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Round 8 - Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs: Sunday 5th July 6:30pm @Bankwest Stadium

callmack1

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This is a huge week for us as we go up against our old rivals in the Bulldogs. It's a huge game for us but to be honest, it really shouldn't be as big of a game as it is. We haven't been going as well as we should be, that's no secret, so this week is huge because we really need to get back on track. It's almost a must win!

Not only that, but we are playing one of our biggest rivals. I always love playing the Dogs, there's a lot of great history between us as we all know. They're a gritty side who I actually don't think have been playing too badly, they just haven't got the results. Therefore, we need to be wary. They must not be underestimated that's for sure as they are certainly capable of surprising us. All you have to do is look at the last time we played them, Women In League Round, 2019, to see what they can do in terms of surprising us. They might be down the ladder but still have plenty of strike across the park and can drag you down to their gritty level if you let them.

For us, it's pretty obvious what the focus of this week should be. Ball control and completion rate should be the main focus. Of course, we need to improve in all areas week by week but this is the main one. We all know it's been absolutely terrible and it has hurt us so far this Season. It's time the coaching staff properly address it and we work on it because we just can't afford to have a poor completion rate again come Sunday night. Defence is the other one for me. Our 'D' has actually been pretty decent in recent weeks, still areas for improvement but it's been good and that needs to continue this week. If we can get these areas right, I'm confident the attack will flow off the back of that. Getting these areas right is just so important!

Big week, but we can do this!
 

Travitoh

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Canterbury are a side that can grind and frustrate their opposition. Early points will be clutch in an attempt to open the game up a bit where they'll be vulnerable.

A low scoring loss won't be the end of the world. It's no secret that the Souths attack can be easily frustrated. Anything that involves Canterbury scoring 3+ tries however will be a bad result.
 

callmack1

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Scored tickets to the game. First game for the season (I missed the Sharks due to a 1001 other commitments on that day). To say I'm stoked is an understatement.
Awesome mate congrats!! I'm jealous haha.

Canterbury are a side that can grind and frustrate their opposition. Early points will be clutch in an attempt to open the game up a bit where they'll be vulnerable.

A low scoring loss won't be the end of the world. It's no secret that the Souths attack can be easily frustrated. Anything that involves Canterbury scoring 3+ tries however will be a bad result.
Agreed. If we can start well and hold the ball, it will go a long way to ensuring they don't easily frustrate us.
 

callmack1

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Here's my predicted Line Up for Round 8,

1. Mitchell
2. Gagai
3. Roberts
4. Graham
5. Johnston
6. Walker
7. Reynolds (C)
8. Tatola
9. Cook
10. Burgess
11. Su'a
12. Sironen
13. Murray

14. Knight
15. Lowe
16. Mago
17. Sele

This is maybe not so much a 'predicted' Line Up, it's more a 'what I'd like to see' Line Up.

It's time to make a call on Burns, I think he hasn't been good enough overall to keep his spot so Cammy shifts to the left with Jimmy coming into the starting side on the right. Gagai gets put on notice but keeps his spot for this Round in my opinion. In the forward pack, Sironen deserves a start and I'd like to see him swap with Lowe who has been pretty poor. Than, finally, hopefully Mago comes back onto that bench.
 

Travitoh

Bench
Messages
4,955
Here's my predicted Line Up for Round 8,

1. Mitchell
2. Gagai
3. Roberts
4. Graham
5. Johnston
6. Walker
7. Reynolds (C)
8. Tatola
9. Cook
10. Burgess
11. Su'a
12. Sironen
13. Murray

14. Knight
15. Lowe
16. Mago
17. Sele

This is maybe not so much a 'predicted' Line Up, it's more a 'what I'd like to see' Line Up.

It's time to make a call on Burns, I think he hasn't been good enough overall to keep his spot so Cammy shifts to the left with Jimmy coming into the starting side on the right. Gagai gets put on notice but keeps his spot for this Round in my opinion. In the forward pack, Sironen deserves a start and I'd like to see him swap with Lowe who has been pretty poor. Than, finally, hopefully Mago comes back onto that bench.

