South Sydney tonight broke a 5 game losing run tonight in driving rain, with a gutsy and grinding 14-4 win over Penrith in their round 13 NRL clash at Telstra Stadium.
Both sides had to battle horrid conditions, the bathing conditions are rare these days and most struggled with the unfamiliar conditions. Souths went in to score early through Paul Mellor off a nice grubber, impressive considering the slippery surface.
Penrith were kept in the game through penalties, slotting 2 goals to equal the score mid way through the first half. Ironic seeing that Penrith were again ill-disciplined themselves and gave away a stack of penalties early.
The game turned into an arm wrestle for the middle period, with both sides struggling to play simple football – neither side played for territory and this should be a lesson to other teams playing in wet NRL conditions this weekend.
Souths forwards tonight really aimed up and kept the Bunnies well and truely in the contest. For the Panthers, it was Broncos bound five eight Peter Wallace who again stood out. Wallace again showed skill and experience above his years, one handed pickups and choice passing in horrific conditions. He is a future Origin five eight, there is simply no question.
Penrith at times did look disinterested, and unwilling to knucle down. It’s a habit they have shown ocassionally over the past few weeks. They can look like NRL world beaters one minute, then look like they are a suburban side that want to switch off and get to the pub early.
Tonight Penrith lost touch as Souths hit the lead with 15 minutes to go through a Merritt penalty goal, and did look to be stable in holding the fort.
Shortly after, Wesser failed a clean up and left the door open for chasers Merritt and Peachey – with the latter being awarded a try on a contentous call. I was simply amazed this try was awarded. There is no consistency in video refereeing at all. Several weeks ago we had tries to Matt Head (Saints) and Luke Burt (Eels) disallowed due to ‘bobbles’. A bobble is a so called millisecond period where the hand isn’t touching the ball. In the last two weeks we’ve had the Matt Cooper (Saints) and now David Peachey (Souths) tries allowed, where a hand has barely scraped / touched the ball let alone grounded it. It is simply amazing. And a worry for the upcoming State of Origin period.
Sure, it must be daunting up in the box as millions await your decision. But how can Joe Public and so many people watching the replay come to a common ground, yet – the man with the buttons is so far from reality?
Back to the game, full credit to Souths for getting back on track and nabbing the points in a tough one. Penrith must still be wondering what hit them this year, as Elliott struggles to get cohesion on a weekly basis.
The Rabbitohs next week meet Manly at Brookvale Oval in a round14 tough one, while the Panthers will look to break their shoddy form when they meet the Roosters at home.
South Sydney 14 (P Mellor, D Peachey tries; N Merritt 1 conversion, 2 penalty goals)
Penrith 4 (M Gordon 2 penalty goals)