Rabbitohs v Eels: Five key points

Moses makes great second impression, Pritchard packs a punch, Souths' attack misfires again and Josh Hoffman's submission for try-scoring contortion of the year.

Moses torments lacklustre Rabbitohs

After a high-energy debut for the Eels last week Mitchell Moses found an opposition unable to keep pace with his late changes of direction and as such he turned the Rabbitohs inside out and back to front.

He set the tone for Cody Walker's worst display in the NRL with a bomb in the opening minutes that the South Sydney fullback couldn't get near and then sparked his side's first try with a late shift to the right that opened up an opportunity for Tepai Moeroa to charge through.

His switches behind the ruck allowed his kicking game to continually find space and put pressure on the Rabbitohs' back three and South Sydney's defence had no answer to the energy with which he attacked.

His combination with Moeroa on the Eels' right edge looks like being a particularly fruitful one for Parramatta in the weeks to come and when the game was in the balance and being troubled by a hip injury it was Moses who again exposed Souths down the short side to put Josh Hoffman across and seal the result.

Little Pritchard packs a big punch

Sam Burgess's eyes lit up when he saw little Kaysa Pritchard in the defensive line five minutes into the game but the South Sydney skipper was left red faced when the Eels hooker doubled him over and dumped him on his back.

And to prove it was no fluke he did exactly the same 12 minutes later.

The 35th NRL game of Pritchard's career was up there with his very best with a big bust late in the first half almost leading to a Parramatta try before the last pass went to ground and he showed tremendous pace and spirit to almost mow down Angus Crichton and knock the ball free.

 


Cody Walker fullback experiment could be short-lived

It looked as though it was a masterstroke two weeks ago when South Sydney coach Michael Maguire switched Cody Walker from five-eighth to fullback with instant results but after Friday night's shocker there may be no coming back.

From the moment he let a bomb bounce in the opening minutes Walker's uncertainty at the back put the Rabbitohs under pressure and when he fumbled a Clint Gutherson grubber in-goal for Beau Scott to score it translated directly to the scoreboard.

He allowed another bomb to hit the turf as he and Aaron Gray looked at each other late in the first half, dropped a ball just before half-time with his team on the attack and never looked like getting a touch to another Moses bomb early in the second half that could very easily have led to a try.

Cody Walker's a brilliant footballer but fullback may not be his spot.

Hoffman's heroics seal the deal

It's become so common it's almost expected but given the late pressure applied by the Rabbitohs, the effort of Eels winger Josh Hoffman to plant the ball just inside the right-hand corner became even more critical.

With very little space in which to work in Hoffman took the pass from Kirisome Auva'a, tip-toed down the touchline – keeping his right heel just above the touchline – and kept his right arm off the ground long enough to plant the ball down milliseconds before going into touch.

Michael Ennis called for an award to be created to recognise the best put-down of the season; Hoffman's effort deserves to be considered a leading contender.

Imagination and execution lacking in Souths attack

They camped inside Melbourne's half last week without being able to find a way through and again South Sydney's attack threw nothing to cause the Eels any distress on Friday night.

For 73 minutes it looked as though the Rabbitohs would be kept to a single try for the fourth time in six weeks after a 90-metre runaway effort from Crichton before two late efforts from Alex Johnston narrowed the final scoreline to just six points.

The power game that has served them well previously barely made a dent in the Eels defence and when they were desperate for a spark they turned time and again to Crichton to try and get them on the front foot.

Adam Reynolds' kicking game was nowhere near the standard expected of an Origin half and they were beaten to the punch in virtually every aspect of the game, looking cumbersome and sluggish through the middle third of the field.

They will need a dramatic overhaul over the course of the bye weekend next weekend or 2017 will be a write-off by the halfway mark.