It has been revealed rising Rabbitohs halfback Lachlan Ilias “took unders” on his new deal in a bid to keep the club’s superstars together.
Ilias recently signed a three-year extension until 2025, which his manager Braith Anasta said was for less money so Souths could retain the likes of Latrell Mitchell.
Anasta also revealed on NRL 360 that Ilias played this season for around $600,000 less than what Adam Reynolds was asking to stay at the club.
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“We signed him on a three-year deal from this year and I can say it’s a good deal but he took unders,” Anasta said.
“Because he wanted to keep Latrell and (Cody) Walker and (Damien) Cook and (Cameron) Murray because he could see himself in a good system where he could win a premiership.
“We didn’t want to go to the open market because he was happy there and playing good football and protecting the team, and he wants that team to stay together because he can see a premiership in the next couple of years.
“I think Reynolds has been a great buy (for Brisbane), it’s a win win. Souths have made the right decision and the Broncos have got Reynolds.
“But also Reynolds is 32 and the last six games of the competition this year the Broncos were terrible and he didn’t complete two of those games.”
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Veteran journalist Paul Crawley said Ilias has “done a fantastic job” this season but argued Souths should have kept Reynolds.
“I don’t think the Rabbitohs have gone backwards but I look back on the Adam Reynolds situation and I still for the life of me don’t think they have become a better football team without Adam Reynolds,” he said.
“In my opinion, the Rabbitohs should have done more to keep Adam Reynolds, as it turned out I’m pretty sure there was never an offer made in writing.”
“He wanted two or three years at minimum $800,000 which is probably $600,000 more than what Lachy is getting paid this year,” Anasta countered.
“What I’m trying to say is if you sat down in a room with Adam and you could have come to an agreement of some sort over two years,” Crawley said.
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“They’re in a window now where this is their fifth straight preliminary final, I wouldn’t say losing Adam Reynolds puts them in a better position to win this game. Last year they lost four regular season games with Adam, this year they lost 10.”
But fellow journalist Dave Riccio told Crawley there would have been consequences to keeping Reynolds.
“So when South Sydney lose Damien Cook or Cody Walker or Latrell Mitchell because they kept Adam Reynolds, are you happy they kept Adam Reynolds?” Riccio said.
“I don’t think that’s how it plays out. They would have lost other players,” Crawley said.
“No they would have lost one of them,” Anasta said.
“What about next year when Lachlan Illias is playing at the Bulldogs, Titans or the Tigers and then in two years time Adam Reynolds retires and South Sydney go ‘ok where’s our halfback’, he’s already left.,” Riccio said.
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