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The Canterbury Bulldogs have defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 23-18 in a thrilling showdown at ANZ Stadium in front of 19,439 fans.
After a slow first-half in the slippery conditions, the two teams put together an intense second-half contest which went right down to the wire.
While the Bulldogs came away with the two-points it was Rabbitohs who were on the front foot early with John Sutton terrorising the Bulldogs' left edge defence in fourth minute to set up a try for Justin Hunt.
South Sydney made the most of their momentum, with Greg Inglis producing huge kick returns on the back of strong defence from his forward pack.
The Rabbitohs were over again through Dave Taylor in the 15th minute who left David Stagg grasping at air.
The Bulldogs hitback with three quick tries in the final ten minutes of the half. The first came in the 30th minute to Krisnan Inu before Josh Reynolds created tries for Johnathan Wright over in the 35th minute and Ben Barba in the 38th.
It was a low scoring second half with the wet conditions stifling the attack of both sides. Dylan Farell scored the opening try of the half in the 51st minute. Adam Reynolds added the extras to level the score.
The next passage of play saw the two sides battle grind it out, with no points coming until the 74th minute when Krisnan Inu landed a field goal.
The Rabbitohs were given a couple of opportunities to go on the attack but struggled to hold onto the ball until the 76th minute when Farrell looked like he may have scored his second and stolen the match for the Rabbitohs. However, a Russell Smith red light enabled the Bulldogs to go on the attack moments later setting the platform for David Stagg to put the result beyond doubt.
Both sides will enjoy a bye next week.
Canterbury Bulldogs 23 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
National Rugby League - Round 13 - Saturday June 2, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Gavin Morris
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Dan Eastwood
Halftime: Canterbury Bulldogs 18 South Sydney Rabbitohs 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - James Graham
2 Points - Issac Luke
1 Point - Josh Reynolds
Canterbury Bulldogs (23)
Tries: Krisnan Inu, Ben Barba, Jonathan Wright, David Stagg
Field Goals: Krisnan Inu (1/1)
Conversions: Krisnan Inu (3/4)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (18)
Tries: Dave Taylor, Dylan Farrell, Justin Hunt
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Ladies and Gentlemen, you are on League Unlimited and we are about to bring you the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs versus South Sydney Rabbitohs match from ANZ Stadium
George, Luke, Sam Burgess all playing tonight.
The Bulldogs kick off to the Rabbitohs!
After their first set, the Rabbitohs charge it up past the 40 metre line. Wright brings it back for the Bulldogs.
1 min: Knock on: Sam Kasiano. Bulldogs 1-0 Souths
2 min: Rabbitohs are 40 metres from the 'Dogs line
4 min: TRY
THE RABBITOHS OPEN UP THE SCORING! Sutton takes the ball to the line, gives an inside ball to Sam Burgess after the Bulldogs defence advanced, the offload out and Justin Hunt runs into score his 2nd try of the year and his career. Adam Reynolds JUST misses from the sideline.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 4-0
5 min: Good set after the try here for Souths. Marching it up field, over the fourty.
5 min: Sutton puts the ball up but Wright comes down with it ten from their own line.
6 min: Greg Inglis returns the kick up to the 30 metre line. Rabbitohs winning the battle.
6 min: Reynolds kicks for Souths and once again, Wright cleans up ten out.
7 min: Justin Hunt copies Inglis as he charges back from the kick, 35 metres up field.
8 min: Sutton having a great game as he threatens to cut them open.
8 min: Knock on: Taylor puts it down ten metres from the 'Dogs line. 1-1.
8 min: Greg Inglis brings the kick back to the 40 metre line this time.
10 min: Bulldogs defuse another attacking raid after a cross field bomb. Play the ball on the 10 metre line.
11 min: After a great period of play, Luke brings out the offside marker, gives it to Taylor to settle. Luke then scoops and gives the ball inside to Inglis before he offloads to Merrit and the Rabbitohs put it down in desperation.
12 min: Rabbitohs really getting tough
12 min: INFRINGEMENT: Rabbitohs Penalty. 1-0
15 min: TRY
Reynolds gives an inside ball to Dave Taylor who brushes past a lazy Stagg, as Taylor runs away to score. Adam Reynolds converts. Bulldogs are tired, Rabbitohs on fire.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 10-0
16 min: Issac Luke is terrorizing the Bulldogs defence.
18 min: James Graham off the bench, trying to do something for the Bulldogs, he gives a great ball as Josh Reynolds goes through before a mistake by the 'Dogs. Rabbitohs scrum
18 min: INFRINGEMENT: Dangerous tackle. Rabbitohs 2-0.
19 min: John Sutton, the master of the left hand side, is down and being attended to by trainers.
20 min: Let off for the Bulldogs as Graham comes up with the ball
21 min: After some confusion on the last, the Rabbitohs kick it down the throat of Barba.
22 min: Justin Hunt stands tall as he collects the ball just metres from his try line to defuse the 'Dogs attack.
22 min: Justin Hunt stands tall as he collects the ball just metres from his try line to defuse the 'Dogs attack.
23 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Rabbitohs. 3-0. Ennis has more to say to the ref and drops the 'F' bomb.
23 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Rabbitohs. 4-0. High tackle.
24 min: Rabbitohs will take the two.
24 min: PENALTY GOAL
Adam Reynolds is successful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-0
25 min: In the Green corner, Sam Burgess, and in the blue corner, James Graham. After confusing the kick off, Burgess charges into Graham before they are involved with a scuffle.
26 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Bulldogs. Foul Play. 4-1.
30 min: TRY
Krisnan Inu is continuing his Bulldog form. The Bulldogs run on angles, bringing in Souths defenders, before Barba cuts the ball out to Inu for him to score in the corner. He will convert his own try.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
30 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Bulldogs. Not clearing the ruck. 4-2.