I'd dump Gagai for Roberts. Burns hasn't been as bad as has been made out imo and is one of few Souths players who can actually break a tackle and has a decent offload in his game.
Defensively, he's actually been better (81.6%) than Campbell Graham (76%).

Gagai has had 3 years of opportunity and delivered very little. I would like to see Roberts in his place on the wing where i believe his speed can be used as a weapon on an overlap.
 
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callmack1

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Round 8 Line Up vs Bulldogs: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/06/30/round-eight-line-up-vs-bulldogs/

Pretty happy with that side! Jimmy comes into the starting Line Up for Burns which is good to see. Will be interesting who starts on the left and who starts on the right. This see's Burnsy drop to the bench and the rest of the side remains unchanged from last week. I would have liked to have seen Sironen in the starting side in place of Lowe but I guess it's okay he's on the bench, he just needs more minutes and Lowe needs to step up big time. I'd also probably prefer to not carry a back on the bench (I'd have Sele there) but oh well, I can see Wayne's reasoning.

Still, a good Line Up for this week!
 

Travitoh

Bench
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4,955
I would've preferred to see Burns keep his spot but do like the idea of him playing as a roaming lock against tired legs.

IMO, the HIA/injury cover a back provides on the bench is of greater benefit than 10-15 minutes from the 9th best forward available.
 

callmack1

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"Just looking forward to this week." - Tatola: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/06/30/junior-tatola-media-round-8/

"We're focused on the now and what we can do." - Burgess: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/06/30/thomas-burgess-media-round-8/

"Execution is the big one for us." - Cook: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/06/30/damien-cook-media-round-8/

Love the attitude from all the boys there, especially Cookie. He has nailed it when speaking about the situation we currently find ourselves in. It seems the execution and poor dicipline is being addressed which is a good sign.

Training Gallery - Round 8: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/06/30/training-gallery-round-eight/

How 2014 hero Burgess is helping make Bennett’s Bunnies a title chance again: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...n/news-story/6f1951b25769ef8478e3c6486d469d10

Good to see Sammy back!

Peter Sterling says Dane Gagai in danger of losing starting spot in Rabbitohs' logjam: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/peter-...s-return/1ec7151d-6648-4d77-8ae8-930d6820fec1
 

callmack1

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callmack1

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Coaches Media - Round 8: https://www.rabbitohs.com.au/news/2020/07/04/wayne-bennett-media-round-eight/

Looks the focus has really been on holding the ball this week which is what we all want obviously, good signs. However, it's just talk at the moment. We need to see action tomorrow night and we can afford to beat ourselves.

Wayne hinting that Burnsy may play some minutes in the Second Row? Not sure what to make of that.
 

callmack1

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It's our first Sunday game of the year so it seems like we've been waiting a while but the day is finally here! Game Day!!! What a big day it is for us too as we really need to win this one. It's one of those 'don't lose kind of games.'

Their ladder position may not show it but I believe we're going up against tough opposition tonight too. The Dogs are a traditional rival of ours, a big rival, and there is so much history between us. For that, they always seem to lift against us and I expect no different tonight. They are a gritty side that may not be getting the results in recent times, but they're certainly not short on effort. We can't get into a scrap with them tonight and we can't let them drag us down to their level, we must rise above that.

Like I said, it's a big game for us as we need to right the wrongs of last Thursday today. That all starts with holding the ball. We have to complete highly today and build pressure, it's just a must! The ten day turnaround should ensure we are well rested and ready to go.

You can do this boys!!
 

callmack1

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Yeeehaaa feels great to get the win!! Feels especially great after the way the game went. We certainly weren't at our best tonight and it was a really tough, scrappy game. The Dogs dragged us down to their level and made it hard for us. But thankfully, we were able to win the arm wrestle and come out on top quite comfortably in the end. We worked hard for that one. As I said, still not a great performance which I guess is a bit concerning but a wins a win, we got the result and that's all that matters.

