Four straight as Rabbitohs defeat Canberra
abbitohs fans would be wishing Origin was played every week with Greg Inglis and Dave Taylor turning out five star performances to guide the side to an ultimately comfortable 36-18 win.by NRL
abbitohs fans would be wishing Origin was played every week with Greg Inglis and Dave Taylor turning out five star performances to guide the side to an ultimately comfortable 36-18 win.
Despite the short turnaround from Origin, Inglis was the star scoring two tries and setting up two other to guide the Rabbitohs to their fourth successive win and a top four spot (albeit temporarily). Dave Taylor was similarly destructive, scoring two tries and making three linebreaks in a dominant display.
Coach Michael Maguire sprung an early surprise naming Inglis in the centres with Merritt, as named earlier in the week, starting at fullback.
On a cold night at ANZ Stadium the early exchanges were fairly ugly with both sides spilling the ball repeatedly and subsequently no real opportunities presented themselves.
The Rabbitohs were the first to hold onto the ball for any extended period and soon unleash a flurry of attack which broke the game apart. With the line in sight Inglis ghosted to the left side, holding the ball up perfectly before dishing out wide to Justin Hunt for his maiden NRL try in the 12th minute. Reynolds failed to convert but the lead was soon 8-0 when Taylor easily crashed over on the right hand side after sustained Rabbitohs attack. Reynolds again failed to convert.
John Sutton who was dangerous all night, by hand and foot put Inglis through a gap with a lovely inside pass, the QLD centre easily swerved around fullback Reec Robinson and it looked like a blowout was on the cards at 14-0 after just 18 minutes of play.
Momentum was to swing quickly however. A handling error by Inglis, then a striong of penalties allowed Jarrod Croker to score the Raiders first points after debutant Edrick Lee found space on the left wing. Croker failed convert his own try to trail 14-4 with 23 minutes on the clock.
Croker scored a double just 6 minutes later in a bizarre play when Merritt failed to ground a grubber from McCrone. It took the video referee several looks to award the try. Croker missed the easy conversion but that gap was just two points at the half when Joel Thompson scored the visitors third in a row. Canberra were awarded a penalty 30 metres out from the South Sydney line with under a minute remaining in the half and they took the Rabbitohs by surprise taking the tap rather than the easy 2 points. It looked to be a mistake with the defence holding firm but with the Raiders forwards soaking up defenders, Joel Thompson managed to cross on the far right with 15 seconds on the clock. Croker missed the conversion again on what was a tough night for the kickers for a 14-12 scoreline at halftime.
Reports were that Coach Maguire gave the side an almighty spray at halftime for surrendering the lead. It wasn't the best start to the half however with Ben Lowe conceding a penalty and Everingham wrapped up in goal soon after. That began a period of sustained pressure from the Raiders but the Rabbitohs were able to soak it up before Taylor unleashed a barnstorming run. The Raiders received a penalty but weren't able to find touch, Dylan Farrell batting the ball back. There was a quick scramble before Taylor found the ball in his hands and tiptoed down the sideline for a 40 metre run. Off the back of that run, Ben Lowe was able to bust his way over the line to extend the lead to 18-12. With Reynolds receiving treatment for a knee knock, Issac Luke converted for an 8 point lead.
Three minutes later the Rabbitohs scored another with Dylan Farrell breaking his try drought. John Sutton and Sam Burgess combined to put Farrell into space on the left and he strolled over under the sticks. Luke converted again and the Rabbitohs led 26-12.
Dave Taylor completed his double in the 57th minute combining with Origin teammate Greg Inglis and once again the Rabbitohs assumed control of the match and led 32-12.
Inglis wasn't done with yet as he beat four tacklers to score his sixth try in three matches and the match was over with less than 10 minutes on the clock at 36-12. With the 24 point lead, the Rabbitohs temporarily held third spot on the ladder but a late consolation try to Reece Robinson pushed the red and green back to fourth place.
The Rabbitohs now look ahead to an exciting clash against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night.
Rabbitohs 36 (Inglis 2, Taylor 2, Farrell, Lowe, Hunt tries. Reynolds 1/3, Luke 3/4 conversions) def Raiders (Croker 2, Thompson, Robinson, tries. Croker 1/4 conversions)
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