South Sydney coach Michael Maguire admits the form of new halves pairing Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds presents a nice selection dilemma.
The absence of injured captain John Sutton has presented South Sydney coach Michael Maguire with a welcome finals selection dilemma.
Little generals Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds will control the Rabbitohs’ minor premiership destiny before Sutton returns from a knee injury on the eve of the NRL playoffs.
With Sutton sidelined, Keary and Reynolds helped extend Souths’ timely winning streak to four matches with a telling 23-4 dispatch of table-topping Manly on Friday night.
Apart from having a hand or boot in each of their side’s four tries, Keary and Reynolds also made 52 tackles between them – missing just one each – in an outstanding and strong defensive display against Manly’s aggressive and hardened ball runners.
After a slow and uncertain start to the season, the Rabbitohs’ 2014 revival coincided with Sutton’s move from lock to five-eighth, partnering Reynolds.
Maguire readily admits he thought Sutton would be his No.6 for the entire campaign – and hinted he’d be reinstated upon his return – but also concedes Reynolds’ blossoming partnership with Keary has given him food for thought as the business end of the season nears.
“I’ll work that out when the time comes really,” Maguire said.
“I’ve got to say I didn’t think that we’d be without John Sutton, so it gives us a lot of opportunity to look at our game as we move forward.
“We started the year with John in the middle and the opportunity to play there and, unfortunately we probably didn’t execute the way we are now when we’re putting that together.
“So when John comes back it gives us an opportunity to look at ways that we can play.
“But I’ve also got the ability to put him back in the halves, so we’ll just see where it goes.”
Whichever way he goes, Maguire is confident his halves can do the job.
He praised Keary and Reynolds for igniting the Rabbitohs’ attack in their rout of the Sea Eagles.
“I thought they were great,” Maguire said.
“I thought the nine, six and seven played very well off the back of a forward pack that are working and are really hungry together.”
With a superior for-and-against record to Manly’s, Souths can claim the competition lead with victory over Brisbane on Thursday night.