NRL Round 16 – Brisbane v South Sydney
These two sides are both displaying signs of mental toughness and have already met in round 4 this season. On that occasion Souths raced to a 12-0 lead and got done by a well composed Brisbane team, despite losing a player (Yow Yeh) to a horrific injury. This round Souths didn’t get out to such a good start and had to fight to stay in the contest.
Brisbane Mental Strengths:
• Used their weight of possession in the first half to build pressure and put the Rabbits through a mountain of defence. By the end of the match Souths had made 126 more tackles than the Broncos (422 v 296). • Despite having more possession in the 1st half and better field position, Brisbane actually went in at half time trailing by 6-4. Lesser teams may have been rattled by this, however, the Broncos went on with the job in the 2nd half to secure a well deserved win. • An early try in the 2nd half put them in front 10-6, showing that they managed the half-time break well and got straight back to work. Despite conceding an intercept try and surrendering the lead, the Broncos lifted and finished well on top of the Rabbits.
Brisbane Mental Vulnerabilities:
• Other than the errors to start the match and a completion rate of 73% this was a solid performance from the Broncos who showed little in the way of mental vulnerabilities.
South Sydney Mental Strengths:
• They toughed it out and stayed competitive for the entire match. In the past Souths would have turned their toes up and conceded plenty more points, but to their credit, they stayed in the arm wrestle with great defence and even managed to lead at half time. • They have key players who are playing well; some of the shots that Inglis put on were great, especially when he saved a try (2 on 1 in defence) with his ability to read the play. • Whilst they lost the match in the last 20 minutes as the Broncos skipped away, the performance that the Bunnies put in showed a great deal of character and a willingness to compete. This is what title contenders need and the Bunnies are starting to warm to the task of being contenders.
South Sydney Mental Vulnerabilities:
• They butchered a try in the first half and made some errors that contributed to the weight of possession the Broncos enjoyed. Other than that, this is a team that has finally started to fulfil its potential, largely due to some quality coaching.
The Broncos look like mounting a strong challenge for the title and the Bunnies are still on track for a visit to finals football.