Chloe Schubeci reviews the traditional Good Friday afternoon clash between South Sydney and Canterbury-Bankstown, where the Rabbitohs ended up dominating despite a slow start.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs were the team looking dominant throughout the first half, while the South Sydney Rabbitohs struggled to put themselves into the game.
The Bulldogs’ first points came from Brent Naden who scored in the 14th minute. They continued to look stronger than their competition for the better part of the first half, however the Rabbitohs began to find their strength around the 30-minute mark, with their first points coming just 10 minutes before half-time.
South Sydney were awarded their first try of the afternoon after a failed intercept attempt from the Bulldogs. This try, however, was soon after taken off them after The Bunker stepped in. Though it didn’t take long at all for them to score their first official points of the game – a try from Damien Cook on the 30 minute mark.
Once the Rabbitohs began to score points, it was hard for them to stop. Their next try also came from Cook just two minutes after his first. A third was scored just five minutes before the end of the first half, giving Souths a 12-point lead going into the half-time break.
The Bulldogs began to look desperate. They played a solid set in the Rabbitohs’ half, hoping to score a try just on half-time in an attempt to close the gap, but they were unsuccessful.
HALF-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6
The Rabbitohs came back from the half-time break with the same energy they left the first half with. The first points came from Alex Johnston just three minutes into play.
The Bulldogs almost scored again in retaliation, however, it was called back and the points were taken away by The Bunker.
The remainder of the second half was dominated completely by the Rabbitohs, who continued to build momentum and capitalise on all of their opportunities.
Cook was able to secure his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining.
A few minutes later, the Bulldogs were finally able to score their first try of the second half after Josh Addo-Carr went over with ease (the first try for his new club). Despite these efforts, it was too little too late for the Bulldogs, who unfortunately were too far behind to catch up in the time they had left.
It was an exciting night for Rabbitohs’ debutant Isaiah Tass, who scored his first NRL try in the final few minutes of the game. The young gun was thrown a short pass and found a gap in the Bulldogs’ defence, allowing himself the opportunity to score on debut.
In the final minute of the game, the Bulldogs’ Jeremy-Marshall King was able to score a try to close the gap to 20 points. In the end, the strength the Rabbitohs managed to find late in the first half was what carried them through the game, leaving the Bulldogs with little opportunities to get themselves back into the match.
FULL-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS
3 pts – Damien Cook (Rabbitohs), 2 pts – Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs), 1 pt – Blake Taaffe (Rabbitohs)
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