The South Sydney Rabbitohs have destroyed the Canberra Raiders as they look toward the Bulldogs after their emphatic 38-16 win in front of 35,875 fans at ANZ Stadium tonight.
It only took eight minutes for the Rabbitohs to score their first points. Just moments before a try came to Dally M rookie of the year, Adam Reynolds, Canberra five eight Josh McCrone had put a brilliant kick into the in goal. He sat the ball down just 3 metres from the touch line and trapped Greg Inglis inside his 10. Out of no where, Issac Luke scooted out of dummy half before offloading to John Sutton who tore down the field twenty metres, pulling up and offloading to Reynolds who easily ran the last 30 metres to cross the white line. It was the try scorer who converted and extended their lead to 6.
The game then fell into a depression as both sides lacked execution, putting the ball down simply close to their opposition line. This was illustrated by Jack Wighton and Blake Ferguson from the Raiders, who both put the ball down in prime field position. They were not the only culprits with Dave Taylor dropping the ball just metres from the line as well.
Adam Reynolds broke the drought of points in the 19th minute with a penalty goal in the 19th minute. The Raiders lacked some discipline in the ruck, as they held down the players too long, forcing the referees to penalise them and the South Sydney side capitalized.
After Michael Crocker went close to scoring a try after two Raiders defenders fumbled the ball in goal; before the video referee ruling no try - drop out, Andrew Everigham finished off a brilliant set play. It went through the hands before coming to Dylan Farrell in the 22nd minute, as he took the line on, drawing in two outside defenders and making the final pass to Everingham as he strolled over. Adam Reynolds converted from the sideline and the Rabbitohs led by 14.
The Raiders finally broke their duck with Sam Williams opening up the South Sydney line with ease. Shaun Berrigan came off the bench, took a scoot, earned a penalty and got his team inside the opposition 30, as the battle of the half backs continued. Sam Williams brought a decoy runner with him to the line, committing defender Dave Taylor, as the half threw a massive dummy to split the red and green side open. Josh Dugan converted and Canberra got right back in it at 14-6 after 30 minutes.
Off the kick off, the Raiders hustled the ball up field and Sam Williams got the ball from Shaun Berrigan on the last tackle 25 metres from the try line. He placed a brilliant cross field bomb to his outside men as Rabbitoh Justin Hunt knocked on. Sandor Earl pounced and all of a sudden the Raiders were down by four after 31 minutes.
The game ignited with some push and shove, along with a few penalties, as the Rabbioths got straight back on the board in the 37th minute. Adam Reynolds put a perfectly weighted cross field bomb to Chris McQueen, who leapt above everyone to catch the ball, offloading to John Sutton who passed to Sam Burgess. The big front rower dummied and steam rolled his way over the line to score. Adam Reynolds converted as Souths lead 20-10 at half time.
The Raiders came out on top in the first half, but they could not convert their opportunities into points. Off a Canberra mistake, the Rabbitohs went virtually 100 meters to get inside the Raiders 20 after four tackles. On the last, Adam Reynolds waited out the defence, grubbing the ball through, catching Dugan out of position, as Dylan Farrell opened up the second half of points. Reynolds converted and the Raiders found themselves back in a hole after 44 minutes.
After a slog out of kick returns, Dave Taylor made a vital mistake in his own half off a half break. The Raiders went on the attack, using a simple block play at the line to get the ball out the back of the line, South Sydney refused to slide and after 52 minutes Blake Ferguson scored. Josh Dugan converted the try and the game was back to a deficit of 10.
After John Sutton nearly crashed over for a try, the Canberra side let a penalty go against them for having three markers. Adam Reynolds stepped up and converted the penalty goal in the 60th minute to put the red and green up by 12 with 20 minutes on the clock.
Drama unfolded in the 64th minute. Sam Burgess went straight through the line and found himself one on one with Josh Dugan, lined up Greg Inglis and popped the pass. Blake Ferguson came from behind Inglis, grabbing his shoulders just seconds before he caught the ball, forcing the big fullback to lose it. The video referee discussed the issue with the on field referees and a penalty try was awarded. Reynolds converted and the South Sydney side led 34-10 after 65 minutes.
