panthers in the second Qualifying Final on Saturday night. There's no doubting what a big test this is but there's also no doubting what a big opportunity it is. Win, and we're straight through to a Prelim, a massive advantage. Lose, and we have to do it the hard way. So what's it going to be? The boys will decide, little moments will decide. Finals Footy is what we eat, sleep and breathe for and I don't know about you guys, but I'm absolutely pumped to get into it!

This is our biggest game of the year, as every game from now on is in this Finals Series. In fact, I believe this is our biggest game the last three years. We all know what's riding on this Season so it's do or die this Finals. There's not many greater challenges than facing Penrith in a Qualifying Final. We all know our recent record against them, having not won against them since April 2019. That's a long time between drinks. For good reason too as they are right up there with the best teams in the comp, there's no doubt about it. Stars all across the park, everywhere you look and the rub of the green going their way more often than not too. We have a big challenge to overcome this week if we want to finally get that Week 1 win and go straight through. Standing in our way is Cleary, To'o, Burton, Luai and one of the best forward packs in the comp with guys like Leota, Koroisau, JFH, Martin and Yeo. It's the forward battle that's the key. We have to match them there because that limits the effectiveness of all their backs and Cleary. We didn't match them there afer dominating the first 30 minutes in Round 23 and look what happened. We can't let that happen this time when everything is on the line. I want to see us go after Cleary this time too. Hit him everytime he kicks or passes, let him know he's in for a tough night. We have to. The Panthers are primed for this Finals Series and will be desperate for the win.

But you know what, we have a mighty side that is primed for the Finals this year too. In fact, I think this is the best we've been set up coming into a Finals Series since 2014. Our stars have been rested and should be raring to go like they've never been before. Almost everything is against us this week. Coming up against our biggest challenge of the year, having not beaten them for a long time, the ref potentially against us; No one expects us to win this week, no one gives us a chance. But you know what? That's just how we like it. If we play to our full potential, I give us a massive chance, we proved that in Round 23. I take confidence from that game as I feel like we kind of had their measure. We need to be near perfect, minimal errors, take your chances, defend like our lives depend on it, win every little moment you can. That's what Finals is about.

I don't know about anyone else but I am sick of losing to these pricks and constantly seeing the smug look on their faces. I've made no secret of my intense dislike for Penrith so it's personal in this one. They are cocky and have this real sense of entitlement. They probably think they are so much better than us. You know what? They can have their false sense of security after the last game. our time has come. And we are coming for them!

So fire up everyone!! The boys need to hear us all right behind them whether you're in the stands or at home. We're on the edge of greatness or ridicule in this years Finals Series, what's it going to be? The boys decide, it's up to them. The NRL's catch-phrase for this year's Series is 'don't blink.' That's what it's all about, don't blink, don't miss you moment and we can 'defy the impossible.' Eat, sleep and breathe it Souths members and fans, Finals Footy is here! It's business time!
 

Stubby

Juniors
Messages
63
NRL is a funny game let’s see how it unfolds remember Gagai has played a lot of fullback and it’s only a bit of tape holding the chins shoulder together look what at what happened when the Parra Hooker tried to tackle Latrell recently
 

handyman2190

Bench
Messages
2,628
Boys, brethren, im going to put my 5cents worth in, here and now. This is coming from left field but ive thought about it.
AJ to fullback, taffe to the wing in defence and swop in attack, though i think taffe would do ok in attack on the wing its a matter of AJ being better in attack on the wing with taffe swinging in ala latrell like he did on saturday. This is pure and simple AJ at this stage is better under the high ball,taaffe hasnt had enough game time, none of the youngsters have. This tactic keeps cody at 6, and gives us better coverage under clearys kicks. And i think we should fight fire with fire,ive seen edwards drop balls,its time for reynolds to start different kicking,not just long kicks to get us out of half,but similar kicks to clearys were we can pressurise and contest the ball.
 

Rabbits20

Immortal
Messages
38,700

Blake Taaffe locked in as South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback​

Peter Badel
September 6, 2021 - 3:02PM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

Wayne Bennett has backed Blake Taaffe to handle the biggest test of his career with the Rabbitohs rookie clinching Latrell Mitchell’s No.1 jumper for Saturday night’s finals showdown against the Panthers.

