The Penrith Panthers have performed the function of party-spoilers on this 12 months’s Return to Redfern conflict. It was an especially scrappy affair – little doubt attributable to a mix of early-season rustiness from the gamers and the atrocious situations by which the sport was performed.
Regardless of the destructive outcome, South Sydney will take loads out of this recreation, together with the emergence of Dean Hawkins who was completely excellent in a shedding facet. Hawkins confirmed loads of composure and sophistication on the again finish of units of six, forcing a number of drop-outs for his facet.
The Rabbitohs will even take confidence out of the truth that they seemed harmful once they had their top-line gamers on the sphere.
Cody Walker and Damien Prepare dinner each performed effectively in restricted minutes, and Alex Johnston appears a more-than-capable substitute for Greg Inglis on the again ought to the massive man go down injured sooner or later this 12 months.
For Penrith, Dylan Edwards has given coach Ivan Cleary loads to consider with reference to the fullback place.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak made the place his personal on the again finish of final 12 months, and captained New Zealand at fullback within the end-of-year Take a look at matches. Nonetheless it might be higher for group stability to reinstate Edwards as fullback and shift Watene-Zelezniak to the wing the place he has performed most of his profession.
Jarome Luai will even be giving Ivan Cleary some choice complications relating to the halves. Clearly James Maloney and Nathan Cleary would be the first-choice pair. But when they fail to fireside, coach Ivan has a readymade substitute in Luai ready within the wings. It’s an excellent place to be in.
Lastly for Penrith, Hame Sele has certainly put his hand up for a bench spot. Having been out and in of first-grade for the final two years at St George Illawarra, Sele appears set for a little bit of a break-out 12 months with a giant displaying as we speak. Each time he touched the ball he ran with gusto, and made no errors on a day the place errors had been aplenty.
An excessive amount of shouldn’t be manufactured from the scoreline of this recreation. Either side used fringe gamers for the majority of the sport – the scoreline just isn’t indicative of Penrith dominance, nor does it counsel a South Sydney kind hunch.
The Panthers will little doubt be very pleased to stroll away from Redfern with the win. Nonetheless, it’s protected to imagine there can be loads of ball-handling classes at each Penrith and South Sydney coaching this week – neither Wayne Bennett nor Ivan Cleary can be proud of as we speak’s error rely.