Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 24 Recap

There may only be a few weeks to go but Rugby League took a bit of a back seat this weekend. That’s right, we all forgot about the NRL for a little while as the whole country tuned into the Matildas’ outstanding win in the World Cup! As good as that was, there was still a round of footy that went on with plenty to report on. As unconvincing as it was, the Rabbitohs were back on the winners list even though they have plenty to work on. Like always, we’ll have a close review of the Bunnies game and a look at the rest of the games.

Sea-Eagles v Panthers

A fairly uninspiring clash on paper was our kick off to Round 24. Last start losers Manly, who were now pretty much out of the finals race, had to take on comp frontrunners and serial slaughterers – Penrith. Most thought this would only go one way but the Sea-Eagles had other ideas. Penrith seemed strangely off their game as the home side stuck to their task and went to the break 12 all.

Normal service resumed in the second half as Penrith scored two unanswered tries to register  a 24-12 win. Manly were all effort and it was only really a strange tactic of introducing some weird kicking to the match that cost them. If Manly played the game like it was at a dry Brookvale in 2023 instead of a wet Sydney Sports Ground in 1974 they may have been even better?

Sea Eagles v Panthers highlights.

Sharks v Titans

The hardest thing about watching this game was trying to work out which team was which! Given the lengths the NRL go to avoid ‘jersey clashes’ it was bizarre how this one got through. Two teams playing in almost identical jumpers was far too much of a challenge for me in the first game of Friday.

Anyway, onto the game and after being shocked back into form by the Rabbitohs last week, the Sharkies scored another strong win. The Gold Coast were never really in this at any stage against the impressive Sharks. Cronulla seem to have gained a new lease of life just before the semis with new half Braydon Trindall sparking the attack and freeing up Nicho Hynes.

Sharks v Titans highlights.

Broncos v Eels

I was expecting a close high-scoring battle in Friday’s main game between Brisbane and Parra. It turned out to be high scoring but only for Broncos as they made an absolute mess of the visiting Eels. Countless lame cricket score/Gabba jokes went across social media as the Broncos racked up try after try. The Eels lost star half Mitchell Moses early and things didn’t improve after that.

The Broncos were relentless in their destruction of Parra and the Eels had no answers. Brisbane are playing like real contenders whilst the Eels are now looking highly doubtful to make the semis.They’re outside the eight now with tough clashes against the Roosters and Penrith to come…

Broncos v Eels highlights.

Rabbitohs v Dragons

After last week’s absolute debacle against the Sharkies in Perth, Souths fans had been waiting all week for this game for some kind of redemption. We of course faced St George-Illawarra, this time at Cairns, thankfully the last leg of our national tour. Last week’s loss had really knocked the wind out of me and I wasn’t sure how to approach this match. I knew we were good enough to win but I was wary of our poor form and dwindling forward depth. I also knew that the Dragons, although inconsistent, were more than capable of beating us.

After a week of kicking stones, we were finally underway. I remember the start of the game being solid enough. It seemed that we were more willing to get into the grind and complete sets. There were some clunky periods but we were the first to cross through a sharp shift to the left. The last pass from Trell Mit hit AJ like a lightning bolt and he did the rest. We were able to add to our score with a penalty goal to make the score 8-0.

Decent Start Ruined

A decent enough start was ruined with some pretty uninspiring defence on our left edge. The two big Dragons units in Suli and Ravalawa were able to waltz through to get St George-Illawarra back into it. From memory, the period that followed was a frustrating one.

So many of our passes were going to ground, there many were errors and the opposition seemed to be marching up the field with relative ease. It seemed that we were falling back in the bad habit of taking short-cuts, unwilling to build pressure or earn the right to attack. Greg Alexander, who really should just turn up in his Penrith kit when commentating on Fox, was delighting in our ineptitude. A pretty easy try from Campbell Graham, where he did a similar thing to what Suli did to us, extended our lead. This was matched by the Dragons with a Ben Hunt 4 pointer. This wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon.

