NRL 2022: Souths star could move past Sharks legend in finals double blow

South Sydney winger Alex Johnston can take down both Cronulla and Sharks legend Andrew Ettingshausen when the two sides meet in Saturday night’s elimination semi-final at Allianz Stadium.

Johnston needs one try to claim outright fifth on his rise up the all-time try scorers list, where he is currently level with Ettingshausen on 166.

In 2022 alone, Johnston has moved up 20 places on the all-time list, courtesy of the 30 tries he has scored as the Rabbitohs have fought their way into the second week of the finals.

But if he wants to move past ‘ET’ then he’ll have to produce something out of this world given his surprisingly poor record against the Sharks.

Johnston has a career-low three tries from eight games against Cronulla, and that includes a try in each of his past two games against them.

“I think the stat last time was that I haven’t scored many against the Sharks,” Johnston said.

“So hopefully I can change that narrative and score a few.

“Everyone’s got a team that they struggle to score against so hopefully I cross the stripe this week.

“I think it was Mick Ennis or someone who interviewed me before the game and let me know. Hopefully I can double it this week. That’d be nice.”

This year, he has gone past the likes of Terry Lamb, Brett Stewart, Matt Sing, Hazem El Mazri, Josh Morris and fellow Rabbitohs flyer Nathan Merritt.

It’s been another career year for Johnston, who became the first player in premiership history to score 30 tries in two separate seasons.

Johnston has done it in back-to-back years, having scored 30 tries in 2021 when South Sydney lost the grand final to Penrith.

“It’s pretty humbling to achieve something that’s never been achieved in the game,” he said.

“It’s pretty special to make history and it’s a real honour. I just go out there to do my job.”

He also has a career-high 43 line breaks this season, the most by a Rabbitoh on record, eclipsing his 42 from 2021.

Last week was his 45th multiple try game, moving past Harold Horder for the third most ever – trailing only the great Ken Irvine (50) and Billy Slater (48).

“We’re so lucky to have him at this club, and it’s crazy to think that one day, touch wood, he’ll become the all-time greatest try-scorer,” teammate Jai Arrow said.”

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