KIERSTEN DUKE: Souths need to make NRL history in Melbourne and why players need to tighten their shorts

Kiersten Duke
The Nightly
Souths need to make NRL history in Melbourne and why players need to tighten their shorts
Souths need to make NRL history in Melbourne and why players need to tighten their shorts Credit: The Nightly

Round Seven kicked off with a blockbuster as the Roosters took on the Storm and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Storm struck first with Jarome Hughes backing up his own kick to score his second try of the season.

The halfback scooted across the line despite Roosters skipper James Tedesco clinging to his pants and pulling them down.

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Later, it was Teddy’s rear end we got a full view of as he danced and pranced his way around the field. It was more rear end than the field saw of Pride Of Jenni’s at Randwick a couple of weeks ago.

I thought the footy drawstrings had gotten stronger over the past few years. Clearly not.

While we’re on the subject of things that give me the ick, can we just take a moment to try and digest what Jack Hetherington was trying to achieve by sparring a fella half his size post-sin-bin?

Initially, I assumed he and Reed Mahoney were mates, as the forward approached the Bulldogs hooker smiling. It soon became apparent that wasn’t the case as the pair had to be quickly separated.

My question here is, genuinely, what’s the point? We get it, you’re a bit loose. But why get physical in a location where there are cameras off the field?

It’s one step away from “meet me in the car park” and you’re just asking to be slapped on the wrist with a holiday. The most disappointing part about it, the team and fans are the ones who lose a player for next week.

Unfortunately for the Knights, it wasn’t their biggest blow of the game. Captain Kalyn Ponga suffered a Lisfranc injury just a week after pushing through a hip-pointer niggle.

The loss of the 2023 Dally M medallist has sparked fears the team could finish closer to wooden spoon contention than making the top eight like they did last season.

At least Billy Slater doesn’t have to figure out how he’s going to fit Walsh and Ponga into his Maroons team, and NSW doesn’t have to figure out how to defend it.

Looking forward to Round eight as the rugby league community comes together to pay tribute to the men and women who have served Australia and New Zealand.

For the first time since 2015, Anzac Day begins in New Zealand as the Warriors host the Titans, before the Dragons take on the Roosters in the traditional clash at Allianz Stadium.

To cap off one of the biggest sporting days of the year, the Rabbitohs will then step out in Melbourne where they’ve never won.

Let that sink in, they’ve never beaten the Storm in Melbourne since the home side’s inception in 1999.

These two teams couldn’t have started the season more differently. The Storm sit second on the ladder, looking every bit a premiership threat, while South’s languish in 16th .

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Rabbitohs players react after conceding a try during the round six NRL match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Cronulla Sharks at Accor Stadium, on April 13, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
The Rabbitohs face an uphill battle in Melbourne on Anzac Day. Credit: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Souths showed plenty of fight in their last start against the Sharks, falling agonisingly close. But if there is ever a time to break their hoodoo in Melbourne by showing us resilience and comradery that we haven’t seen from them this year, what better day to do it than Anzac Day. Don’t write the Bunnies off just yet.

While speaking of resilience, it wouldn’t be right without mentioning Sharks co-captain Dale Finucane announcing his immediate retirement.

Finucane joined the Sharks in 2022 on a four year deal but due to medical advice regarding concussions has made the decision to stop playing immediately.

With an outstanding career under his belt, appearing in 251 NRL games, five Origins for the Blues and winning two premierships at Melbourne, Finucane will be a huge loss to Cronulla.

This doesn’t just apply on the field, but off it as well as coach Craig Fitzgibbon was quick to point out the positive effect he’s had on the young blokes in the team.

The club will never forget his contribution and I’ll never forget his Tina Turner rendition at the 2023 Dally M awards. Dale, you’re simply the best!

Kiersten Duke is a horse racing presenter for Sky Racing with a passion for NRL, soccer and netball.

Catch her at @kierstenduke

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