The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Raiders ran in six second half tries to turn around a 13-point half time deficit against a competitive home side into a decisive 15-point win. However this victory may have come at a high cost to the Canberra side, with injuries to halfback Marc Herbert and prop Troy Thompson that might see them sidelined for the rest of the season.
Canberra started well and took the early advantage with an intercept try to Adrian Purtell from a misjudged Nathan Merritt pass putting them ahead 6-0 after ten minutes. But the Raiders made a number of handling errors throughout the first half that badly affected their completion rates.
South Sydney grew in confidence and made the most of their opportunities, starting with a try to half back Chris Sandow running through some poor goal line defence to bring the scores level after fifteen minutes. Issac Luke showed off his steps and produced a similar effort to cross the line at the twenty-five minute mark, putting the Rabbitohs ahead 12-6.
At this point Canberra lost their half back Marc Herbert, who left the field for treatment following an injury sustained in a tackle made by his opposite number Chris Sandow. As the two little men came together it looked like Herbert twisted a knee and the early word is that Herbert will be out for the season with grade three medial ligament damage.
Souths short kicking game put the Raiders under pressure toward the end of the second half with three repeat sets. And the try was eventually forthcoming with a powerful Beau Champion out wide to make the Rabbitohs the surprise leaders after 37 minutes. Chris Sandow rubbed salt into the Raiders wounds with a field goal before the break, and the Rabbitohs had every right to be confident leading 19-6.