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A Garrick and Reynolds kicking showdown could be decisive

The closeness of the two Manly-South Sydney games this season means the accuracy of goal kickers Reuben Garrick and Adam Reynolds will be crucial.

The pair sit close to each other on the NRL lists for most points and highest number of goals in 2019, although Reynolds has a better rate of accuracy.

Garrick is a big admirer of Reynolds' kicking abilities. But in the lead-up to their elimination semi-final at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, the 22-year-old won't be analysing any video of Reynolds' right boot.

"I'll watch tape of myself and analyse my own performance," Garrick told

"Every goal-kicker has their own styles and routines in what works for them in their different actions. He comes more square onto the ball and I'm more of a straight-line kicker.

"I'll work with Damien [Hill] this week – he's my goal-kicking coach – and stick to my own approach. I feel like I'm hitting them pretty well at the moment. I didn't miss too many the last couple of weeks (8-from-9) so I'm feeling confident.

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"Hopefully that trust in myself and trust in my processes will work this weekend."

The extra two points from a conversion or penalty goal can mean the winning margin – or drawing level to force the match into extra time.

Garrick is in his rookie season but has taken over the goal-kicking duties from skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and shone.

"I don't think much ever gets to me in a game," Garrick said.

"The scoreboard can add to the pressure – you can't say it doesn't – but that can also fuel your adrenalin and you'll strike the ball a bit harder.

"It's just trusting the routines and processes you do at training – keep it the same and keep it consistent."

Each kicker has his own idiosyncrasies.

Sharks' Shaun Johnson looks back and forth towards the uprights; Parramatta's Mitch Moses mouths the words 'kick through the ball' a couple of times before making contact; and Reynolds clasps his hands in front as he bends over, just before he hits the ball.

Garrick looks relatively normal and happy, when he's about to attempt a goal.

"I just try to look relaxed and keep myself composed. You get into a little zone where you only worry about that one thing in that one moment," he said.

"It is a good feeling when you're so focused on something that everything else is blocked out."

He doesn't do yoga or meditation as an extra top-up on his weekly kicking sessions with Hill.

"I just worry about my breathing and slowing everything down," he said.

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"If you've just had a big run then you've got to get your breath under control before you kick or you'll be too panicky."

Garrick has had plenty of practice at that. He's scored 16 tries this year and had to convert two-third of them.

Things have been frantic between the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs in two matches so far this year. Manly won in round four by a field goal (13-12); Souths responded the same way in round 17 (21-20).

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But four other elements to South Sydney concern Garrick heading into Friday's showdown – and Reynolds' field goal ability isn't one of them.

"Sam Burgess is a massive inclusion for them. He will provide real steel to their forward pack," he said of the Rabbitohs skipper returning from suspension.

"Then there's Damien Cook running off quick play-the-balls from his forwards.

"Then there's Liam Knight with his tremendous runs and off-loads.

"Finally you've got Cody Walker who I believe is a centimetre away from finding his best form that he showed us all at the start of the year. He's very dangerous with the ball in his hand."


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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