Reynolds: Cody’s focus is now with us

CODY Walker was dealt a hammer blow when he was axed after making his NSW debut in State of Origin I. But his club South Sydney now need him more than ever. SUBSCRIBE TO READ THE FULL STORY

Reynolds told The Daily Telegraph he had a heart-to-heart with halves partner Walker when he was dumped but was reluctant to go into detail.

The halfback is no stranger to the cutthroat reality of representative football himself. After two losses in the No. 7 jumper for the Blues in 2016, Reynolds was forced out of game three with a shoulder injury and has not played Origin since.

 

Cody Walker was dumped after Origin I. Picture: AAP
Cody Walker was dumped after Origin I. Picture: AAP

"We had a private conversation and won't go into too much detail, as you would be, it's natural that you would be pretty disappointed. In saying that Cody is a terrific player," Reynolds said.

"I think anyone would get hurt at getting dropped. But he's a mature guy. He's also aware of what he's capable of and what he can do for this club.

"His main focus now is with us. He's looking forward to the back end of the year"

Despite losing four games in a row, Reynolds was full of praise for Walker's performance in the Rabbitohs 14-9 loss to the Wests Tigers two weeks ago.

 

Cody Walker’s main focus is now with South Sydney. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Cody Walker’s main focus is now with South Sydney. Picture. Phil Hillyard

 

"I thought he was our best player in our last game and that was a game where not many of us were too good. He was a standout for us ." Reynolds said.

The Rabbitohs' losing streak ended what was a remarkable run to open the 2019 season, where Wayne Bennett's managed 10 wins from 11 matches.

But in a remarkable reversal of from, the Rabbitohs have gone from being the benchmark across a number of key statistics to the bottom of the pile.

According to Fox Sports Lab, the Rabbitohs lead the competition between rounds 1-11 for points per game (25.6) and run metres per game (1468).

But since round 12 the Redfern club has slipped to last for run metres (1209) and are 15th - beating only Canterbury - for points per game (13.3).

Reynolds conceded the last six weeks have been incredibly disruptive to his side.

Key players hooker Damien Cook and lock Cameron Murray have been on Origin duty and the likes of Sam Burgess (shoulder), Tom Burgess (ankle), Alex Johnston (knee) and even Reynolds (back) have been missing in that period through injury.

But the diminutive playmaker is confident the Rabbitohs will return to their best on the run hum, starting this Saturday against the Manly Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium.

"The lack of combinations has been a problem but we can't turn up and think it's going to happen. We set ourselves up at the start of the year to get into this position because we know it was going to be tough going through this period. But that will be past us after tonight and all the focus will be back onto us and making sure we click into gear at the back end of the year," Reynolds said.