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South Sydney have kept thier slim finals hopes alive with a tough 18-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors. The result was in the balance right up until fulltime, but Souths defence was what won the game as they repeatedly turned the Warriors away in the last ten minutes to hang on to the two point lead.
In a match that couldn't be called boring at any stage, the Warriors had the better of the play in the first half but it was Souths who got first points when lock forward John Sutton kicked from a scrum for fullback Nathan Merritt to gather and race away to score.
The Warriors hit back after Souths lost the ball while attacking the Warriors line as Ruben Wiki picked the ball up, passed to Lance Hohaia who raced away and found Jerome Ropati on the inside in support to score the try. Hohaia's conversion made the score 6-all.
Souths got over the line again four minutes later with a try to Ben Lowe, a soft try really as the Warriors failed to number up in defence. It was converted by Luke and it looked like Souths would goto the break in front until three minutes before the break big Manu Vatuvei beat some sloppy Souths defence and raced away, looked for support as he got over halfway and found Hohaia who scored untouched and converted to level the scores at 12-all at half time.
The second half started with some sloppy play by both sides, penalties and scrums were the order of the day for the first 15 minutes after half time.
Then up stepped Souths halfback Chris Sandow who kicked a 40/20, then from the insuing scrum he put in a well weighted grubber kick for David Kidwell to score. Sandow converted to give his side an 18-12 lead.
The Warriors hit back not long after with Hohaia grabbing his second try of the night after some nice decoy runs opened up the Souths defence. Hohaia missed the conversion leaving them behind by two points with less than 20 minutes to go.
Souths defence was nearly impregnable in the last 15 minutes as the Warriors threw everything they had at Souths and Souths kept them out to hold on and win 18-16.
Overall a very entertaining game that ended with Souths defence giving them them the victory. Best players for Souths were Fa'alogo, Sandow, Sutton and Merritt, for the Warriors the best were Hohaia, Steve Price, Ruben Wiki and Vatuvei.
Match Details South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 def New Zealand Warriors 16 Round 21 - Saturday August 2nd, 2008 7:30pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Touch Judges: Rod Lawrence, Brett Suttor Video Referee: Graeme West Crowd: 9,276 Halftime: Rabbitohs 12 Warriors 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 Tries: Nathan Merritt, Ben Lowe, David Kidwell Goals: Issac Luke (2/2), Chris Sandow (1/1) New Zealand Warriors 16 Tries: Lance Hohaia (2), Jerome Ropati Goals: Lance Hohaia (2/3) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: David Fa'alogo (Rabbitohs) 2 Points: Lance Hohaia (Warriors) 1 Point: Chris Sandow (Rabbitohs)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to live coverage of the Round 21 NRL match between South Sydney and The New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium. Kick off 7:30pm The team lineups look this way-
RABBITOHS: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Luke Capewell 20. Ben Lowe 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. Craig Wing 7. Chris Sandow 8. Scott Geddes 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi (c) 11. Luke Stuart 12. David Fa'alogo 13. John Sutton Interchange: 14. Beau Falloon 16. Manase Manuakafoa 17. Michael Greenfield 18. David Kidwell WARRIORS: 1. Lance Hohaia 18. Manu Vatuvei 3. Brent Tate 4. Sonny Fai 5. Aiden Kirk 6. Nathan Fien 7. Grant Rovelli 8. Ruben Wiki 9. Ian Henderson 10. Steve Price (c) 11. Simon Mannering 12. Logan Swann 13. Micheal Luck Interchange: 14. Jerome Ropati 15. Evarn Tuimavave 16. Sam Rapira 17. Ben Matulino Late change for the Warriors, Malo Solomona is out replaced by Manu Vatuvei in jumper number 18. Souths have 2 changes, Jamie Simpson is out replaced by Ben Lowe in jumper no.20, and Shannan McPherson drops of the bench which means David Kidwell is in in his place in jumper no.18.
Players on the field kick off moments away.
The Rabbitohs kick off and were under way.
3 min: Sandow finds touch on the last 10mtrs from the Warriors line, SCRUM Warriors.
4 min: PENALTY Warriors on halfway, Souths offside.
4 min: Sonny Fai loses the ball in a tackle and Souths gather it.
5 min: Charge down on a Sandow kick, Fai tries to pick it up with a clear run but knocks it on, SCRUM Souths.
7 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Kick from the Scrum by Sutton, Merritt chases get to the ball first, beats Tate and scores in the left hand corner! Great try, ask Sterlo if that was boring! Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
10 min: Luke finds touch from a kick from dummy half, just inside the Warriors 20mtr line but he kicked it from outside the 40. SCRUM Warriors.
