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Rabbitohs prop Liam Knight.

South Sydney were cautious about promoting the ball in 2019, finishing the regular season with the fewest number of offloads.

The Rabbitohs usually seemed happy to hit the deck and find their fronts in tackles to generate a quick play-the-ball, with agile lock Cameron Murray being a prime example.

A rolling ruck brought livewire hooker Damien Cook into the game as he often darted from dummy half or took a few steps over the advantage line before passing, keeping the defence on the back foot.

And while the method worked well - it's hard to criticise when a team makes the preliminary final - it came at the cost of second-phase play.

Wayne Bennett's men produced only 182 offloads (7.6 per game) from rounds one to 25 to rank last in the NRL.

Premiers the Roosters (8 per game) and minor premiers Melbourne (8) threw the second-least offloads, underlining the value in being selective.

The resurgent Eels (first in the NRL with 12.6 offloads per game) and Sea Eagles (third, 12.3) promoted the ball freely en route to finishing fifth and sixth respectively, proving that taking more risks can also bring reward.

There could be an argument that South Sydney under-utilised the offload, though, given how effective they were at passing in contact.

Their average gain of 7.8 metres per offload was the third-best in the competition, with only Parramatta (8.2) and the Roosters (8.5) sitting above them.

The Rabbitohs may find value in creating more second-phase play in 2020, especially when opposing teams will be trying harder to slow the ruck and contain Cook.

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