News Corp can reveal Bennett has opted against major surgery on his playmaking spine, with Cody Walker to return from a week’s rest at five-eighth as the super coach shows faith in Taaffe to fill the Mitchell void in the qualifying final at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Mitchell’s season-ending suspension has thrown up a selection headache for Bennett, who was considering shifting Walker from five-eighth to fullback and slotting premiership playmaker Benji Marshall into the halves for the playoffs.

But Bennett is keeping faith in the 22-year-old Taaffe, who played soundly last week in South Sydney’s 20-16 defeat of the Dragons replacing Mitchell in just his fifth top-grade game.

The quick-stepping rookie will be officially named by Bennett in the No.1 jumper on Tuesday and Souths skipper Adam Reynolds said Mitchell’s presence at training would help Taaffe prepare for a Panthers onslaught in his NRL finals debut.

“Latrell will be good for Blake this week,” said Reynolds, who was impressed with Taaffe’s composure in just his third starting appearance last week.

“Latrell’s experience will help him out in key areas at training and get him prepped for the big moments.

“Latrell is all right, he is doing fine. He is still a big part of what we are doing this year and he will be helping us prepare to get ready for the finals.

“He is still training and doing things with us, whether we need him to mimic an opposition player, Latrell is a good person to compete against at training because he is very good at what he does.

“He will play a great role for the rest of the season.”

There was a push for Walker to return to the backfield, which he has done before, but Bennett is reluctant to destabilise his lethal scrumbase strikeforce with Reynolds, who will square off against Penrith halfback maestro Nathan Cleary.

Souths will carry psychological scar tissue into their finals clash with Penrith in Townsville. They were flogged 56-12 by the Panthers in round 11 and surrendered an early lead to lose 25-12 three weeks ago, but Reynolds is adamant Souths can dismantle Penrith without Mitchell.

“We are trying to come up with ways to break down the big teams and Penrith’s defensive structures are a bit different to what we’ve played throughout the season,” he said.

“It’s exciting because we have to come up with a new way to break them down.

“We haven’t had too much success this year against Penrith but we continually question ourselves at training and we will come up with a thought process on how we can break them down.”

Reynolds last tasted premiership glory in 2014 and the Broncos-bound halfback is desperate to scratch his seven-year title itch.

“I’m looking forward to playing in another finals campaign,” he said.

“It’s important that we lean on Wayne (Bennett) for his experience.

“He gives us a sense of belief that we can do it.”
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,938
Good. Don't play games and just back the kid! That's what I wanted to see. Taaffe can do it, whether he actually will do it or not is another story but we have to back him in. I am.

If things go pear-shaped early, we can always shift AJ back there on defence if we need to. This is a huge moment for Taaffe, I hope he relishes in it.

Grand Final could be 'once-in-a-lifetime' option for Queensland fans - Jones: https://www.nrl.com/news/2021/09/06...-a-lifetime-option-for-queensland-fans-jones/
 

Robbie 12

Juniors
Messages
318
sorry guys, I got a feeling that taaffe will not play,
Back line, fullback Johnson, 2 Milne, 3 gagai, 4 graham, 5 paulo
 

BotanyBorn&Bred

Juniors
Messages
1,401
I know I keep saying the same thing, but Wayne not wanting to put AJ (or even Gagai) at fullback and shuffle the backline around also says to me that they don't think Burns is up to it.

If he was, it would be a relatively easy decision to move AJ to fullback and shuffle the backline. And understandably so, Burns is not a front line first-grader, and Milne has errors in his game that makes him risky as a selection at this level.

We gonna be sorry if we are relying on Burns to take Gagai's place. Has Burns even been resigned yet?
 

