Rabbits On A Roll

By Greg Allan for Bunnies TV.

NRL Round 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly-Warringah Sea-Eagles Accor Stadium 22/6/24

Saturday night rolled around and sure enough the rain came hammering down once again. Never mind, I was still going to head out and watch my beloved Rabbitohs. It’s a shame that it would have kept plenty away who would have been keen to get behind the rejuvenated Bunnies.

The turnaround has been staggering and we were shooting for our 4th straight win – words that would have seemed completely insane a few months ago as we slumped to disaster after disaster. It was real though and the signs for another victory were good. We were missing Latrell and Cam but Manly were missing plenty due to Origin and injury. Still, after watching the Titans beat the Warriors by 60 in the afternoon, I was taking nothing for granted.

I was joined by both Juliet and Lucas this time around. Juliet is always a pretty enthusiastic Rabbitoh but her older brother usually becomes reluctant once the rain comes. It’s amazing what a few wins can do though and we set out on the rainy journey to Accor. We met our usual crew in Simon, Craig and Terry in Bay 129 just before NRL kick off. We were able to sit in our normal seats this week and were just able to dodge the rain in our spots despite it being very wet.

The Mighty Rabbitohs
The rain came hammering down once again at Accor Stadium.

Dialed In

Soon enough, we were underway and it was a conservative start with both teams looking to avoid errors. An early kick from Cody that went dead didn’t help our start but we recovered well. Our forwards looked dialed in again with Keppie and Moale leading from the front. We started to get on top with possession going our way and sure enough we were first to score. Richie Kennar was the first to go over. It was a classic South Sydney momentum try with our forwards rolling forward and quick play-the-balls. Cookie found Richie with a sharp pass and we were on the board! Souths 4-0.

At the 21st minute mark, livewire fullback Jye Gray crossed for his first try in the NRL. Just like the last score, we were on the charge with Wighton only just missing out the play before. The spread to the right was on. Keaon got in at first receiver after another speedy play-the-ball and found Cody, Kennar ran a nice decoy as the ball hit Jye. He beat his man on the outside, dummied and cruised over out wide! Fantastic stuff! The members bay was pumping! The only thing not going right for us was Cody’s goal kicking. Judging by the speed he was going about it you could tell he wasn’t quite comfortable but I’m sure he was the best option. 8-0 Souths.

Leaders Again

The rest of the half progressed more or less without incident. AJ had a chance to add to his record tally right at the death of the first half but just fell short. He had to stop on his run a little when receiving Cody’s pass which probably just cost him. No worries, we went to the half as leaders again. Something I’m pleased to say we’re making a habit of.

Onto the second half and even though we had been clearly the better side we only had an 8 point lead to show for it. We really had to continue to be on our game as any lucky try from a kick or intercept would see our small lead cut quickly. I had visions of this happening as I’d seen it so many times before. An early break from Manly did nothing to calm my nerves. We were able to snuff this out as we did with every Sea-Eagles attacking threat.

They may not have offered too much but we kept them to zero which would have warmed the hearts of all Souths fans given where we’d come from form-wise. In fact, every time something went against us be that an error, a six-again or a penalty, we defended it every time without panic or concern. This newfound resilience our team is showing is so great to see as it was severely lacking for a long time.

The Mighty Rabbitohs - Greg Allan
Raphael, Simon, Terry, Juliet, Lucas, me at Accor Stadium last night.

Manly Looked Lost

There’s not too much else to report on in terms of the game. We had our chances to score more tries but couldn’t quite seal the deal. Manly had a couple of chances too but their Brooks led attack looked lost without Cherry-Evans. To end the game, Keaon picked up a nice try after a deft little kick Cookie. It was a just reward for Keaon who was once again superhuman in the middle. Final score 14-0.

Possibly not the most exciting game for neutral fans but us Souths supporters lapped up the result. It was our 4th win in a row, a scrappy one for sure but still plenty to like. As mentioned before, our overall resilience was super impressive and my favourite part of the game. The forwards were once again brilliant. The wet track suits us and the whole group excelled in the engine room.

Moale was strong and Keppie was error free and fired up against his old club. Cheeks, Tom and Arrow were solid and Tallis continues to show a heap of class. Cookie had a brilliant game after a tough week for him, what a servant of our club he has been but we’ll cover that more as the season progresses. It was good to see Mamouzelos get a bit more time and he did some nice things in his stint. Rabbitoh 1200 Liam Le Blanc didn’t have too much time on the field but still found time to pull off a few good hits and make some nice charges.

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Special Mention

In the backs, our halves were a little scratchy but still provided the direction and leadership needed which is priceless in our set-up. Special mention to Taane and Kennar who have been doing their job well in the last few weeks. They’re probably no one’s choice as starting centres but in our predicament they’re doing a great job. They both struggled earlier in the year but so did everyone. It’s amazing how much better everyone looks now that the forwards are going forward. Gags and AJ didn’t get too many chances in the wet conditions but were solid  on the edges.

Jye Gray

Now we come to the name on everyone’s lips, Jye Gray. What a performance! He slotted in seamlessly to a side that has found form and the opposite to the Souths team he left when he got injured. He was involved throughout and contested every kick that Manly sent his way defusing almost all of them. I also loved the way he calmly found touch with a kick when Cody and Jack were out of play. He’s a real effort player, is super quick and dynamic but now the question is what do we do with him? He’s too good to leave out but where do you play him apart from fullback? I suppose you could move Latrell to the centres but we saw tonight how much we missed his impact in the middle of the field. We need his hands on the ball and that may be hard to do even as a floating centre.

It’s going to be interesting to see what coach Hornby comes up with but you really have to have Gray in there somewhere. I’m just not sure where! He and Keaon were best on ground in my opinion.


Now the next question. Can we keep winning? We have a bye of course then Parra and Dolphins away followed by the Tigers at Gosford. It’s harder than what we’ve faced of late but certainly not impossible given our newfound form. Parra will be tougher at home with Moses and Gutherson but we have a decent record against them.

Wayne will have his boys fired up but hopefully we go with them and get the points there too. The Tiges always save their best for us but Gosford is usually a pretty good venue for us. Maybe I’m looking too far ahead but it’s hard not to get excited. Things were looking deathly only months ago but now I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say I can’t get enough of the mighty Rabbitohs!

Rabbits On A Roll.

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