Souths will regret Sandow exit: Coleman - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths will regret Sandow exit: Coleman

Steve Jancetic 24/08/2011 06:11:06 PM Comments (0)

It's been likened to Canterbury letting go of Johnathan Thurston and Penrith allowing Peter Wallace to fly the coop - South Sydney are going to regret the day Chris Sandow walked away from Redfern.

Former Rabbitohs' skipper Craig Coleman said the Bunnies would be ruing the fact they didn't lock up the 22-year-old playmaker to a long-term deal, with Sandow having developed into one of the most promising No.7s in the game since announcing his intention to join Parramatta in 2012.

It's only since news of his departure to the Eels broke back in May that Sandow's form has really taken off - with Rabbitohs' management failing to show the urgency or financial enticement of their Eels rivals in securing the halfback.

His form has lifted the Rabbitohs to the brink of a finals berth - his performances both delighting and frustrating the Bunnies faithful, given his days in the red and green are nearing an end.

Asked if the Rabbitohs would live to regret letting Sandow go, Coleman said: "Definitely, definitely.

"At the time, they had to make a decision and they chose other players in front of him.

"I've never seen a kid improve as much as he has the last 12 months.

"Last year, he was a bit up and down, but he's been nearly the best player in the comp. He's been great to watch.

"At the moment, he's nearly the No.1 player in the game."

While the Rabbitohs had made an upgraded offer to keep Sandow, there was a belief that securing both John Sutton and try-scoring freak Nathan Merritt to new deals was of greater priority to South Sydney officials.

Back in 2004, the Bulldogs made the decision to go with a young Braith Anasta and Brent Sherwin - who had just signed a five-year deal - as their options in the halves.

They allowed Thurston to head to North Queensland, where he has gone on to become one of the greatest halves the game has seen.

Brisbane did a Parramatta back in 2007 when they pinched Wallace - who played State of Origin for NSW the following year - from under Penrith's nose.

While he'll continue to cheer on Sandow as he edges the Rabbitohs closer to a finals berth, Coleman said he had confidence that incoming coach Michael Maguire could manufacture a new playmaker.

The Rabbitohs have opted against bringing in an experienced halfback to replace Sandow, with youngster Adam Reynolds likely to get first crack at the No.7 jumper in 2012.

"I'm sure they're wishing we still had him - it's gone now. He's signed for four years," Coleman said of Sandow.

"There's a new coach coming ... Cooper Cronk was never a halfback and he (Maguire) had a lot to do with Craig Bellamy in turning Cooper Cronk into nearly the best halfback in the world.

"It would have been great if Chris Sandow would have stayed but he didn't."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news