Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Football - does one player really make a difference?

NRL Football - does one player really make a difference?
Perhaps I should begin with some history of my love of football (as in NRL football).....I have been a Souths Sydney Rabbitohs fan since I can remember. I have my Dad to thank, as he took my brother and I to all their home games growing up and they were some of the best memories of my life.
A lot has happened for Souths and football since then; super league, salary cap breaches, Souths even being kicked out of the comp then returning several years later.
I am now 36 years old and Souths haven't won, or even been in, a grand final since 1971. When they made it to the preliminary final this year I was ecstatic, thinking this could be it, this could be the first Souths grand final I see in my lifetime.
So now to game day....it is about midway through the first half of Souths vs Canterbury on Saturday 22nd September 2012, and Adam Reynolds pulls a hamstring and is out for the rest of the game. At this stage Souths are leading 8-4 and playing the best football I have seen them play in a while.
This one event seems to have proved catastrophic (and yes I may exaggerate!) for Souths as Canterbury romp home to win 32-8.
Would the result have been different if Adam Reynolds wasn't injured? And why Adam Reynolds I hear you say - well he is the half back, the play maker, he was Dally M Rookie of the Year and the first Souths player to score 200 points in a season since Eric Sims in 1971. So it is safe to say he is better than average on the field.
It seemed that as soon as he left the field Souths were left bewildered, looking for the glue that holds them together. Other players did try; John Sutton with the boot, Issac Luke calling the plays. But it seemed obvious that they missed Reynolds - as did I.
Can one player make that much difference on a team? Does your team have that one magic player?
[Image from here]

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