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Match Summary Canberra have defeated Souths 38 to 10 at Canberra Stadium turning in a very solid performance against a disappointing and possession starved bunnies outfit.
Souths came into this game with high hopes but they could not have had a worse beginning with a Todd Carney kick in the first minute bouncing awkwardly between Merritt and Hegarty and Joel Monaghan came through to score.
The teams traded sets before Beau Champion went over out wide in the 12th minute for a fairly easy try to make the score 6-4. Unfortunately for Souths this was to be their last score until the 80th minute as Canberra dominated the rest of the match in all areas.
As they have done all season the bunnies were consistently conceding the advantage line and on the back of a lot of possession to Canberra the Raiders were able to cross for three more tries and lead 24-4 at halftime.
Glenn Turner made the Souths forwards look soft with a barge over from 15 metres out in the 22nd minute. In the 30th minute Best and Tongue combined to send Miller on a big run up the middle and from the next play Campese put Thurling over with the defence not set. In the 35th minute Alan Tongue's spontaneous chip kick was regathered by Campese and he sprinted away from 40 to score.
Souths started the second half with a good set gaining a dropout but the next 20 minutes saw Canberra dominate possession with a diabolical 75% of possession and they made very good use of it scoring tries in the 48th, 56th and 60th minutes. Their kick chase was great and they refused to let Souths off the hook. On the odd occassion Souths did get the ball they were too fatigued and usually made a mistake. At this stage it looked like 50+ with the score at 38-4.
From this point on the match fizzled for the Raiders as Souths got a little more ball and Canberra also started to make errors after being very polished and disciplined for the first 60 minutes. In the final minute Widders scored off a grubber kick from Beau Champion.
Souths can point to the 60/40 possession figure but that doesn't tell the full story of this very sad night for them and their fans. The Rabbitohs were awful in pretty much every aspect and to be honest the score flattered them. Canberra made the most of the possession glut and given their recent poor form the coaches can be very happy in the way they executed what was in front of them.
Canberra Raiders 38 Tries: Joel Monaghan (2), Glenn Turner, Trevor Thurling, Terry Campese, Adrian Purtell, Bronx Goodwin Goals: Todd Carney (5/7) South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 Tries: Beau Champion, Dean Widders Goals: Issac Luke (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary It's a freezing night in Canberra for this Monday night clash. Souths are coming off the bye while Canberra were poor against the Roosters last round. For Canberra Dane Tilse will start in the front row with Ben Jones coming onto the bench. Troy Thompson and Cy Lasscock drop out. For Souths, Michael Greenfield returns from injury on the interchange bench with Shannan McPherson dropping out.
1 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Disaster for Souths as Merritt and Hegarty cannot handle a tricky bounce from a Carney kick and Monaghan comes through for an easy score. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. Canberra Raiders 6-0
3 min: Asotasi looking wobbly but he battles on
5 min: Carney grabs a 40-20
6 min: Bombed opportunity by the Raiders as Purtell puts it down
10 min: Both teams completing their sets at the moment, scrum on the Souths 20
11 min: First penalty of the game to Souths, a full set in Canberra's half coming up
12 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths score rather easily as they go through the hands on the left side with Champion going over out wide Conversion attempt by Issac Luke unsuccessful. Canberra Raiders 6-4
14 min: Souths bomb the kickoff with Talanoa dropping it
17 min: Souths defend back to back sets on their line after a couple of penalties
18 min: Turner is hurt and loses the ball on his own 40 - Souths on the attack again
20 min: Souths miss a good opportunity with the ball going down close to the line and now compounded with a penalty
28 min: Canberra looking the better team
30 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Best and Tongue combine to send Josh Miller on a big run. From the following play Campese sends Thurling over with ridiculous ease. Souths looking very sloppy. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. Canberra Raiders 18-4
35 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Alan Tongue tries a little chip over the top which Campese regathers and he races away from 40 out to score uncontested. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. Canberra Raiders 24-4
39 min: Souths continue to stand back and let the opposition run
Half time: Souths are looking worse than they have all season while the Raiders are proving slick in most areas, just a few average kicks at the end of their sets would be the only complaint from the coach. Canberra are winning the territorial battle and the Souths defence has gradually wilted more and more as the half went on. Souths were expected to dominate the forward battle in this game but the more enthusiastic Canberra pack are showing them up. Jason Taylor will need something super special to turn this around.
Second half begins
42 min: A decent set from Souths and they earn a repeat set
46 min: Canberra with an endless supply of ball and they will surely go close with a dropout coming up
48 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Monaghan strolls over off an inside ball from Goodwin, stepping Luke easily. On the back of several defensive sets Souths were destined to crack there. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful. Canberra Raiders 28-4
50 min: Another dopey penalty conceded by Kidwell
55 min: Fa'alogo loses it on the first tackle 15 out from the line, Canberra on the attack again
56 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Carney slips a lovely little kick in behind the Souths defence and Purtell wins the race ahead of Talanoa Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful. Canberra Raiders 32-4
59 min: Again the Raiders gain a repeat set from a good Carney kick. Possession running over 60% to Canberra and they are making excellent use of it
60 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Carney kicks close to the line and it deflects off a Souths player to Goodwin and he goes in under the posts, very painful for the Souths fans Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. Canberra Raiders 38-4
62 min: Second half possession running at 74% to Canberra, an incredible figure
68 min: Souths finally get a couple of sets on the attack but can't score. Widders gets penalised for a head slam tackle on Tongue.
76 min: Canberra attacking only errors stopping more points
80 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Canberra go to sleep and a little bit of razzle dazzle sees Widders score from an infield grubber from Champion Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. Canberra Raiders 38-10