South Sydney discovered a that it’s possible you’ll per chance moreover think of resolution to their 2022 halves conundrum but their excellent interrogate for this season remains unsolved headed into the finals after a 20-16 win over St George Illawarra.
With eight of their stars rested including Adam Reynolds, the person anticipated to be his lengthy-time duration replacement starred as Souths dominated most the sport on the Sunshine Float.
On debut and with all eyes on him in the Rabbitohs No.7 jersey, Lachlan Ilias scored in the sixth minute and kicked soundly in the route of to wait on finish the Dragons’ sorry season.
But coach Wayne Bennett became once less convinced on Blake Taaffe at fullback, admitting he became once serene weighing up easy systems to excellent change the banned Latrell Mitchell in the finals.
Taaffe and Ilias combined once to location up a Taane Milne strive in the second half, whereas the 22-year-frail became once solid on the reduction rather then one dropped ball.
A miles bigger test awaits in the first week of the finals if Bennett opts to maintain Taaffe in the No.1 jersey, with Penrith’s Nathan Cleary practically certain to pepper the Rabbitohs with bombs.
“If he goes reduction there I shall be assured he can handle it,” Bennett said.
“If I am no longer assured on it he might perhaps moreover merely no longer be playing.
“There had been hundreds things I most in fashion tonight and a pair of things I did no longer. But he’s a sufferer of no longer playing (reserve grade) soccer (during the pandemic).”
Bennett’s other option shall be to play Cody Walker at fullback, with Benji Marshall in the halves after one other impressive evening from the dilapidated.
“That is serene an option,” Bennett said.
“My venture is to make the upright resolution and excellent resolution on the team.
“They are all on the desk, till Tuesday I will think about it after which pick by then.”
The scoreline flattered the Dragons, as they ended their season with eight straight losses after Paul Vaughan’s infamous barbecue.
They trailed 20-0 with 13 minutes to switch, sooner than Tyrell Sloan bagged a double and Mikaele Ravalawa claimed one in the penultimate minute.
But in a fitting finish to their year, the off-contract Corey Norman dropped the ball on the final as he went to put up a Hail Mary bomb with 20 seconds to play.
Josh McGuire became once put on story for two high tackles, including one in the second half on a falling Peter Mamouzelos that saw him sin-binned.
Tariq Sims finished the evening being despatched to medical institution to thought a plastic surgeon after suffering a deep minimize to his lip following a head conflict with Jacob Host.
Sloan supplied some gradual spark, as he chased down a Corey Norman kick for the Saints’ first strive to went 30 metres for his or her next after nice play from Tom Amone and Jack de Belin.
However the fullback’s doable for 2022 might perhaps moreover merely no longer make up for the Dragons’ wasted 2021, after Vaughan’s unlawful birthday celebration saw his contract torn up, 12 gamers suspended and a spiral from seventh to 12th on the ladder.
“Everything we have got carried out we have got carried out to ourselves,” coach Anthony Griffin said.
“We’re no longer making excuses or being victims about it.”