Rabbitohs v Tigers: Five key points
The Wests Tigers aren't far away, the defending premiers on track for a rare unbeaten March and what else we learned from Sunday afternoon's clash.
Defending premiers aim for unbeaten March
In the last decade, only the 2013 Melbourne Storm have gone the first month of the following season undefeated, a feat Michael Magure's side aim to achieve when they visit Parramatta on Friday night.
In that year, Craig Bellamy's men kicked off their premiership defence with a seven-game winning streak, but eventually bowed out in straight sets in September. Perhaps that's why Maguire is so resolute in his belief that it's a whole new ball game this year.
"For us, all that stuff's been done," he said. "And we've got a lot of changes this year in different ways. I thought Timmy Grant came out and showed what he's capable of. He's been very patient waiting for his opportunity in the background.
"For us it's a new year like every team's got. And we've got to make sure that we do the things that are required to turn up each week. We've got a short turnaround. We're playing against another enthusiastic team in Parramatta who have been performing well."
Tigers not as far away as people think
Only the diehards would've given the Concord Kids any hope of upsetting the defending premiers on Sunday. And the sceptics would've argued that the 14-point margin pointed to a Rabbitohs side off their game.
But new coach Jason Taylor believes this year's Tigers had plenty to do with that.
"It was a great game that [South Sydney] played last week against the Roosters. Those two, they were one and two last year and will probably be there again," he said.
"[But] we showed that we're somewhere abouts. They wouldn't be happy with their game I'd imagine over the course of 80 minutes. But I think we played a part in nullifying a lot of what they were trying to do."
Inglis leaves life-size gift for groundskeeper
Sometime this week ANZ Stadium groundsmen are going to have to fix the life-size imprint of James Tedesco that South Sydney skipper Greg Inglis left in the turf on his way to the tryline early in the second half.
It was a trademark stampede over a helpless defender that Inglis seemed to enjoy, given the staredown he gave the NSW Origin hopeful as he strode over him. But the Queensland star batted away any question of the individual match-up.
"It wasn't just the ones. It was the battles right across the field that made the game so entertaining, so to speak. I'm out there doing a job the best I can for my team. I'm pretty sure Tedesco was doing the same," Inglis said.
How does David Nofoaluma fit into the Tigers backline?
Big League magazine have tackle-busting winger David Nofoaluma due to be available for Taylor when he comes up with a line-up on Tuesday. But based on the evidence so far from current wing pair Pat Richards and Kevin Naiqama, he'll have a hard time getting a look in.
Richards is a goal-kicking stud – not to mention his giant kicks for touch – while it's understood the coaching staff have been impressed with Naiqama's contributions over the first three weeks, particularly his decision-making in defence. On Sunday he came up with jolting hits on opposite winger Alex Johnston in the 45th, and another on Adam Reynolds later on in the half.
Then his flat top got this response from Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould on an extraordinary catch of a Reynolds spearing kick. "I think Kevin caught this one in his hair. That's what it's there for – the soft landing," Gould clamoured.
'Glory, Glory' makes big man cry
Tim Grant looked like he had been shot out of a cannon when South Sydney ran out for the first time in Rabbitohs colours, and he later explained why.
"It was a really proud moment for me. Twenty of my family were here, and running out to the song 'Glory, Glory'... there's something about it. I got goosebumps and had a bit of a tear in my eye to be honest. It was a really special moment. It took me away for a bit. It was awesome," he said.
"I've sorta been in the mix for a couple of weeks, but as you know, the boys have been playing some really good footy and getting some really good results. That's the good thing about this club – everyone impresses everyone to do their best. It was worth the wait."