The annual Charity Shield between the Rabbitohs and Dragons this year was played at the Glen Willow Oval in Mudgee NSW.
All eyes were on the Souths debut of new recruit Latrell Mitchell who was the most talked about player during the off season. But for the Dragons fans they also had a new recruit in Isaac Luke and returning Dragon Trent Merrin playing. Adam Reynolds was making his captaincy debut as well for the Rabbitohs. Two of the NRL’s new rules were also in play in this game. The captains challenge and the new positioning of the scrum rules were in play.
In fact a South Sydney scrum positioned in the middle of the field and a quick fire pass from Latrell Mitchell led to Souths first try to Campbell Graham. It wasn’t converted but Souths took a 4 nil lead.
That’s where it all stopped for the Rabbitohs for the first half anyway as the Dragons then scored the next try through NSW Origin rep Paul Vaughn which was converted by dragons fullback Zac Lomax to give the Dragons a 6-4 lead. A captains challenge was used successfully by the Dragons after a high ball touched by Latrell Mitchell and then an unsuccessful captains challenge by the Rabbitohs gave the ball to the Dragons in which Tyrell Fuimoano scored to give the Dragons a 12-4 lead at halftime.
After the half time break though it was all the young Rabbitohs and not the Rabbitohs big names like Walker, Reynolds and Mitchell which scored 22 unanswered points including a solid try scored from a favourite of the Armchair Champions Bayley Sironen. Names such as Jack Johns (Matthew Johns’ son) and Patrick Mago are ones to look out for this season after showing dominate displays in the second half.
The Rabbitohs ending up winning the game 26-12 and have now won the Charity Shield every year since 2013.
In round 1 of the NRL premiership the Bunnies will play the Sharks at ANZ Stadium on March 14 and for the Dragons they open up their 2020 campaign verse the Wests Tigers at Win Stadium on March 15.
Column written by Radar