Another mixed night attacking wise for us. This game was a bit tough to get a read on how good we were offensively to be honest as it was one of those gritty sort of games that lacked flow and we couldn't seem to generate many periods of momentum. Despite this, and taking everything within the game into account, I think we attacked well as a whole. No issues what so ever marching up the field through the middle and the forwards set a fantastic platform there. This enabled us to score some pretty nice tries off the back of that. I thought we looked pretty dangerous on the attack all game and we really asked plenty of questions of the Bulldogs defence. It was pleasing to crack them at the times we did. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Plenty. I still feel that our execution was very off as we butchered a few opportunities through poor passing. Also, still too many errors for mine.

It was an impressive defensive game from us. I know the Bulldogs' attack isn't the greatest and they didn't exactly throw a lot at us but I was really proud of some of the effort we showed and the resiliance we showed in defence. We were able to turn them away many times and we restricted them to just ten points. Got ot be proud of that. We still gave away a few silly defensive penalties to let them back in which is an area to improve but I'm mostly happy with the defence in that one.

Mitchell: Much better than last week but still not at his best. He provided some really silky touches and was involved a fair bit. Great ball to send AJ on his way for the first try. However, I feel like he went missing at times and we still need him more involved in my opinion. Solid kick returns and his defence was fine.

Gagai: Was good. Made amends for last week and had a really good game tonight. His runs coming out of our end were huge and he had plenty of them too. Had a good night defensively, fine under the high ball and that intercept he scored was just brilliant to watch. Great game awareness to nab that one.

Roberts: While he looked super dangerous everytime he touched the ball, I reckon the Jet had a bit of a quiet night tonight. His hit ups were fantastic but I would have liked to have seen him get more ball because we saw what he could do with early ball tonight, creating a few chances. Was pleased with his defence though.

Graham: Similar to Jimmy, his hit ups were awesome and the runs he did have were awesome, good defence and no errors. But I'd also like to see him more involved as we've seen what he was like while he was on that right edge. Was more quiet than that tonight.

Johnston: AJ had a good night. Scored that brilliant try through sheer speed and skill. What a try that was! I thought his kick returns and hit ups were solid and he did a nice job defensively.

Walker: Have to be honest, he was quite poor in the first half as he barely touched the ball but he was a lot better in the second, really stepped up there and ended up having a good game. Scored a nice try through direct running and his defence was outstanding!

Reynolds: Mixed night again Reyno. He did a lot right, creating opportunities, great short kicking game and his goal kicking was on once again. Loved the try assist for Jaydn!! However, I think his general play long range kicking left a lot to be desired. Quite often he missed timed it and it turned out being an average one. There's a work on.

Tatola: A good, solid game frome Junior. Rumbled up the middle well in both his stints and he seemed to get a bit more space to move tonight which he certainly took advantage of. Awesome game Junior!

Cook: Was solid again tonight. He brought all the boys onto the ball really well through quality service, was great defensively and his running game returned. Didn't have an awful lot of damaging runs but did pick times to run well, better than in recent times.

Burgess: Another great game from Tom. He just poured through the middle in his two stints and geez he looked strong again. Canterbury really struggled to handle him tonight as he fought for every meter and kept those legs pumping. Decent defensive game from Tommy too, a really nice performance.

Su'a: Fantastic game Jaydn!! Once again he just proved so hard to handle for the Dogs and looked super dangerous with some of the lines he ran on the edge. Super aggressive in every run too. Great to see him cross for his first try in a long time too, that was brilliant. A silly play with his shoulder charge but we'll see what happens with that tomorrow.

Lowe: Improved a lot this week as he was more involved and had more of an impact on the game. Some really nice runs out on that left edge. We still need more from him though I reckon.

Murray: Very good game from Cam. He was in everything tonight. Good running game, offloads, quick play-the-balls, great kick chase, plenrty of taclkes. Just another great game from Murray

Knight: Was good. Made a nice impact off the bench through some really aggressive running. I liked his energy.

Mago: Much the same as Knight, would have liked to have seen him get more minutes though.

Sele: Great game from Hame! Again, really good impact off the bench, his runs were outstanding and the Bulldogs obviously found him hard to handle. Loving the way Hame is progressing!!

Burns: Tough night for Burnsy as he didn't make much of an impression as he would have liked. Picked up that knee cap injury too which hopefully is not as bad as it looked.

So all up, a really tough win that I'm happy with in terms of the result. Still a lot to work on as we weren't great but a win's a win!!
 

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