The Rabbitohs are set to make an 11th-hour call on who will take on the goalkicking duties for the grand final against the Panthers as skipper Adam Reynolds continues to battle a minor groin injury.
Reynolds gave the role to rookie Blake Taaffe last week in South Sydney’s 36-16 win over Manly due to the injury.
The Rabbitohs halfback is one of the best goalkickers in the competition with a 2021 conversion rate of just under 80 per cent.
Taaffe missed three from seven conversions last week with the decision set to be a vital one for the Rabbitohs’ premiership chances.
Reynolds says the team had yet to make a call on whether he was right to go and said the call would come tomorrow or on game day.
“I’m pretty confident. I’ll do a few reps tomorrow and see how it feels but overall, pretty happy with how it’s going,” Reynolds said.
As the Panthers continue to race against the clock to have a number of their stars return from injury, Reynolds said his injury was tracking well after his first full training session of the week on Thursday.
Asked what percentage he would be at by game day, the skipper said he would be “close to 100 per cent, if not 100”.
“It’s good, I trained with the team yesterday and got through that session pretty good. I’ll get through captain’s run tomorrow and go from there,” Reynolds said.
Coach Wayne Bennett said he hoped his captain would be fit to take on the kicking duties but said the team was well-prepared for a last-minute change if required.
“He’s one of the best goalkickers in the game,” Bennett said. “He’s first choice, but if not that’s fine.”
Reynolds said he backed Taaffe to take the duties if required and praised him for effortlessly sliding into the giant shoes of Latrell Mitchell during the finals series.
Reynolds has one of the best conversion rates in the comp at 79.4 per cent. Credit:Getty
Reynold said he and Cody Walker had spoken with Taaffe during the week about maintaining confidence in his game.
“He’s a talented kid. We are telling him to go out there and back himself. Just to stick to the confidence he deserves to have,” Reynolds said.
“He is a big part of what we are doing. We are just getting him involved as much as possible to give him that confidence.”
It’s set to be an emotional game for the Rabbitohs with Sunday’s match the final game for both coach and captain.
Most fans were under the impression Benji Marshall would also be on the farewell list, but the NRL veteran said this week he has not yet made a call on his future.
Despite this, Bennett declared on Friday Marshall would “not be going another year at the Bunnies”.
“He’s had an incredible career, and he is an incredible player. He still is,” Bennett said of Marshall’s impact on the team.
Sunday’s game could result in the mastercoach’s 10th premiership win. In true Bennett style, the head coach would not say where this win would rate in comparison.
“I’m not in the business of comparing them. It’s so hard to win, it’s so hard to get into,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to be here and you want to do you’re absolute best and after that if it’s not good enough, we can look at that.”
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