By Casey O'Connor
Up until Friday night the South Sydney Rabbitohs were the most disciplined team in the NRL.
They had given away only 3.3 penalties per game over more than 20 weeks.
Then all of a sudden they became a disorderly rabble.
At least that’s according to referee Grant Atkins, who smashed them 11-2 in the penalty count against the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium.
In fairness a good proportion of those penalties were probably warranted.
However it’s hard to believe a Wayne Bennett coached team could be that bad.
Especially when Penrith had given away the fifth most penalties of the 16 teams.
In light of the penalty count, Souths would not be overly concerned with their performance.
They just won’t want to have Atkins in charge for the big games during the finals series.
The Rabbitohs have lost all four games he has controlled this year against Storm and Penrith.
We have seen some spectacular tries this year but nothing as stunning as the Jayden Okunbor touch down in the final minute for the Canterbury Bulldogs against the Newcastle Knights. This took the most remarkable skill from a much-underrated player.
Josh Dugan earns $15,000-a-week as an NRL player. On that salary a police fine means nothing. Many of our readers have lost their jobs or their businesses during Covid because of people who have no respect for the laws that were introduced to keep us all safe.
If police claims are correct that he broke Covid protocols for a second time late on Friday night he should be immediately deregistered by the NRL.
Rabbitohs superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell had so many problems under the high ball from the Nathan Cleary air raid on Friday night that the old debate about his best position has been reignited. Latrell’s best football this year was as a centre for the NSW Blues in State of Origin.
Andrew Fifita has been inspired by a young patient, Lex, he met in Royal Brisbane Hospital. “Lex has a bigger battle than me,” Fifita wrote on his Instagram account. “Made me feel how good life is today. Thank you for being my Grateful for the week. You taught me a lot by being in your presence. I’ll forever remember that moment.”