True Blue Jamie Soward believes newly-minted Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year, Cody Walker, could be the deciding factor for South Sydney in Sunday’s NRL Grand Final against Penrith.
Soward was the No.6 for the premiership-winning St George Illawarra side in 2010, when he’d also never played in a NRL Grand Final before but did have finals experience.
However, the ‘everywhere man’ nature to Walker’s game was captivating in the 36-16 win over Manly in last weekend’s Preliminary Final.
“Cody Walker was sensational last week,” Soward told Behind Blue Eyes for nswrl.com.au.
“He’s one of those ‘old school’ footballers because he just knows how to get to a spot on the field and attack.
“He just reacts to the play and anticipates what’s going to happen.”
Soward illustrated his point by referring to the try he scored against the Sea Eagles where he picked himself off the Suncorp Stadium turf to sprint ahead and regather a skilful grubber kick from Damien Cook.
“Cody was there and he always pops up,” Soward said. “That’s what I love about Cody Walker.
“He’s almost like Johnathan Thurston in the fact that he just goes out to compete on every single play and things happen for him because of that.
“He’s a dangerous player… probably James Maloney is another in being the last player we saw as a five-eighth who accelerates into that hole, or outside to be a support player – and Cody Walker does that.
“He’s a huge part of South Sydney. If he comes out and plays like he did last week, then they‘re going to go a long way to winning this Grand Final.”