The South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted and lost to the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium on Friday night as part of the ANZAC Round. It was an interesting game, and closer than most people would have thought.
Another Close Call for the Broncos
The Broncos have had a number of close calls this season, and Friday night was no exception. The South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted Bennett and his Brisbane side, and were there to win. After their narrow win over the Titans the weekend prior, the Broncos weren’t looking for another gut wrenchingly close victory; however that is exactly what they got. The Rabbitohs opened up the scoring in the sixth minute, and it didn’t take long for the Broncos to retaliate. The visitors walked into the sheds with a ten point buffer, and little did they know that the Rabbitohs would bounce back, and that by the 60th minute they would be ahead. It took a couple of minutes for Tautau Moga to cross the chalk to the Broncos, and at this point the scores were level with only ten minutes to go. It was back and forth attempting to get more points for the final ten, with five-eighth Anthony Milford scoring a controversial field goal. The visiting Brisbane Broncos got away with another win, crushing the hearts of the Rabbitohs and their fans.
Strong display from the Rabbitohs
Despite the devastating loss, the South Sydney Rabbitohs played great football, showing the Broncos that they wouldn’t get away with the win easily (even though they did in the end). It was a tough game of football that came down to the wire, and the lucky Broncos just got away with it. The attack and defence of the Rabbitohs was solid, and they managed to build pressure on the Broncos and keep themselves in the game. Maguire in the post match press conference said that he was proud of the way that they played. It was a solid game from every player. Their discipline was the only thing that really let them down, conceding nine penalties and making ten errors, with their completion rate at 76%. The fight to the very end was proof of their strength as a side, and they proved their worth. It was an unfortunate loss, but was a great game from the side regardless.
The Teams Miss Their Kickers
It was evident that both the Rabbitohs and the Broncos missed their halfbacks on Friday night, with both Ben Hunt (Broncos) and Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs) both out as a result of injury. The game came down to kicking in the end, and both sides missed their resident kickers. The Rabbitohs lost Reynolds to a hip injury, and without him on the field the Rabbitohs struggled with their kicking, and would have been more likely to go for more field goals in the final minutes of the match which could have won them the game. The Broncos miss Ben Hunt who is sidelined for eight weeks with a hamstring injury. His kicking game has been missed since he was ruled out, and was definitely a missing factor on Friday night. It could have been a different result if both the Broncos and the Rabbitohs had their halfbacks on the field – how different the game could have been will be left to the imagination of the audience.
Each call gets more and more controversial, and clubs and their fans are not having it. The Rabbitohs lost the match as a result of a try and a field goal by the Broncos that should have been disallowed. It was originally Anthony Milford who attempted to cross the line in the match last night, however was held up in goal – but this is not what the referees thought. The referees called play on, and the ball was passed out the back to Moga, and the try was awarded, levelling the scores. The field goal that won the Broncos the match was also controversial. It was blatantly obvious that Milford knocked it on prior to attempting to kick it through the uprights, however the referees failed to see that. In the post match press conference, Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire had plenty so say. “I thought when you crossed the line and your arm actually touches the ground, that is actually classed as a tackle,” said Maguire in regards to the try that levelled the scores. It was obvious that he was disappointed in the refereeing during the match, with the amount controversial calls continuing to rise.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tries: Damien Cook, Robert Jennings, Angus Crichton, Siosifa Talakai
Goals: Bryson Goodwin 4
Tries: Corey Oates 2, Korbin Sims, Tautau Moga
Goals: Anthony Milford 4
Field Goal: Anthony Milford