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Renouf: Planets aligning for Bennett, but stars need to keep their heads

Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker need to show more discipline if South Sydney are to win the premiership this season.

I love Latrell as a player and he is a good kid but there is no need for a few of those things he did against Wests Tigers and they’re the little brain snaps he needs to get out of his game.

We saw the same thing with Cody a few weeks prior when he was in strife for striking Nick Meaney, just little things in games that can cost your team when it matters most.

It might only be a penalty at the time, or it could be as bad as a suspension to miss an important game, but to win a premiership you’ve got to put the team first.

Latrell will miss four games now, including a massive clash with the Storm in round nine. Cody was suspended for one game.

Mitchell placed on report for contact on Nofoaluma

I am sure Wayne Bennett would have spoken to both those guys about their discipline because at the business end of the season they’re the two most important players if Souths are going to win the grand final.

If you look at the opening six rounds of the season it’s clear South Sydney are among the top three or four teams who can win this year’s Telstra Premiership.

Penrith are a standout while South Sydney and Melbourne are probably the next best and it’s because those clubs have virtually the top three spines in the NRL.

The season so far: The first six rounds

Wayne will want the Adam Reynolds contract situation resolved before the second half of the season, so he can run into the finals confident his chief ball-player is ready to go and has nothing else to worry about but his footy team.

I don’t know whether it's the planets or the stars aligning for Wayne’s final season at the club, but he just has this uncanny knack where he seems to have the last laugh on a lot of people.

I think we will see Wayne coaching again in the NRL and it will be interesting to see where he lands next year or whether he does take over at a new Brisbane club, if the competition expands in 2023.

I’ve spoken to Wayne recently and I can tell you he is a very happy man at the moment.

Even with the win on the weekend he tried to play the poker face afterwards but he would love a win like that. To see his team grind it out and not just be going week to week comfortably winning is a positive sign.

You need those tight games throughout the year as a reality check. He would be very, very happy with that Tigers game because they got the result at the end and now you will see them back it up against the Titans on Friday.

Titans v Rabbitohs - Round 7

This will be a huge test for Justin Holbrook and the Titans, to see how they respond after that ridiculous loss to Manly.

A big home game against South Sydney after a heavy defeat, we will learn a lot about what the Titans can achieve this year by how they perform this week and whether they can push them all the way.

Rabbitohs forward Jai Arrow will be one player up for a big game. He is a former Titan and really led that club, but I really like the way he is playing for the team and embraced his role coming off the bench at the Rabbitohs.

There has to be a reason why Wayne likes bringing Jai off the bench and I suppose with the speed of the game now coaches need to be strategic about how they rotate their forwards to keep it tight in the middle of the field when so many points are being scored late in the half.

The crazy moments that wound out Rabbitohs-Wests Tigers

I don’t know if Jai likes coming off the bench but the longer he can be on the field the better it is for the team. He is playing to his max potential and he is another one of these Souths players who will be ready to deliver at the end of the season.

The other player I think will be crucial to South Sydney is Benji Marshall. He is just waiting in the wings and could be the x-factor to help them in those close games.

He looks as fit as we’ve ever seen him and he could be the surprise package at the end of the season.

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.