Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap

For the final time this season I bring you Uncool Dad’s Round Recap. It’s been an interesting journey writing these up each week, even if the finish has been extremely disappointing. Like most of you that will be reading this, it will be the first time since 2017 that I won’t have a team in the finals series. Something none of us were even considering after a few months of the season. But it is what it is…as hollow as it is we just have to accept it and move on… As always, I’ll go through our fateful final match in detail as well as glance at all the other games in Round 27. 

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap
Extremely disappointed Greg & Lucas Allan.

Broncos v Storm

In a round of footy that had some very crazy fixtures, this was possibly the craziest. Both sides had decided to rest most of their main players, instead playing a lot of youngsters and journeymen in their place. There wasn’t much at stake for the Storm but Brisbane still had the minor premiership to play for. 

The home side got off to a quick start, running in two unanswered tries. It looked as if Melbourne were maybe just there to make up the numbers but it wasn’t long until they hit back. Scores were more or less locked up until midway till the 2nd half when Melbourne began to run away with the match. It didn’t matter too much but the Broncos really lost control of the game with a few silly errors. In typical Melbourne Storm fashion, they unearthed another superstar just for fun. Sualauvi Faalogo was electric and may even feature next week he was that good. 

Broncos v Storm highlights.

Sea-Eagles v Tigers

Admittedly, I didn’t see much of this at all as I was on my way to the Bunnies game. Given the blowout score, I didn’t have any need to revisit it. This was an old-fashioned Brookvale massacre where the poor Tigers fans got to suffer one final embarrassment before season end.

Manly have had an ok season given their injuries and their fans would have gone home happy and hopeful for next year. Not so for the poor Tiges who seem to have got worse despite a few reasonable inclusions to their side. Once again, they’ll have to start all over again in 2024. Hopefully Benji can provide something for their long-suffering supporters…

Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers highlights.

Rabbitohs v Roosters

Finally we were back at home. The Rabbitohs’ ill-fated trip around the country had gratefully come to an end and we were back at Accor where we usually play our best. On our national tour, I hope the club never does that again. I’m sure they weren’t expecting to go anywhere near as badly as we did but I don’t think the constant travel helped our situation. These things are easy to say in hindsight of course.

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap
Hopes were high before the game.

Anyway, my son Lucas and I headed off reasonably early for our final match of the year. I decided to take the train because I didn’t want to deal with the huge crowds in the car. As we saw more Souths fans on our trip in, you could tell that there was a real sense of nervousness amongst us. The last few months of poor form had taken its toll on our usual buoyant and proud supporter base. Still, we were all there hoping for the best. Hoping for that dramatic turn around in form that would send us off the semi-finals with a boost and some unlikely expectation.

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap. Brad Fittler & Ron Coote.
Brad Fittler & Ron Coote.

Goodbye Kyle Turner

Pre kick-off we said goodbye to Kyle Turner. Respect was shown by all but it was a different feeling to when we said farewell to Satts. Terribly sad. RIP Kyle. The footy was underway in front of a huge Friday night crowd, the winner off to the semis, the loser left to face a season of underachievement. Like most weeks, Souths started well enough but also like most weeks it wasn’t long till the errors crept in. A miskick by Lachy, a dropped ball by Shaq. It was all looking a bit too familiar. Losing Taaffe early only added to the pessimism.

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap. RIP Kyle Turner.
RIP Kyle Turner.

The Roosters went over early when of all players, Corey Allan (no relation), scored the first try after an AJ fumble. We’re not a great side under attacking kicks and other teams know this. After some momentum, we hit back with a great captain’s try to Cam. Maybe we could go on with this?

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap
Souths Old Boys joined the pre game guard of honour.

The details are a bit sketchy for me from here and as I have no desire to re-watch the match, I’ll just do my best. Tries to Roosters winger Paugu and Tedesco put us well and truly on the back foot. The agitation was rising in the Souths members bay, the realisation of a season lost starting to hit. After what seemed like an eternity of Souths going nowhere, Chee Kam crashed over to get us within 6. The crowd came to life, could we find a way?

Poor Execution

Sadly no. The bumbling and poor execution continued for our Rabbitohs and the Roosters ran away with it. Tries to Billy Smith and Sam Walker put the game without doubt and we had nowhere to go in the Souths members bays except maybe the car park or the train station. I chose to put my head in my hands.

So that was it. No finals for Souths. It’s been said a million times since the game but our fall from grace was absolutely stunning. It’s hard to know what exactly went wrong but in basic terms, I think it was just a lack of confidence that spiralled out of control. It doesn’t take an expert to see that our guys had no faith or postivity in what they were doing and played accordingly. 

