Inglis fires early warning to rivals
Unplayable ... Greg Inglis was in scintillating form. Photo: Brendan Esposito
It wasn't that long ago that Greg Inglis's weight created headlines. Now the only weight on his giant 195-centimetre frame is that of expectation after he led the Rabbitohs to their first Charity Shield victory since 2009.
His man-of-the-match performance signalled a warning to the other game's elite - step up or he'll take the mantle as the best player in the NRL.
A trimmer Inglis played a full game on Friday night and finished with a match-high 13 hit-ups plus a try assist, line break and an off-load to his name.
30th Annual Charity Shield Match - Rabbitohs vs Dragons
Action during the Charity Shield match played at ANZ Stadium. Photo: Brendan Esposito
His enthusiasm on his kick returns highlighted his performance, with coach Michael Maguire impressed by Inglis's first run in South Sydney colours this season.
"He is great,'' Maguire said. "[Especially] the way he brings the ball back.
"I said it all last year that he is always crediting the boys in front of him that allows him to get the ball on the full or bring the ball back the way he does.
''He is a handy man to have down the back.''
Heading into this season with a full pre-season under his belt for one of the rare times since his debut season in 2005 has contributed to Inglis's effectiveness.
"He came back last year probably later than usual but worked really hard,'' Maguire said. "He did that again this off-season.
"He probably had a little bit longer this time which has allowed him to get his body right. He is feeling good about his footy and is enjoying his training. While he is doing that he is doing well for us.''
Although his side may have been on the receiving end of some multiple periods of Inglis magic, Dragons coach Steve Price still had praise for the hulking 26-year-old, describing the Queenslander as among the best three players in the world.
"He is a great player,'' Price said. "He is a big unit and he is hard to handle.''