James Cusack reports on South Sydney’s victory against the Canberra Raiders that saw the club go clear at the top of the table.
Rabbitohs show their once again one of the teams to beat in the 2019 Premiership. A cold Canberra night greeted both teams who were seated in the top four before round ten kicked off.
It was a game of personal battles with Sam Burgess basically making it his mission to impose himself on Canberra’ young forwards Hudson Young and Corey Horsburgh.
Adam Reynolds and Jarrod Croker traded penalty goals in a try less first half as the home side took a 6-4 lead into half time.
Cody Walker you would think has cemented his spot in the New South Wales side for game one with another great performance scoring a try and setting up another. Reynolds and Walker’s combination has been solid all year and the second half when the game was on the line they were solid again to make it nine wins from ten games for the Rabbitohs.
Souths were lucky not to have anyone sent to the sin bin as they gave away penalty after penalty. Sam Burgess gave away five penalties in the first half alone so you have to wonder if the sin bin is relevant anymore in the game as they were deliberate in attempt to slow down the play the ball.
Raiders forward Josh Papalii was outstanding all game running for 164 metres in his 53 minutes on the field.
After Walker put Souths in front 10-6 in the 50th minute you felt they could have put their foot down and scored a few more tries though the Raiders never gave up.
With the game on the line centre Nick Cotric broke a few tackles and offloaded to Elliot Whitehead who then offloaded to Sam Williams who outran several Rabbitohs players to put the Raiders back in front 12-10.
Mawene Hiroti’s first game of the season was rock-solid and topped his game off with a great finish in the corner, which Reynolds converted to make the sure 16-12 with eight minutes left.
Raiders had their chances in the last five minutes though the South Sydney defence was superb in holding them at bay with youngster Corey Allan making a try saving strip on Jarrod Croker when it looked certain that he was going to tie the scores.
Both teams will be around when the whips are cracking in September and as fan you would love to see these two meet again.
Raiders lost but…
Canberra’s supporters have every right to be upset with the loss though their team is in great hands for the future. Wighton is growing into his role at five eighth, Hodgson is one of the top three hookers in the game behind Cameron Smith and Damien Cook and their young forwards are dynamite. Hudson Young, Papalii and Horsburgh were brilliant all game and physically challenged Souths at every opportunity.
Cameron Murray continues to improve
Rabbitohs lock Cameron Murray was excellent running for 119 metres and making 42 tackles. He is destined for representative football in the future and it could be as early as three weeks if Brad Fittler picks him. Murray’s ability to offload and break tackles makes him one of the form players of the competition.
Lowe the handyman
Kyle Turner was ruled out before kick off with an injury making for a reshuffle in the Souths backline. Lowe, in his first season at Redfern is the perfect utility as he can play prop, centre and five eighth if asked. His 44 post-contact metres was a highlight as he battled with Cotric all game.
Wayne wins again, sorry Ricky
Bennett beats Stuart again as he has won the 13 out of the last 14 meetings when their sides meet. Whatever Bennett said at half time obviously worked as Souths came out a more polished football team and showed how much they’ve improved defensively since last season.
CANBERRA RAIDERS 12
Tries: Sam Williams
Goals: Jarrod Croker 4/5
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 16
Tries: Cody Walker, Mawene Hiroti
Goals: Adam Reynolds 4/4
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Nick Cotric 5. Michael Oldfield 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Siliva Havili 15. Sebastian Kris 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Corey Horsburgh
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
1. Corey Allan 2. Mawene Hiroti 16. Ethan Lowe 4. Dane Gagai 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 14. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Sam Burgess 13. Cameron Murray 8. George Burgess 15. Mark Nicholls 17. Liam Knight 20. Dean Britt