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Five things we learnt from the Charity Shield

Date

Michael Carayannis

Action during the Charity Shield match played at ANZ Stadium. Click for more photos

30th Annual Charity Shield match - South Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George Illawarra Dragons

Souths regained the Charity Shield in front of 19,630 fans with a 28-10 win against the St George IIlawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Photos by Brendan Esposito. Selected images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Brendan Esposito

1.Souths hit the ground running

South Sydney looked like a team ready for finals footy already. It is hard to read too much into trial form but Souths looked crisp and, most importantly, cohesive. They looked like a team that were familiar with their systems. And with Greg Inglis fit and firing behind a monster forward pack they look like they will better their preliminary final appearance of last year. For the Dragons, they seemed like a team needing a hit-out, working on combinations. Passes just missed their targets and players were crowding into similar holes with the ball. They weren't too far away and will be much improved before their round-one clash with Melbourne.

2. Slow deal on Beale

One eye on the tryline ... Issac Luke.

One eye on the tryline ... Issac Luke. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Darius Boyd he isn't, yet, but Gerard Beale showed enough to indicate that he has all the attributes to be the Dragons' long-term No.1. The former Bronco was St George Illawarra's highest-profile recruit and he showed glimpses of good touches. While some of his passes went to ground, his ability to catch and pass and become an important link player gives the Dragons a much needed attacking option to ease the pressure on halves Jamie Soward and Nathan Fien. Coach Steve Price has moved Soward back to the left side of the field, where he was instrumental in guiding the Dragons to premiership success in 2010, whereas Fien spent most of the game on the right-hand side. Trent Merrin will fill Dean Young's vacant lock forward position, with the NSW prop playing as a ball-playing option in the middle of the field.

 

3. Controlling Reynolds is the key

Forget Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess or Issac Luke, halfback Adam Reynolds has emerged as South Sydney's most important player. While Reynolds might not grab the headlines, it is what he does off the ball which makes him so valuable. He is their chief organiser and allows the likes of Inglis and John Sutton to focus on their running game. It's no secret that Sutton and Inglis had career-best seasons last year with Reynolds taking plenty of the attention away from the duo. His deft kicking takes the strain off his big forwards and gives them a handy breather when needed. If he is in-form mid-season and Souths are riding high, he will come into NSW calculations.

 

4. Michael Maguire is ruthless

Just a week after dumping star recruit Ben Te'o to NSW Cup, veteran winger Nathan Merritt was left out of the Charity Shield for not meeting team standards. Coach Maguire has shown he has lofty expectations of his charges and reputations won't matter should they not follow his lead. While Te'o and Merritt were omitted for off-field indiscretions, captain Michael Crocker also felt Maguire's wrath after starting the match from the interchange bench after a poor showing in South Sydney's first trial against Newcastle. Merritt is expected to play for North Sydney on Saturday and may face an extended stint out of the top grade following the strong performance of his replacement Bryson Goodwin.

 

5. Video ref ruling a winner

The on-field referee being forced to make a decision before sending a possible try to the video referee to review will be a winner and reduce endless amounts of replays. The initiative, introduced by new referees' boss Daniel Anderson, came into play when Bryson Goodwin scored the first try in the 10th minute. Controlling referee Adam Devcich indicated a try before sending the ruling to video referees Steve Clark and Luke Patten, who deemed Devcich's decision correct.

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NRL Season 2016

Round 1
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PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
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PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
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CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
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CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
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NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
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NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
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Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
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CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
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STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
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Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
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NQL vs STG 19:301300
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PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
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Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
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PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
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Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
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Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
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Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
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Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
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Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
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Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
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NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
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CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
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Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
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Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
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STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
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NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
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Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
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Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
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WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
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Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
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Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
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Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
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Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
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Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
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Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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