The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The game started out relatively even, just an 8th minute try to winger Nathan Merritt for Souths early. The next real action came after 24 minutes when Souths hooker Daniel Irvine was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. South Sydney converted a penalty just minutes later into points, taking a 6-0 lead before Parramatta's solitary scoring movement of the day through Timana Tahu. Luke Burt's conversion evened the scores minutes before the break, but a try to Paul Mellor put the Bunnies back in the lead for the halftime period.
The second half was where it all fell apart for the Eels, tries and goals easy to come by, including a brilliant individual effort by Merritt after taking a crossfield kick from Scott Geddes. The talented winger then chipped over the top and regathered the ball to score. While the conversion was missed, a penalty goal later brought the scoreboard up to 18-6. An avalanche of points followed the penalty, with two tries - one for Nigel Vagana and another to David Fa'alogo - as well as a field goal to halfback Joe Williams in between the two tries putting the result well and truly beyond doubt in front of the 15,165 strong crowd.
The Bunnies will go on to face Cronulla next weekend away from home, whilst the Eels face the Tigers at home - but one must concede things don't look good for Parramatta fans.
Round 2 - Full Time :: March 25th, 2007 03:00 PM Venue: Telstra Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead
South Sydney Rabbitohs (31) Tries: Nathan Merritt (2), Paul Mellor, David Fa'alogo, Nigel Vagana Field Goals: Joe Williams (1/1) Goals: Joe Williams (5/7) Parramatta Eels (6) Tries: Timana Tahu Goals: Luke Burt (1/1) Welcome to Telstra Stadium today for this bumper clash between the rejuvenated South Sydney and a so far struggling Eels outfit.
0 min: Game underway!
8 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Nathan Merritt opens Souths' account. The home side looking dominant so far. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams unsuccessful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 4-0
24 min: SIN BIN. South Sydney Rabbitohs Daniel Irvine sent to the Sin Bin from South Sydney. Eels on the attack.
25 min: Parramatta denied a try by the video referee, but retain possession through a line drop out. The visitors now go on the attack.
28 min: Eels winger Joel Reddy drops the ball deep in his own half. Souths to go on the attack now.
30 min: PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs Penalty goal for Souths. The kick itself took an eternity to take, among the reasons - the ball boy falling off his quad bike whilst delivering the kicking tee. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
33 min: TRY Parramatta Eels Good field position for the Eels and some surprisingly weak defence on the last by Souths see Timana Tahu score a relatively easy try. Good offload from Feleti Mateo to allow the union-bound winger to cross. Scores are even as Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful. 6 all
39 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Great try for Souths on the siren gives them a 6-point buffer going into the break. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
HALFTIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Parramatta Eels 6 The Bunnies lead at the break, but only just after a late try to Paul Mellor. The Souths side have more or less picked up where they left off last week, but still a little way to go. The Eels certainly aren't performing as poorly as last week and if they can pick up their game and draw first blood in the second half, they may score their maiden victory. Stay tuned for the restart.
41 min: Back underway at a chilly Telstra Stadium. Souths knock on off the first set. Eels on the attack.
42 min: VIDEO REF Joel Reddy possible try for Parramatta. Doubt as to whether he's out of the field of play. NO TRY. Reddy well and truly out of the field of play. Souths in possession now.
44 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Merritt scores a double! Brilliant stuff, a cross field chip kick to Merritt from Williams, then Merritt chips ahead himself. Brilliant try. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams unsuccessful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-6
49 min: PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs A penalty to South Sydney as the rain begins to come down. Parramatta now need at least three scoring movements to get in front of the Bunnies, and it's looking unlikely as the momentum is firmly with the home side. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6
61 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths have more or less wrapped up victory here at Telstra with another try, this time to Fa'alogo. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-6
65 min: FIELD GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs Field goal for Souths by five-eighth Joe Williams. South Sydney Rabbitohs 25-6
68 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Vagana scores a sensational try and the Bunnies are having some fun out there. Embarrassment abound for Parramatta now. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 31-6
71 min: CROWD figure at Telstra: 15,165. A brilliant crowd for the Rabbitohs, especially given the cold and wet conditions at Homebush today.
80 min: Vagana's speed appears to be no longer apparent - he's been run down by a couple of the Eels' backs. The clock counts down, and that's the game. South Sydney have been victorious here today over a pretty poor Eels side.
FULLTIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 31 Parramatta Eels 6 The Rabbitohs have turned on an impressive display today in cold and wet conditions at Telstra. The Eels never looked in it, although lack of execution early in the match including a 10-minute sin bin for Daniel Irvine saw the Eels in with a small shot. The Bunnies second half display simply blew the Parramatta side off the park however, racing out to a 25-point lead later in the match. Souths will look to their match against Cronulla next Saturday while Parramatta will face fellow winless side the Wests Tigers in Friday night Football - but things aren't looking good for the blue and golds.
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Joe Williams 2 Points: Nathan Merritt 1 Point: David Peachey