South Sydney coach Michael Maguire lauded the performance of rookie halfback Adam Reynolds as his side chalked up a third successive NRL win, edging out St George Illawarra 19-18 at WIN Jubilee Oval yesterday.
The 21-year-old broke the Dragons' hearts with a field goal two minutes into golden point, capping off an assured display that also included a try and three conversions.
It was the second time in as many games that Steve Price's side have lost in golden point, following Monday's 13-12 loss to Penrith.
Maguire was delighted in Reynolds' progression from raw playmaker into a quality NRL halfback in just 10 games.
''Reyno's been continually improving,'' Maguire said.
''He's got a mature head but he stepped up another level today with the way he controlled the game.
''Not only kicking the field goal, but the kicking long and the chasing he did.
''He's a mature kid, he's got his feet on the ground and it's great to see a young kid stand up like that and he's getting what he deserves.''
Reynolds's progress has made the departure of Chris Sandow to Parramatta look a shrewd piece of business by the Rabbitohs and he admitted he wasn't sure if he would ever get a first grade opportunity after missing the whole of last season following a knee reconstruction.
''Having a year off gave me a chance to watch a lot of football and see what all the top halfbacks are like,'' Reynolds said.
''They're all mature and keep the pressure on and that is what I have to do in my game. I didn't really know how I would go after a year off but all the leaders have put the pressure on, but also made me feel good about how I am going.
''I've definitely grown with each game, I know I have to be more dominant but I'm getting there.''
Dragons coach Steve Price said he would not push the panic button, despite a third successive loss.
''We can't take a trick in golden point, but I am very proud of the effort from the boys, they gave it a crack, it just wasn't our night, but we can hold our heads high,'' Price said.
''We will get things right.'' AAP