Getting hit is part of the game: Reynolds
Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds has declared himself a certain starter for Friday night's clash with the Dragons at the SCG despite being forced from the field during last week's loss to Canberra courtesy of a high shot that left his coach fuming at why play had been allowed to continue while his star playmaker stayed down.
With Souths starting to get back in the contest, Reynolds was hit high by Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson in a play that sparked a chain of events that killed off any hopes of a comeback.
Hodgson ended up with the ball, and from the very next play the Raiders targeted the spot where Reynolds would have been in the defensive line. Nick Cotric burst into the backfield, and while he was eventually reeled in, Rabbitohs back-rower Angus Crichton was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul; a numerical advantage the Raiders quickly exploited to extend their lead.
Reynolds didn't want to focus on the incident, telling NRL.com that he's moved on and accepted that getting hit high was part and parcel of being a halfback.
"It's all good and I'm ready to go," he declared ahead of Tuesday's training session at Redfern Oval.
"I don't want to harp on about it because it's part of the game and you do have those things happen to you every now and then. No player goes out there meaning to do it so there are no hard feelings because it's a part of the game."
It wasn't the first time Reynolds had been hit high. He broke his jaw in Round 1 last year following a head clash with Kane Evans while there were fears he had re-aggravated the injury against the Broncos in his second game back. His courage hasn't been lost on teammate George Burgess, who concedes targeting halfbacks is something most forwards are encouraged to do.
"Halfbacks these days are really tough players and they have to take on guys twice their size. Adam takes the ball to the line so he's going to get hit from time to time because it's a part of the game and it's something that he has to expect," Burgess told NRL.com.
"Players wouldn't do it if it wasn't coached. Halfbacks are obviously the most important players in the team because they get your plays on so opposition players are taught to put pressure on the halfback to stop them from putting plays on. That's just the game we're in. There probably could be more done to protect them but I'm not sure what you could do.
"You talk about what the game used to be like 20 years ago and you probably don't want to get it any more lenient. You talk about the hookers who used to play back then and they used to get a lot of punishment from the forwards and that was just the way it was. That's probably changed a bit now but that's the way it is and people like it."
Meanwhile, Angus Crichton looks set to see out the season after the back-rower revealed to NRL.com that the stress fracture in his foot that has plagued him in recent weeks is becoming less of a hindrance.
In a positive sign for South Sydney fans, the in-form young gun was walking freely and without a moon boot ahead of Tuesday's training session
"It's actually starting to feel a bit better now. I'll train today and see how it goes, but I'm feeling pretty good at the moment and I'm both confident and comfortable with it," Crichton said.
"Each week I've found the pain has gone away slowly so now it's just about managing it during the week and making sure I'm as close to 100 per cent as possible come game time.
"I'll put [the moon boot] on after a game if it's painful, but after last week's game it didn't hurt too much so I didn't have to wear it which is a positive sign.
"I'm not sure if it's getting better or I'm just getting used to the pain, but obviously it's not painful enough to make me stop playing so the goal is still to see out the season."