Adam Reynolds’s only regret last Saturday night was that his father, Mark, couldn’t be at ANZ Stadium for the Rabbitohs’ historic finals defeat of Canberra after breaking his foot a few days earlier. ”Unfortunately, he had to watch the game from home but he has told me how proud he was,” Reynolds said of his record-breaking feat of becoming only the second South Sydney player to score 200 points in a season. The NRL rookie of the year crossed for a try and kicked seven goals to take his tally for the season to 204 – second only to Eric Simms, who achieved the feat four times between 1967 and 1971. While unaware of the achievement until after the game, Reynolds said he owed much to his father for the hours he spent with him practising kicking since the Rabbitohs halfback started playing at four years of age. Despite having a strike rate of almost 85 per cent with his goalkicking this season, Reynolds praised his teammates for his points-scoring feat. ”The boys have really made that possible for me to score so many points through all the tries I did and giving me the opportunity to kick goals,” he said.
115 – Metres Issac Luke makes per game. He has run for more than 100 metres in 16 of his 21 games this year, and is lengths ahead of his final counterparts. Cameron Smith is the next best (68.7m), ahead of Matt Ballin (43.2m) and Michael Ennis (23.5m).
92 – Tackles missed by Josh Reynolds this season. The Bulldogs five-eighth has missed more than any player remaining in the competition, ahead of Anthony Watmough (85), David Taylor (84) and Michael Ennis (82).
1975 – The year Manly last lost a preliminary final. They went down 28-13 to eventual premiers, Eastern Suburbs.
1 – Tries Joe Galuvao, Vic Mauro and George Rose need to score to avoid the end-of-season nudey run.
South Sydney have only played the Bulldogs in a finals match on two occasions. One of them was the 1967 grand final, which they won 12-10. The other time was a qualifying final loss in 1986.
Russell Crowe @russellcrowe – ”17km bike ride, shoulder routine, bench dumb-bells.”
WHAT WOULD DESSIE SAY?
Alessandro Del Piero was yesterday asked how he would cope with the level of expectation on his shoulders at Sydney FC. Here’s what Dessie would say: ”The Western Sydney Wanderers are a very good football side. They’ve signed fellow Italian Adam D’Apuzzo from APIA Leichhardt.”
THE LAST TIME SOUTH SYDNEY WON A PRELIMINARY FINAL…
Michael Maguire wasn’t born
Hawthorn won the VFL Premiership
The top-grossing movie was Fiddler on the Roof
George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord topped the charts worldwide
William McMahon was prime minister of Australia
Evonne Goolagong was named Australian of the Year
Western Suburbs won the wooden spoon
The first cricket one-day international was played
Charles Coody won the US Masters
Arsenal were English First Division champions
THE BEST OF THE BEARDS
If you were picking a team from the final four sides based on facial hair, this would be the best of it. David Taylor barely qualifies in beard or five-eighth stakes, but he’s as good a No.6 as the North Sydney Beards could afford. Frank Pritchard will lead the side, just shaving Sam Kasiano for the captaincy tag. Jaiman Lowe was the bolter and will make his representative debut. Coach Russell Crowe, who is in New York shooting his latest film, will do his coaching via Skype.
Team name: North Sydney Beards
1. Brett Stewart
2. Sisa Waqa
3. Frank Pritchard (c)
4. Greg Inglis
5. Dane Nielsen
6. David Taylor
7. Glenn Stewart
8. Sam Kasiano
9. Nathan Peats
10. Jaiman Lowe
11. Roy Asotasi
12. Eddy Pettybourne
13. Anthony Watmough
Coach: Russell Crowe
18th man: Matt Gillett – He’s not in the finals and he has no beard but with that name, it’s a no-brainer.
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