After Canberra started to mount some sort of come back, Greg Inglis stopped it with a 70 metre run from his in goal to the Raiders half after an attacking kick. Adam Reynolds got the ball, relized there was a massive over lap and kicked for an unmarked Everingham. The 25 year old rookie was the first to the ball and scored flying through the air out wide in the corner. The game score read 38-16 after 70 minutes.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs qualified for their first preliminary final since the formation of the National Rugby League brand in 1998 in great fashion, but will now have to bring their A game to bring down the flying Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday Night.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 defeated Canberra Raiders 16
National Rugby League - Finals Week 2 - Saturday September 15, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Matt Cecchin
Video Referee: Russell Smith and Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Russell Turner
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 Canberra Raiders 10
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Adam Reynolds (1 Try, 5 conversions, 2 penalty goals)
2 Points - Issac Luke
1 Point - Sam Williams (1 Try)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (38)
Tries: Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Dylan Farrell, Adam Reynolds, Andrew Everingham (2)
Field Goals: Adam Reynolds (0/1)
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (2/2)
CANBERRA RAIDERS (16)
Tries: Blake Ferguson, Sandor Earl, Sam Williams
Conversions: Josh Dugan (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary TEAM CHANGES: For the Rabbitohs, Nathan Merritt is out of the side, with Andrew Everingham moving to the wing and Chris McQueen starting in the centres. Issac Luke starts at hooker for Nathan Peats, while Luke Burgess starts in the second row for Eddy Pettybourne. Jason Clark is also out, with Ben Lowe and David Tyrrell coming onto the final bench. For the Raiders, Jack Wighton returns for the first time since round 10, starting in the centres. Joel Thompson shifts back to the second row, with Joe Picker moving back to the bench. Jarrad Kennedy, Travis Waddell and Dimitri Pelo drop off the extended bench.
The Raiders are entering the ground!
South Sydney running out to their famous "glory to South Sydney" song!
1 min: The Raiders send the ball down to Asotasi who brings the ball back. Game on.
1 min: A direct attack early from Souths. Raiders, however, bringing it back to their 40 off a poor last tackle kick.
2 min: After a last tackle bomb from Josh McCrone, Josh Dugan bats the ball back to his players but Souths shut it down and get the ball back. Over halfway on the third.
2 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Souths. Interfering in the ruck. SOU 1-0 CBR
3 min: Souths attacking inside the Canberra 10.
3 min: A last tackle kick from Adam Reynolds across field is taken brilliantly by Blake Ferguson, cementing the Raiders defence.
4 min: McCrone drives it down field but Greg Inglis brings it back and is wrapped up 30 from his line.
5 min: Andrew Everingham has put the ball down, but it was Dylan Farrell who put his foot on the touch line
6 min: Raiders trying to work it out of their half now
6 min: McCrone puts a great kick down field and sits the ball in goal, 3 metres from the touch line. Inglis plays at the ball and is nearly taken into touch but is too strong.
9 min: TRY
Issac Luke gives a great ball to John Sutton, after offloading out of a poorly attempted tackle, who sprints straight through the line. Adam Reynolds backs up and scores the try, beating everyone to the line. He converts his own try.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
9 min: Issac Luke goes through again and Sutton backs up before he passes. On the last, Reynolds puts a kick in goal and the Rabbitohs force a goal line drop out.
12 min: Wighton has put a massive shot on Dave Taylor as he loses the ball. Scrum 10 out from the Raiders line for the away side.
12 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Raiders. Not releasing tackled player. SOU 1-1 CBR
12 min: Off the first tackle, Wigthon puts the ball down. Souths on the attack.
14 min: Raiders shooting themselves in the foot as the Raiders drop it. Scrum Souths 10 from the Raiders line.
15 min: No one can hold onto the ball as Luke Burgess knocks the ball on.
17 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Souths. Interference in the ruck. SOU 2-1 CBR
19 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Rabbitohs take the 8 point advantage now, Raiders losing touch.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8-0
20 min: A great catch from Dugan in goal has him sprint back and make it to the 30 metre line.
21 min: VIDEO REF: Crocker ends up with the ball in goal, no one knows how, but it could have been grounded by the Raiders.
21 min: McCrone forces the split ball into Crockers arms. Goal line drop out.
22 min: VIDEO REF: Andrew Everingham has gone into the corner but has he stayed in?
