Siebold's off-season shake-up proving success
IT'S the off-season shake-up that not only transformed Cody Walker's game but South Sydney as well.
The Rabbitohs five-eighth has this NRL season been charged with being the side's chief shot-caller after being handed the reins by coach Anthony Seibold.
During the pre-season halfback Adam Reynolds was sidelined with a knee injury and Seibold asked Walker to take over calling the plays.
The move has paid dividends for Souths, who sit in top spot heading into Friday's blockbuster clash with the Sydney Roosters.
An eyes-up playmaker, it seems illogical to ask Walker to steer the side around the park rather than play dividends.
But it's not only proved a masterstroke for the Rabbitohs but Walker as well.
"At the start of the year Reyno was going through a bit of injury and he wasn't on the training park as much," Walker said.
"Seibs just approached me and asked if I wanted to be the shot caller and get the team around the park.
"Me and Reyno have a great partnership and a great connection. It's not to say Reyno can't call plays.
"We have a great combination and work off the back of it.
Walker is arguably enjoying the best season of his career - his 19 linebreaks in 20 matches this year is already the equal most of his career.
He has been instrumental on Souths' lethal left edge which has produced more than half of their tries this year.
Of the side's 83 four-pointers this season, 42 have been created down the left channel with the likes of Walker, John Sutton, Greg Inglis and Robert Jennings all in stellar form.
"I think that's in our structure this year, we don't like to let an opportunity go to waste," Walker said.
"On that left edge I've been very fortunate to have the players that I do.
"John Sutton gives me another dimension, I've had Greg Inglis as a centre, who's a legend of our game, Hymel Hunt has played a lot of footy now."
Souths on Monday confirmed that utility Adam Doueihi had been ruled out for the rest on the season with an ACL tear.
The 20-year-old will undergo surgery next week and hopes to be fit in time for pre-season training.
While Jennings will miss at least four weeks with a hamstring strain, putting him in a race against the clock to be back for the first week of the finals.