2022-06-16 12:28:00

NRL legend Matty Johns has labelled Lachlan Ilias’ substitution “unfair” after the young gun was hooked with 51 minutes left in the Rabbitohs’ Dragons clash.

The Redfern side were completely outclassed in the first half by Anthony Griffin’s St George Illawarra side who scored six tries in the first 27 minutes.

Souths coach Jason Demetriou made the brutal call to pull 22-year-old Ilias from the field in a move which Johns believes could strip him of confidence, likening the situation to that of Kyle Flanagan at the Bulldogs last season.

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“I felt a bit sorry for him, got the hook, because we have all been hooked before,” Gorden Tallis said on the Matty Johns show.

“I felt really sorry for him,” Johns said.

“We saw it with young Kyle Flanagan, when Trent hooked him in that game, suddenly you saw the confidence drop away,” Johns said.

“I think it is really unfair on a young bloke, particularly with Ilias when a lot of pressure has been put onto him post Adam Reynolds, and Jason Demetriou has been defending him and deflecting.

“Saying the Adam Reynolds comparisons are irrelevant, he is a good young kid and you can really see him start to come on.

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“But he had a difficult start to tonight and he was in a side that was just floundering and I don’t know if there was an injury or he was just replaced but I think it is a really tough call on him and I really feel for him.”

Fox League’s Brian Fletcher also explained the importance of the halfback position, highlighting the club’s lack of depth in the No. 7 jersey.

Kodi Nikorima made a mid-season switch to Redfern and was shifted into the halves in the second half as Blake Taaffe slotted into fullback.

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“As a coach, your halfback is your main player and I don’t think Souths have got a lot of depth in the seven jersey,” Fletcher said.

“This is his first year in first grade, 15 games into a first grade career, we are all going to have these sort of games.”

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Source by [graycupnews.com]

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