24 min: TRY
After some immense pressure from the Rabbitohs, the Raiders finally crack with a shift out wide, with Farrell easily drawing in two defenders before throwing the final pass to Andrew Everingham who scores his 16th try. Reynolds completes a side line conversion.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
25 min: Raiders trying to get back into the game here, up on the 40.
28 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Canberra. Not clearing the ruck. SOU 2-2 CBR
28 min: Raiders inside the Rabbitohs 20 for the first time in a long time
28 min: VIDEO REF: They will be checking obstruction but Sam Williams has gone through the line to score.
30 min: TRY
Sam Williams takes the ball to the line, Dave Taylor commits to the decoy and that allows the Canberra halfback to score. Dugan converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-6
33 min: TRY
Out of no where, and for the second week in a row, the Canberra Raiders have gone 100 metres to score off the back of a try. Sam Williams kicked the ball from just inside his 20 metre line across field, with Justin Hunt knocking on and Earl pouncing on the ball over the line. Dugan misses.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-10
33 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Raiders. High tackle - Sam Burgess. SOU 2-3 CBR
35 min: A massive high kick from Sam Williams nearly leads to another try, but Inglis comes up with the ball and turns the attack around.
35 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Souths. Marker not square. SOU 3-3 CBR
36 min: Rabbitohs are inside the 20 now.
38 min: TRY
Adam Reynolds kicks across field, McQueen gets above everyone, offloading to John Sutton who passed to Sam Burgess, who dummied and strolled over. Reynolds converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-10
40 min: After a great first half, it is half time. Can the green Machine comeback or will Souths pumped this Canberra side.
40 min: The Rabbitohs get us back under way, as Tony Archer signals go.
41 min: A great start for the Raiders, great metres and the Rabbitohs knock it on through Greg Inglis. Scrum Raiders 10 out from the line.
42 min: Raiders lose it and Tyrell charges up field with it.
42 min: Souths inside the Raiders 20 after 4 tackles
45 min: TRY
Adam Reynolds, under direct pressure from the defense, draws Dugan up towards the tackle, as he gets away a great grubber. Dugan misses it, out of position, and Dylan Farrell wins the race to score.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 26-10
47 min: Game becoming tennis like now, both teams just waiting for the other to crack.
48 min: Sam Williams explodes through the line and nearly scores. But he is stopped 3 metres from the line.
50 min: Raiders finding ways through but their execution is off. Rabbitohs on the attack.
51 min: Off a half break, Taylor loses it and the scrum will pack down 40 from the Souths line. Raiders feed.
55 min: TRY
Off the mistake the Canberra side will score the points. The Raiders spread it wide, McCrone to Robinson, South Sydney refusing to slide, allowing Blake to score a try out wide. Dugan converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 26-16
55 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Raiders. Interfering in the ruck. SOU 3-4 CBR
56 min: Raiders lose the ball very close to the line, Rabbitohs come away with it, deep in their half.
56 min: Six more ruled after the Raiders defenders play at the ball being kicked
57 min: Reynolds forces yet another drop out.
58 min: VIDEO REF: Sutton goes over the line and the refs are checking the grounding.
58 min: NO TRY! Penalty.
58 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Souths. Marker not square. SOU 4-4 CBR
60 min: PENALTY GOAL
Reynolds puts his side up by 12 with 20 to go.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-16
62 min: Shaun Berrigan loses the ball in vital field position. Scrum Rabbitohs on the half way line.
63 min: VIDEO REF: Souths go close to scoring but lose the ball. Possible penalty try.
65 min: TRY
Greg Inglis was pulled down by Blake Ferguson just metres from the line, losing the ball. Penalty try and Reynolds puts the Souths side into week 3.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-16
67 min: Greg Inglis makes a massive line break, from his line, he gets the bball 35 metres away from the canberra line.
69 min: TRY
Adam Reynolds put a great kick out wide to Andrew Everingham who scored a flying try. Reynolds misses.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-16
71 min: Souths attacking inside the 20 of the Raiders
74 min: Drop out Raiders.
76 min: Rabbitohs working it off their own line, but it is clear that the Raiders will lose to the Rabbitohs.
77 min: A booming kick from John Sutton goes out on the full. Raiders inside the 20.
78 min: The ball goes dead and the Rabbitohs are back on attack.
79 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Reynolds misses a field goal attempt.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-16