Other factors for me were our kicking game. It’s never been great since Adam left but we got away with it last year. Not in 2023, as opposition sides took advantage of our consistent poor options. I’m not sure what the answer is here as Wighton is not known for his kicking either but it’s a factor that can’t be ignored. Not having a kicking game stops us from getting into the grind when we need to. Instead we go back to our usual trick shots which haven’t worked for months.

Accor Stadium.

Lost Their Mojo

Our forwards were brilliant early but really lost their mojo at the back end. I’m not sure if it was injury or what but we were never close to dominating any pack in the last few months. It may be too much to ask but I hope we can pick up an honest forward or two in the off-season, someone in the Mark Nicholls mold. 

This has turned into an absolute diatribe so I’ll wind things up. Obviously, there’s a horrible sense of disappointment that we’ve completely blown it but there’s a part of me that was glad to be put out of the misery. Really, what did we expect? The Roosters had won 4 straight and we’d just struggled past Wests and the Dragons and lost to everyone else. The Chooks weren’t brilliant but were much better than us and had plenty of late outs. I found their fans fine on Friday. I think both sets of supporters knew how badly we’d both performed as clubs this year..

Rabbitohs v Roosters highlights.

Dolphins v Warriors

In the first game of the last Super Saturday, the Dolphins had a great chance to end their season how they started it. The Warriors had not much to play for so rested a lot of their stars. The Kiwi side were never really too determined to get the win but did try hard. Despite the Redcliffe dominance, the Warriors still got close until the Dolphins put it to bed.

A nice way to finish for the Dolphins, you have to say they’ve had a good year. It’s hardly a surprise when you see who their coach is. With a few quality signings joining them in 2024, there’s plenty to look forward to. 

As for the Warriors, or the Wahs as everyone seems to call them now, they have some exciting times ahead of them. They have 2 shots at their first finals series in ages and a whole country of fans right behind them. I think a lot of Australia will be with them too! Let’s see what they can do..

Dolphins v Warriors highlights.

Panthers v Cowboys

North Queensland needed to win this one to overtake the Roosters and make the eight. Unfortunately for them, they were the recipient of an unlikely Panthers defeat at the hands of the Eels. Because of this, coach Clearly played all his big guns to tune up for the semis and the result was predictable. That’s right… another slaughter at the BlueBet abattoir.

Business as usual for Penrith as they take another minor premiership and head off in search of their third comp. The damage was done for the Cows long ago with a poor start and a game dropped to the Titans a few weeks ago. Like Souths, they get to spend the off-season thinking what could have been.

Panthers v Cowboys highlights.

Dragons v Knights

I saw this as an excellent chance for the Dragons to grab a win against a Knights side missing a few players. St George-Illawarra had been good without winning for a while and this seemed a great opportunity to give their fans some joy.

Even without Ponga, the Knights were too good though. It’s unbelievable to see how well they’re going, that’s 9 in a row now. To see coach O’Brien bumbling through his press conferences with his excuses after another loss to what we have now is staggering. Their home semi against Canberra next week will be the hottest ticket in town. They’ll be hard to stop and their fans will be bursting at the seams. 

This was a poor finish for the Dragons in what was a bit of a waste of season. With a new coach and new direction in 2024, their fans will be hoping to get back on the long road to the top.

Dragons v Knights highlights.

Titans v Bulldogs

The media had moved on from Souths and were attacking the Doggies from all fronts. Canterbury had been bagged from pillar to post in regard to their on-field and off-field results. Thankfully for their fans, they put up a bit more of a fight today but the Titans were too good in a real try-a-thon.

The pressure is well and truly on for coach Ciraldo now. They’ve regressed under his watch and if things start ugly in 2024 he may become the new Trent Barrett. Gold Coast, however, have had some good moments in 2023. Coach Hasler will bring some toughness with his eccentric and old school ways so things are looking up for them.

Titans v Bulldogs highlights.

Sharks v Raiders

In our final match of a truly bizarre round, the Sharkies hosted the Raiders in a match which suddenly had some importance. Both sides would feature next week but the winner would get a home semi.

The Raiders came to play and things were tight for a while. It wasn’t until the send-off of Seb Kris for a nasty looking spear tackle that things began to open up. From there, Cronulla ran away with it. They’ll be at Shark Park again next week for an interesting elimination clash against the Roosters. Canberra face the daunting task of taking on the red-hot Newcastle.

Sharks v Raiders highlights.

So there we have it. Done for 2023. Thanks to the people who’ve read the recaps each week, I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Thanks also to Mavo for putting them up each week. It’s time to enjoy some finals footy without the stress of watching a misfiring Bunnies. Not to forget our NSW Cup side who look to be playing with some real spirit. Enjoy the summer and the off-season, immerse yourself in the other things you love, I know I will be. I plan to be back for a Summer League Preview before we kick off so watch out for that! 

Glory, Glory

Uncool Dad’s Bunnies TV Round 27 Recap

By Greg Allan

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