Inglis five-eighth move pays dividends
Virtually all season, Souths coach Michael Maguire has been deflecting questions about why his star fullback is so down on form but after starring at centre for the Kangaroos and now five-eighth for the Rabbitohs, Inglis suddenly looks near-unstoppable.
Certainly Maguire's decision to punt on a major overhaul, bringing Alex Johnston back at fullback, shifting Luke Keary to the bench and dropping Damien Cook to accommodate Inglis's shift to the halves at this stage looks a masterstroke.
Inglis lit up the second half of his side's heart-stopping 22-20 win over Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night, with much of that contribution coming from the centres once Luke Keary was injected off the bench at five-eighth – and Keary himself was the other dominant player in Souths' late surge, scoring one try and laying on another.
Two line breaks, a line break assist, five tackle breaks and 158 metres are a fair return in anyone's language but even those numbers don't capture the influence Inglis had late in the game.
With his team down 20-12 and running out of chances, Inglis launched a brutal long-range run down the left edge in the 69th minute to set panic among the Eels and though they hung on that time Souths scored from Keary's quality cut-out the next set.
Then with two minutes to go and the team still four in arrears Inglis repeated the effort but this time found a miracle offload to Bryson Goodwin to create a two-on-one from where Goodwin easily set up Luke Keary's match-winning try.
After the game, Maguire was pleased with the way the players responded to the changes in the attacking structure.
"[The win] came down to various things, obviously Greg moving to five-eighth, then he goes out to centre and Luke Keary comes on and provides a lot of energy," Maguire said.
"The changes were made to spark a few different things inside our attack. In that first half we had two sets where we went down there and we nearly came away with two tries.
"One where we probably get a tip-on pass from our left edge then on our right side we went across and got a great try. The first half I think we completed at 53 or 54 per cent so you make it tough for yourself but the boys defended really well and that's the character of what this club's always worked hard at and we have to make sure we take that forward."
Halfback Adam Reynolds praised the efforts of his new halves partner, as well as the contribution of his former halves partner Keary off the bench.
"I thought [Inglis] was good. He controlled that left side of the field," Reynolds told NRL.com.
"We linked up a few times there which was a part of the game plan and I think he's only going to get better in that position if Madge pursues it, but I thought Luke Keary was great tonight as well. He really came on and controlled things.
"He had fresh legs out there and he was moving around really quick. It was a pleasure having him there."
Inglis said he felt comfortable in his first match back at five-eighth and didn't rule out staying there for an extended spell.
"I was comfortable. What makes it so easy and so comfortable is everyone around me doing their job. We just went back and had a good look at ourselves and narrowed down what our jobs were on the field," Inglis said.
"Going back there, I really enjoyed it, it's just weighing up the options throughout the week and we'll go from there."