It’s been likened to Canterbury letting go of Johnathan Thurston and Penrith allowing Peter Wallace to fly the coop – the South Sydney Rabbitohs 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 the Parramatta Eels 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.
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.
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.