Kilkenny

Coach
Messages
10,205
This is it. That's right, this is it. This is the moment, the business end of the Season. The moment where the outcome is decided by moments. This is what we have been working all year for. In fact, this is the moment we have been working three years for. Every win, every loss, every bit of joy, every bit of heartbreak, every moment over the last three years have lead to this, to the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series. That's right, Finals Footy is here. The stakes have never been higher as we take on the Penrith Panthers in the second Qualifying Final on Saturday night. There's no doubting what a big test this is but there's also no doubting what a big opportunity it is. Win, and we're straight through to a Prelim, a massive advantage. Lose, and we have to do it the hard way. So what's it going to be? The boys will decide, little moments will decide. Finals Footy is what we eat, sleep and breathe for and I don't know about you guys, but I'm absolutely pumped to get into it!

This is our biggest game of the year, as every game from now on is in this Finals Series. In fact, I believe this is our biggest game the last three years. We all know what's riding on this Season so it's do or die this Finals. There's not many greater challenges than facing Penrith in a Qualifying Final. We all know our recent record against them, having not won against them since April 2019. That's a long time between drinks. For good reason too as they are right up there with the best teams in the comp, there's no doubt about it. Stars all across the park, everywhere you look and the rub of the green going their way more often than not too. We have a big challenge to overcome this week if we want to finally get that Week 1 win and go straight through. Standing in our way is Cleary, To'o, Burton, Luai and one of the best forward packs in the comp with guys like Leota, Koroisau, JFH, Martin and Yeo. It's the forward battle that's the key. We have to match them there because that limits the effectiveness of all their backs and Cleary. We didn't match them there afer dominating the first 30 minutes in Round 23 and look what happened. We can't let that happen this time when everything is on the line. I want to see us go after Cleary this time too. Hit him everytime he kicks or passes, let him know he's in for a tough night. We have to. The Panthers are primed for this Finals Series and will be desperate for the win.

But you know what, we have a mighty side that is primed for the Finals this year too. In fact, I think this is the best we've been set up coming into a Finals Series since 2014. Our stars have been rested and should be raring to go like they've never been before. Almost everything is against us this week. Coming up against our biggest challenge of the year, having not beaten them for a long time, the ref potentially against us; No one expects us to win this week, no one gives us a chance. But you know what? That's just how we like it. If we play to our full potential, I give us a massive chance, we proved that in Round 23. I take confidence from that game as I feel like we kind of had their measure. We need to be near perfect, minimal errors, take your chances, defend like our lives depend on it, win every little moment you can. That's what Finals is about.

I don't know about anyone else but I am sick of losing to these pricks and constantly seeing the smug look on their faces. I've made no secret of my intense dislike for Penrith so it's personal in this one. They are cocky and have this real sense of entitlement. They probably think they are so much better than us. You know what? They can have their false sense of security after the last game. our time has come. And we are coming for them!

So fire up everyone!! The boys need to hear us all right behind them whether you're in the stands or at home. We're on the edge of greatness or ridicule in this years Finals Series, what's it going to be? The boys decide, it's up to them. The NRL's catch-phrase for this year's Series is 'don't blink.' That's what it's all about, don't blink, don't miss you moment and we can 'defy the impossible.' Eat, sleep and breathe it Souths members and fans, Finals Footy is here! It's business time!
I love the passion, the whole call to arms thing. I confess I didn’t read it in its entirety but I understand the sentiment.

The Latrell out is a massive loss so I guess that means we will start favourites.

I think your first paragraph and talking about moments probably sums up this game best. The officials will play a part, they almost almost do these days So they could be a factor. Penalties, set restarts and most of all avoiding sin bins is going to play a huge part in the outcome.

Anyway good luck, May the best team win, the outcome decided by the 17 players and no one else. Either way the loser gets a second chance even if both sets of supporters are hoping for a win and go straight to week three.
 

callmack1

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
8,938
Here's my predicted line up for the Qualifying Final,

1. Taaffe
2. Johnston
3. Gagai
4. Graham
5. Paulo
6. Walker
7. Reynolds (C)
8. Nicholls
9. Cook
10. Tatola
11. Koloamatangi
12. Arrow
13. Murray

14. Marshall
15. Host
16. Burgess
17. Su'A/Mago

Taaffe is fullback all the way for me. We need to just back him and I genuinely believe he can do it. The rest of the side is pretty self-explanatory. Just not sure who'll get that final bench spot out of Pati or Jaydn.
 

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