Reynolds, the Rascally Running Rabbit

An underappreciated aspect of Adam Reynolds’ game (perhaps even by himself) has been his ability to beat defenders and squirt through holes in attack. Some of his work close to the line has made me wonder why he doesn’t do it more often.

Well now he is planning to – and I can’t wait.

Adam Reynolds has a whole lot of game, even if it has been mainly confined to kicking up until this point. The following (average per game) charts show this quite clearly:Half Back Kicks

Half Back Runs

His long kicks are well thought out and accurate, which allows his chasers ample time on the kick-chase and the opposition a more difficult kick-return. H

His work along the ground is first class too. Some seem to have a knack for kicks close to the line, and his ability to earn repeat sets while still remaining aggressive with grubber kicks into the in-goal, has been one of many highlights for the Rabbitohs this year.

The other glaring highlight has been the Rabbitohs’ massive, penetrative forward pack. This has allowed Reynolds the space to shine and really complement the territory gained in the middle of the park. As Queensland showed, the game is easier when you’re running forward as opposed to backward! And

I’m enjoying watching his game develop, and he seems to become more commanding with each turn out. He reminds me a little bit of Andrew Johns, dare I say it, without the eclipse-worthy derriere.

As he states himself, John Sutton has been doing most of the running, while he has been concentrating more on the kicking. Check out the relative runs by each of them below over 15 rounds, as well as Reynolds’ performance vs other half backs.Reynolds Runs

NRL avg half runs

It remains to be seen how doubling his running stats (which, as you can see in the chart above, shouldn’t be difficult) affects his kicking and decision-making under pressure.

I anticipate a few hiccups early on given that it’s not an ingrained habit, but which should be well oiled by the finals. In fact, I can see his relationship with Sutton developing very much in the DCE-Foran mould, which should sharpen an already razor-like attack.

More attacking options for the Bunnies means it’s going to be harder for opposition teams to prepare for, let alone combat.

 This is part of the evolution of the Bunnies, and something to be feared.

It’s going to be freakin’ awesome to watch.

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