25 rounds, 192 games, #Origin on a Sunday, and a September Grand Final.
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A dominant forwards display that constantly had the Rabbitohs on the back foot laid the platform as the Raiders built on their slim 16-14 half time lead and blew it right open.
Not only were the forwards laying the platform, they were also putting on the finishing touches, with all of the Raiders three second half tries scored by forwards.
The Raiders turned on the razzle dazzle in the 60th, keeping the ball alive through eight sets of hands before Nigel Plum went agonisingly close to scoring. Spreading the ball on the next play, Tilse this time found himself providing the offload for Tom Learoyd Lahrs to cross for a four pointer.
Twelve minutes later, and Plum had the try that he almost grabbed earlier.
Fetuli Talanoa bagged the second of his tries just minutes out from full time in the only second half highlight for the Rabbitohs in a game that had promised to be much closer at half time.
The Raiders started off the scoring tonight with a dubious try to Joel Monaghan in the 5th minute. The try was sent up to Phil Cooley to check on the grounding but, as video evidence proved inconclusive, was sent back down to Ashley Klein who had no hesitation in awarding the try.
Following a penalty on the restart set, the Raiders were in again, this time through fullback David Milne, who ran a lovely line off Marc Herberts shoulder to extend the lead out to ten.
Souths kicked the next restart out on the full, and things were looking bleak, until Learoyd Lahrs spilt the pill and Baeu Champion raced 40 metres to give Souths their best field position of the match.
Following a repeat set, the Bunnies worked over the Raiders left side defence, with Luke Capewell finding his way over for the Rabbitohs opening try.
The scoreboard attendant wasn't troubled again until the 30th minute, with Nathan Merritt flew high over Jared Croker to square the game up.
Both teams traded tries in the minutes leading up to half time, first to the Raiders through Herbert, then Talanoa for the Rabbitohs, to give us out 16-14 half time score and build up to what seemingly would be an arm wrestle of a second half.
Canberra Raiders 34 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Round 12 - Monday June 1st, 2009 07:00pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons & Ashley Klein
Sideline Officials: David Abood & Gavin Morris
Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 0 Halftime: Raiders 16-14
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Tries: Luke Capewell, Nathan Merritt, Fetuli Talanoa (2)
Goals: Chris Sandow (0/1), Issac Luke (1/3)
Canberra Raiders 34
Tries: Joel Monaghan, David Milne, Marc Herbert, Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Nigel Plum
Goals: Marc Herbert (5/6)
The Rabbitohs are back at ANZ ten days after their disappointing 16-all draw with the Eels, and will be looking for the full two points to get them back into the top eight. The Raiders make the trip up to Sydney following their 38-12 thrashing of the Warriors last Sunday, but do so without their star five eighth Terry Campese, who is off on Origin Duty.
Talk about the game as it happens - Rabbitohs v Raiders forum discussion - click here!
Changes to the teams are as follows: RABBITOHS: The home team have lost Craig Wing and Michael Crocker to State of Origin representation. In a major boost, though, John Sutton has been cleared to return early, and is straight into the run-on side to partner Chris Sandow at the scrumbase. In other changes, Isaac Luke and Beau Falloon have swapped positions, and Scott Geddes has been added to the bench. RAIDERS: The visitors have lost David Shillington to injury, with Dane Tilse taking his position in the starting side. Captain Alan Tongue will start from the bench, with Trevor Thurling to start and Troy Thompson the new man on the bench.
RABBITOHS: 1. Luke Capewell 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Colin Best 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 19. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Luke Stuart 14. Beau Falloon 10. Roy Asotasi (c) 11. David Kidwell 12. Eddy Pettybourne 13. David Fa