He’s got one hand on the rookie of the year trophy and one foot in the finals, but South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds claims he is still finding his feet in the NRL despite leading the Rabbitohs to a 34-14 thumping of Newcastle.
While the likes of Greg Inglis, Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess continue to hog headlines, Reynolds is increasingly looking like the man capable of taking the Souths to the post-season for the first time since 2007.
His mix of the spectacular and composed bewildered the Knights at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, two of his kicks leading to tries including one off the cuff punt when he sensed a lonely Andrew Everingham on the right flank.
“Every week I’m learning something new about different teams, the way games go and how to find my feet in the games and when to do stuff,” Reynolds said.
“We’ve got a big side and it makes the job easier, just roll forward and let us stick to our structures and kick to the corners and back our defence to really grind teams away.”
On the back of last week’s 38-12 battering of Penrith, South Sydney are now making a habit of putting away the sides they are expected to beat.
It’s due in no small part to the control of the man in the No.7, but coach Michael Maguire says this is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I think he’s got a career of improving,” Maguire said.
“If you look at the (Johnathan) Thurstons and the (Cooper) Cronks and those guys, they’ve developed over years and years.
“I think Reyno has started his journey as a rugby league player and he’s excelling at that at the moment.
“If he keeps going the way he’s going I reckon there’s some great things coming.”
For much of the game the Bunnies did as they pleased on the back of Reynolds – a try after just seven minutes to Dylan Farrell setting the tone.
Another three tries followed before the break, but halftime didn’t stop the avalanche with another two making it 34-10.
Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett was forced to admit the obvious.
“They were just too big and too strong for us – too good,” he said.
Bennett wasn’t happy with Souths’ final try to Chris McQueen however after Akuila Uate – who scored a double – was stripped of the ball in a meek effort after cleaning up a grubber in his own in-goal.
“The referees have called (Nathan Merritt) offside at the time on ground,” said Bennett, with the try awarded by the video referee.
“As the kick was made he called offside so Aku assumed he was offside, realised he didn’t really have to play at the ball and he’d get the penalty.
“Obviously the ball was stripped from him.”