Hungry Reynolds defies critics
While it took being pulled off midway through a game and a knee injury to captain John Sutton to do it, statistics show halfback Adam Reynolds has been inspirational for the Rabbitohs throughout their recent purple patch.
Reynolds prides himself on his kicking game and defence, and the 24-year-old has averaged 391.5 kicking metres and 22 tackles (missing just two per game) over the past month.
Asked whether the turning point of his season came when he was benched against Parramatta in Round 19, the Souths halfback didn't beat around the bush although his reassurance came with a silver lining for his teammates.
"Definitely," Reynolds said. "I wouldn't say I have been in better form. I would say that the confidence is there at the moment. It helps when the team is playing well.
"I didn't want to kick up a stink. I'm happy with my place in the team at the moment. It is a great culture at the club and it is a great place to be around at training which is special.
"I wasn't listening to any outside sources or reading into too many newspapers or looking into the media. I was just worried about doing my job for the team and doing well for Souths."
After leading his team to wins over the Eels, Newcastle, Brisbane and Manly in recent weeks, a confident Reynolds said he wasn't worried about his place at the club.
"I just knew I needed to work hard and keep at it and things would turn around. I just had to believe in myself. I needed to perform and I wasn't performing to the best of my ability," he said.
"It has made me work a lot harder at training which is something I should be doing anyways so it has definitely bought the best out of me."
Despite their good form, Reynolds knows his Rabbitohs cannot rest on their laurels, especially with an improving North Queensland outfit looking to beat Souths for the second time this season after accounting for the premiership favourites 20-18 in Round 16.
"They have players across the board that are dangerous," Reynolds said.
"We just have to hold onto the ball and stick to our structures. They are a tough team and last time we played them our defensive structures were out of whack and they scored some points early on and they were too hard to peg back so not giving them a good start this time around will go a long way to winning the game."
A showdown with Johnathan Thurston will also be another test for Reynolds to overcome.
"[JT] is always a tough challenge," Reynolds said. "He's a wonderful player and a great competitor. He is something special out there on the field and he's always asking questions of the defence. His competitiveness is second to none in first grade."
Whether Reynolds form continues remains to be seen but a good showing against Thurston will all but confirm that the halfback is the real deal moving forward.