14 min: SCRUM Souths, Wiki loses the ball as he tried to play it.
17 min: PENALTY Souths, laying on the tackled player. Souths on the attack deep inside Wariors territory.
17 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Souths cough the ball up while attacking the Warriors line and the Warriors race away. Wiki finds Hohaia who looks on the inside and finds Ropati who scores under the posts, totally against the run of play. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. 6 all
20 min: SCRUM Souths, Luck drops the ball inside his own 30.
21 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths spin it left and score a soft try to Ben Lowe, all came from Luck giving them the ball back. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
24 min: SCRUM Warriors, Capewell knocks on and gives the Warriors great field position.
26 min: SCRUM Souths, Warriors close to scoring there but knocked on short pass.
26 min: SCRUM Warrors, Sutton knocks on at the scrum base.
27 min: SCRUM Souths now Fai loses it, it's a scrum-a-thon here. There must be soap on the ball.
28 min: PENALTY Souths, Warriors broke early from the scrum.
29 min: PENALTY Warriors, referee Lyons will need a new whistle soon if this keeps up.
31 min: SCRUM Souths, Tate passes out the back to Ropati who only had to catch it to score but the pass was too hard.
32 min: PENALTY Souths, for a strip.
34 min: PENALTY Warriors for offside.
35 min: SCRUM Souths, Fai loses the ball again, get that guy some rosan!
37 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Super try that, big Manu Vatuvei beats a couple of tackles and finds Lance Hohaia and he streaks away and scores. I bet Sterlo isn't bored tonight! Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. 12 all
Plenty of mistakes but plenty of action too, Souths first try from a kick at the scrum was brilliant and the Warriors try just before half time was great as well. Warriors had plenty of chances down Souths end and should have more points to show for it but poor handling has cost them. Souths have been very solid.
Warriors kick off, 2nd half under way.
42min: Warriors tackled on the last inside Souths 10, poor end to the set there.
43min: PENALTY Souths, Greenfield loses the ball trying to play it but it was kicked out by the Warriors.
44min: SCRUM Warriors, Capewell is dragged into touch 10 out from the Warriors line.
48min: DROPOUT Warriors, nice kick from Greenfield, forces a dropout.
50min: SCRUM Warriors, Capewell runs out of room and runs into touch only meters out.
51min: SCRUM Souths, nice kick at the end of the set from Fien and now Souths have to clear it from their own end.
53min: DROPOUT Souths, nice kick gathered by Wing and Ropati forces him back into the in-goal.
56 min: 40/20 kick! SCRUM Souths.
56 min: Video ref called on a possible try to Souths David Kidwell.
56 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Sandow did it all there, kicked the 40/20 to get the scrum feed and then put in a lovely short grubber for Kidwell to pounce on and score. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-12
60 min: PENALTY Souths, too slow in the tackle.
61 min: PENALTY Warriors, Falloon ran behind 2 of his own players, a good old fashion shepherd.
62 min: PENALTY Warriors, Souths player knocked the ball out of Wiki's hand as he played it.
62 min: Video Ref call on a possible Warriors try, checking obstruction.
62 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Try to Hohaia, ran a nice angle and a decoy runner drew the Souths defence in to open a hole for Lance to score his 2nd of the night. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia unsuccessful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-16
66 min: Video Ref to look at a possible Souths try
66 min: NO TRY, SCRUM Warriors, pass was touched by Wing on the way to Fa'alogo and it went forward off his hand, would have been a try to remember if was given. Entertaining game this.
68 min: 12mins to go in this game and it's a beauty, stay tuned!
70 min: Tuimavave drops the ball with the line wide open, nice passing by the Warriors there but all amounted to nothing, SCRUM Souths
74 min: Little kick by Swann, a poor one covered up by Sandow, a try was on had Swann passed instead of kicking there.
75 min: SCRUM Souths, Vatuvei knocks a pass down.
76 min: SCRUM Warriors, Asotasi loses the ball in a tackle.
76 min: Intercepted by Fa'alogo he is tackled straight away, but there was something on there for the Warriors but they just can't finish off thier sets.
77 min: Knock on the last tackle by Souths, change over. Warriors only 3 minutes to win this one.
78 min: Warriors get 6 more as Capewell knocks on a kick, they should score here!
79 min: Kick on the last by Fien, it's high, coming down they all go up and the ball is loose, gathered by Sutton but it was knocked on by the Warriors.
Great game of footy that, Souths defended for their life in the last 10 minutes there, super game! Who said the NRL was getting boring!