South Sydney season is not done yet: Walker

by Pelican Press
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South Sydney season is not done yet: Walker

South Sydney’s five-game winning streak has come to an end but veteran half Cody Walker insists they can still go on another run and make a play for finals football.

The Rabbitohs lost 36-28 to the Dolphins in Redcliffe on Thursday night and are currently three points behind eighth-placed Manly. They will be at least four points out of the top eight by the end of round 19 and will be without fullback Latrell Mitchell for a month or longer with a foot injury..

Forward Jai Arrow, who played against the Dolphins, will now undergo delayed shoulder surgery which will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Those blows aside, the Rabbitohs showed plenty of resilience in the loss to the Dolphins with both sides scoring six tries.

Walker, who had four try assists in another blue-chip display, said the side could get back to winning ways if they addressed flaws.

“I think so. We have got the confidence we can beat anyone on our day but we probably took a step back in terms of our discipline,” Walker said.

“We love our effort but our kicking game and our scramble on a couple of their tries in the first half probably took a step back, so there are a couple of things we need to improve on moving forward to even worry about going on another run.

“Our important game is always our next game.”

Walker landed just one conversion from three attempts as did Taane Milne when he took over the kicking duties. Mitchell, the regular kicker, will be missed for his general play and ability with the boot.

“You probably underestimate the importance of goal kicking and I have a new found respect for all the goal kickers in the NRL,” Walker said.

“It is a tough ask especially at Kayo (Stadium) where the crowd is so close. Obviously Trell is a wonderful kicker and slots them from everywhere so you are going to miss a guy like Trell’s goal kicking ability.

“I put my hand up. I take full responsibility, It just wasn’t good enough.”

Rabbitohs coach Ben Hornby said Walker, who has switched from a left-sided half to play on the right, should not be so hard on himself.

“It shouldn’t come down to goal kicking,” Hornby said.

“We had a couple of opportunities to score points in the second half that we should have put away. That’s not the reason we lost the game.

“Cody has been outstanding. To go on the other side of the field and have no drop in his performance, and do that for this team, says what is team is about.”

Mitchell’s replacement Jye Gray, just 20, was superb in attack and defence.

“He is still learning the game but he did a great job and there will be nothing lost with him playing for the next couple of weeks,” Hornby said.

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