Latrell Class

Thankfully, a touch of class from Latrell gave us some breathing space. He contested the kick and caught the ball and passed to Cody in one motion. A fantastic try! Could it spark us into action? No. The speedy Tyrell Sloan was the next to score off yet another kick that rolled around in our in-goal. We were fortunate that Ben Hunt was having an ordinary day with the boot as otherwise the tries scored by both sides were even.

As the game went on I thought the Rabbitohs began to improve and make better decisions. We were far from our best but it was good enough to get over the Dragons. Another try to AJ after some great lead-up work from Tass gave us a 12 point break, a lead that was never headed.

It was clear to anyone that South Sydney are a long way from the team that was leading the comp at the beginning of the season. Still, it was a win and something we can build on. I thought there were a lot more positive contributions this time around. Shaq Mitchell is such an awkward and damaging runner and he really needs to be there every week, he made a real difference to the forwards. Lachy’s kicking was much better, Taane did a stack of quality work and Campbell Graham looked a lot more comfortable this week. There were others I could mention but overall it was a better performance.

Knights Next

Next up is the high-flying Newcastle. They looked good once again, dismantling a poor Canterbury, and we’ll have to be at our best to have a chance at beating them. I’m hoping that we’ll see a return from Sele and Tatola to give our forwards our massive boost. I’m also hopeful that the rise in class of our opponents will bring out the best in us, raising our intensity and improving our execution. Time will tell…. Where else would you want to be but cheering on the mighty Rabbitohs?

Rabbitohs v Dragons highlights.

Tigers v Warriors

Like the rest of the country, I was glued to the coverage of the World Cup Quarter Final. I did keep a bit of an eye on the final two Saturday games but couldn’t really comment in detail. In the first game, the TIgers kept up their competitive form without winning against the Warriors. There were times when the score was close but you wouldn’t say the NZ team were ever in any danger of losing. 

Still, the Tiges have been decent for a while now and you have to wonder if a win is far away from them? The Warriors remain in cruise control with a top 4 spot almost certain. They’re likely to play Brisbane in the first round of the semis which will be a bumper clash.

Wests Tigers v Warriors highlights.

Roosters v Dolphins

I can tell you even less about this game but the Roosters continue on their winning ways and remain an improving chance of finals footy. The Dolphins competed for a while but were overrun as their own errors mounted. 

To make the finals, the Chooks would need to beat Parra, Wests and Souths. Unfortunately, you’d have to give that a fair chance of happening…

Roosters v Dolphins highlights.

Storm v Raiders

Off to Melbourne and back to AAMI Park for the Storm versus the Raiders. After a few trips to Marvel Stadium because of the World Cup, Melbourne were back to their happy place of AAMI Park and it showed. This was a good old fashioned Sunday arvo flogging that we’ve seen so many times before down there. 

I was quite surprised at how little the Raiders showed here. You wouldn’t say there’s been that much difference between the two teams this year and Canberra are well positioned on the table. The Green Machine went tryless though and Melbourne ran riot.. This improves the Storm’s likelihood of finishing in the top 4 but casts doubt on Canberra with some tough games coming.

Storm v Raiders highlights.

Knights v Bulldogs

This was another game where I expected a close contest but got the complete opposite. As Canterbury copped a ridiculous hiding from them last time out, I figured they’d be in ‘revenge’ mode despite Newcastle’s excellent form. The Bulldogs team were also starting to look like something resembling a full-strength side. What we got though was more of the same from Canterbury. They now have a 42-6 loss to Newcastle to go with their 66-0 loss they got a while ago. Their fans must be thrilled.

Canterbury didn’t offer much but Newcastle continue to impress. They now have an injury concern with Jackson Hastings going down badly in today’s game but continue to play with confidence. They probably have the biggest game of their year against Souths next Sunday and the Newcastle faithful will be fired up and ready to go.

Knights v Bulldogs highlights.

Another week in footy is done and as Rabbitohs, we go into Round 25 as last start winners. Something we couldn’t say this week. The finals race is well and truly on with plenty of clubs still in the mix. Join me again next  Sunday night for Uncool Dad’s BunniesTV Round 25 Recap as we find out what happens in the next exciting chapter of NRL Season 2023.

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 24 Recap. Greg Allan
The Allans

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 24 Recap.

By Greg Allan for Bunnies TV.

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