35 min: TRY
The Bulldogs have scored AGAIN through great passing. The Bulldogs pass out to their half, Josh Reynolds, he sucks in three defenders, before offloading as the Bulldogs score in the corner through Wright. Krisnan Inu converts.
35 min: The Bulldogs have fought hard and are back into the match!
35 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Bulldogs. 3-4.
38 min: TRY
TRY! Bulldogs killing it now as the South Sydney Rabbitohs are trying to recover! Reynolds bomb across field, Crocker touches it, knocks it into Barba as he scores his 9th try of the year. Inu converts bringing his total to 10 points.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18-12
38 min: 4 of the 5 tries tonight have come from penalties.
39 min: Another fumble from the Rabbitohs before the Bulldogs threw it back into the Rabbioths, but they knock it back before Burgess clears it. Drop out, Rabbitohs 1-0
39 min: And Kasiano drops it, as the half time hooter sounds.
40 min: Everyone is back on the field. The crowd, commentators and leagueunlimited are ready to go!
40 min: Here we go again. THe Rabbitohs give it to the Bulldogs.
40 min: After an unusual last play option, the ball goes wide to Wright who kicks out on the full.
41 min: Burgess puts it down, Inglis toes it through and Barba tries to get the Rabbitohs by sprinting back the other way!
43 min: Josh Reynolds kicks for himself but knocks it on! What a piece of play, Reynolds ALMOST scored! Scrum Rabbitohs.
43 min: Issac Luke again making great metes from Dummy half. Rabbits into Dogs half
44 min: Barba cleans up the attacking raid.
45 min: Josh Reynolds kicks down the field, but Justin Hunt knocks on. Scrum Bulldogs just 20 metres from the line.
46 min: In trying to pass the ball, Barba knocks on.
47 min: The Rabbitohs complete the set as Luke puts it down to Barba.
48 min: James Graham has been awesome tonight. He is really changing their attack.
49 min: Inglis magic as he evades offenders to put Crocker through a half break.
49 min: Poor pass and the ball spills back to the Bulldogs
50 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Rabbitohs. High Tackle. 5-3.
51 min: Rabbitohs attacking inside the Bulldogs half now.
51 min: VIDEO REF: Rabbitohs may have scored through Dylan Farrell, checking onside and grounding.
51 min: TRY
The green light comes back! One handed put down by Farrell as his speed gets him past the defenders after a Rabbitohs kick. Adam Reynolds converts.
54 min: Once again Issac Luke brings the ball from half to get the Rabbitohs into field position. Josh Reynolds puts Adam Reynolds of the Rabbitohs under pressure, but Adam gets the kick away.
55 min: Josh Reynolds kicks down the short side as Greg Inglis secures the ball, before passing to Merritt.
56 min: It is becoming the Reynolds show as Josh puts a hit on the Rabbitohs.
56 min: Adam Reynolds puts a bomb up but Barba defuses it.
57 min: Knock on via Inu on the 50. Rabbitohs get the feed.
58 min: Adam Reynolds grubbers but once again Ben Barba defuses it, before Adam Reynolds tackles him.
59 min: Good metre return from the kick via Justin Hunt for the Rabbitohs. Frank Pritchard with the doctor, may not be back for the Bulldogs.
60 min: John Sutton kicks too far and the Bulldogs will receive a 20 tap.
61 min: Josh Reynolds bombs, Justin Hunt catches it and Dene Halatau forces the drop out. Drop outs: Rabbitohs 2-0
63 min: Let off for the Rabbitohs as the Bulldogs lose it.
64 min: Greg Inglis throws a poor ball to the ground, as the Bulldogs receive a scrum 45 from the Rabbitohs line.
65 min: Farrell saves the day for the Rabbitohs and defuses any danger
66 min: Adam Reynolds will kick the ball downfield, sit it down before the dead ball line then make the tackle!
66 min: After a brilliant line break, Josh Reynolds came from an offside position to take the pass.
67 min: Off the penalty, the Rabbitohs put it straight down.
68 min: The Bulldogs had a real chance, but Wright's kick for support is way too big.
69 min: Adam Reynolds kicks the ball dead and the Bulldogs have a 20 tap.
70 min: Josh Reynolds doing everything he can to split the Rabbitohs defence.
71 min: Keating puts the bomb up but Merritt comes down with the ball.
71 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Rabbitohs. Tackled in the air.
72 min: South Sydney have knocked on again in great position. Really inviting the Bulldogs to win it.
73 min: Bulldogs working it in for the field goal. 40 metres from the line now.
73 min: Sam Kasiano throws a ball to ground and Luke dives on the ball before Merritt marches down field.
74 min: Once again the Rabbitohs have turned it over.
74 min: Lafai has been escorted from the field after dislocating his shoulder.
74 min: FIELD GOAL
Krisnan Inu puts the Bulldogs in front with just under 5 remaining.
Canterbury Bulldogs 19-18
76 min: Ennis chips the ball down to Inglis. Crowd excited as the Rabbitohs now have to do something.
76 min: VIDEO REF: FARRELL MAY HAVE SCORED THE WINNER IN THE CORNER AFTER SAM BURGESS SCREAMS THROUGH!
77 min: NO TRY! HE WAS OUT! Scrum Bulldogs. WOW, WHAT A GAME!
79 min: TRY
BULLDOGS WIN! WOW! WHAT A GAME! After a kick, the ball is deflected, the ball bounce for Morris who gives it to Inu and he turns it back inside to David Stagg as the game is won. Inu misses
Canterbury Bulldogs 23-18
80 min: INU SHUTS DOWN AN ATTACKING OPPORTUNITY FOR THE RABBITOHS AS THE GAME IS WON!