Jack Harbidge reviews the round four clash between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Stadium Australia. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Josh Mansour (17), Cody Walker (30, 54), Alex Johnston (59), Latrell Mitchell (71), Adam Reynolds (79).
Goals: Adam Reynolds (18, 26 – pen, 32, 56, 61, 72, 79)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
2 pts – Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
1 pt – Adam Reynolds (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
After being kept scoreless the past two weeks, the Bulldogs opened the first half with a lot of vigour and held their own well against Souths for the first part of the first half. The Bulldogs limited the Souths attack for all of 17 minutes before a Jack Hetherington ruck infringement gifted the Rabbitohs a set restart and Josh Mansour went over on the right edge after sustained pressure.
Despite conceding first points, the Bulldogs stayed in the game and plugged on, though the loss of playmaker Lachlan Lewis early on make it tougher for the fluency of their attack. Regardless, their defence remained strong for the next 15 minutes, only conceding a penalty goal from another (debatable) Hetherington infringement.
With Souths leading by eight, Damien Cook put the Bulldogs to the sword with a scything run from hooker to put Cody Walker in under the sticks for his first try of the game. Adam Reynolds duly obliged with the conversion and the Rabbitohs went into the sheds with a 14-point lead.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0 South Sydney Rabbitohs 14Embed from Getty Images
The second half kicked off in much the same way as the first finished, with Souths on the front foot after pressing the Bulldogs’ line. Unforced errors curtailed early attacks by the Rabbitohs – most notably Jai Arrow tripping over himself to knock on in the red zone – though, despite the errors, Souths’ pressure paid dividends just over a quarter of an hour in, with Walker getting on the back of another long-range Cook line break to go over under the posts.
The Bulldogs effort was present throughout however, and they went close to scoring one of their own soon after, only to be stopped close to the line. A buoyed Rabbitohs side managed to march up the pitch once more, and off the back of a penalty from Ofahiki Ogden, scored through Alex Johnston on the end of an unplayable cross-field kick from Walker.
Souths continued to dominate the hard-working Bulldogs and repelled efforts at their own line, replying with another great try off the back of a helping Bulldogs penalty. The freshly introduced Benji Marshall put a deft kick through the middle defence of the Bulldogs close to the line in broken play for Latrell Mitchell to cross and give South Sydney a 32-0 lead with just under eight minutes to play.
The Bulldogs continued to press and had yet more chances in the Rabbitohs’ red zone, forcing a goal-line drop out and set restart only to be repelled by the red and green wall of defence. On their final attacking sequence, Reynolds charged down a Kyle Flanagan kick to run 60 metres and score yet another try for the Bunnies, leaving the final score standing at 38-0 after converting his own try.
Being held to nil again means the Bulldogs have extended their scoreless run to three games, making them the worst attacking team since 1928.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0 South Sydney Rabbitohs 38
to be advised
Match Review Committee
Cody Walker (Rabbitohs) – Grade 1 Contrary Conduct – Early Plea $1150 fine.
Cody Walker (Rabbitohs) – Grade 1 Striking – Early Plea 1 match ban.
Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs) – Grade 2 Crusher Tackle – Early Plea 2 match ban.