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The South Sydney Rabbitohs have secured a top four finish ahead of the 2012 finals series with a 18-6 victory over the Knights at Hunter Stadium in front of 24,127 fans.
It was a scrappy affair for most of the contest, althought the Rabbitohs scored two mid-first half tries to jump at 12-0 after 20 minutes.
The first points of the night were posted by the returning Roy Asotasi. The big forward busted the Knights defence to spin his way over the whitewash. The second four-pointer of the first half was claimed by high flying fullback Greg Inglis. His strength saw him dart between defenders to crash over.
In a controversial moment, Darius Boyd was given benefit of the doubt for what seemed to be clear double movement. However, the try awarded and the Knights converted to bring up the 12-6 half time score.
The second half was lackluster as a number of errors saw both sides unable to post points.
Man of the match, John Sutton broke the points drought with an acting half run. His effort extend the Rabbitohs' lead to 18-6 with the addition of Adam Reynold's conversion.
The Rabbitohs defended their lead for the reminder of the second half to close victors, 18-6 over the Knights. With the victory the Rabbitohs seal their top four ladder finish as they currently hold third on the table. The first week of the finals will be determined at the conclusion of Round 26.
Newcastle Knights 6 were defeated by South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
National Rugby League - Round 26 - Friday August 31, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Chris James
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Luke Potter
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 6 South Sydney Rabbitohs 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - John Sutton (1 Try)
2 Points - Greg Inglis (1 Try)
1 Point - Sam Burgess
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (6)
Tries: Darius Boyd
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (1/1)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (18)
Tries: Roy Asotasi, John Sutton, Greg Inglis
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to League Unlimited's coverage from Hunter Stadium in Newcastle as we bring you the battle between the Knights and high flying Rabbitohs.
The Rabbitohs have won the coin toss and will kick off first tonight.
In NRL team changes, the Knights have one positional change which sees Robbie Rochow starting for Alex McKinnon who moves to the bench.
As for the Rabbitohs, just the one change with Issac Luke added to bench. Which means, Dave Tyrell, Ben Lowe and Justin Hunt drop off the bench.
FULL TIME in Toyota Cup at Hunter Stadium: Rabbitohs have scored 40 points in the second half to run away 50-26 winners over the Knights.
TOYOTA CUP SCORERS:
Knights 26: 3, Chanel Mata'utia (23rd, 31st, 37th), 2 Korbin Sims (27th, 55th) tries :: William Smith 3/5 goals
Rabbitohs 50: 2 Luke Keary (13th, 49th), Kyle Turner, Jordan Tongahai (45th, 58th), Bradley Croad 66th, Jesse Roberts 70th, Jordan Tuiavii 75th, Aaron Gray 80m tries :: Apisai Koroisau 7/8 goals
Moments away from kick off as the 'Old Boys' form a guard of honour at the tunnel
1 min: We are UNDERWAY at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle with the Rabbitohs kicking off
2 min: Greg Inglis ended up with the ball on the last tackle and was forced to kick. Boyd under pressure allowed to bounce and James McManus cleaned up and took it dead. Line drop out for the Rabbitohs.
3 min: Adam Reynolds went for the cross field kick and it was taken by Dane Gagai in the field of play to start their set.
3 min: A shocker of a kick from the Knights on the last tackle sees the Rabbitohs start their set from halfway.
7 min: Darius Boyd gets caught in goal and is unable to get out into the field of play. Another line drop out for the Rabbitohs.
8 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Rabbitohs, Roy has reached out for the line and claiming
8 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Roy Asotasi. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Roy Asotasi spun in the tackle of a Knights defender to reach behind himself to plant it on the line. Rabbitohs post first points and their lead is extended with the conversion from Adam Reynolds.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
11 min: Dane Gagai looked to link on his inside to a running Akuila Uate but it bounced over the sideline. Rabbitohs come up with possession through a scrum feed just inside their half
12 min: From the scrum the Rabbitohs get a penalty against Kade Snowden for laying over the tackled player in the ruck.
13 min: After a few chances at the Knights line for the Rabbitohs as Dave Taylor went close. But on the last tackle Michael Crocker took a dive between the defenders but was caught. Change over for the Knights
16 min: Boyd bats it dead behind the goals and the Rabbitohs have their third line drop out of the night.
19 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Greg Inglis powers between goal line defenders to dart over for the Rabbitohs second four-pointer of the night. Adam Reynolds with the conversion adds the extras from out wide.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-0
20 min: UNFORCED ERROR Newcastle Knights
Akuila Uate attempted to take the line kick in goal but it slipped between his hands. The Rabbitohs with their fourth line drop out of the match
22 min: Adam Reynolds kicks towards the posts and it's dived on by Chris Houston to not concede points. The Knights defences holds for now.
24 min: Penalty to the Knights for the Rabbitohs jumping up to early and caught inside the 10 metres. They find touch and attack on halfway
25 min: Another penalty for the Knights as their was a hand in the ruck from the Rabbitohs. They are only 10 metres from the Rabbitohs line now.
27 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Knights, Boyd is claiming his first points
27 min: TRY
TRY Newcastle Knights
Scored by Darius Boyd. Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.
Darius Boyd gets BENEFIT of DOUBT as he managed to drag the ball back towards him and plant in on the goal line despite the Rabbitohs efforts in defence. Roberts with a beautiful conversion from touch adds the extras.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
34 min: UNFORCED ERROR South Sydney Rabbitohs
Nathan Merritt dived at the kick to attempt to catch it but it it's ruled that he knocked it on. Questionable call but the Knights will pack a scrum feed on the 10 metre line.
35 min: Massive defence from the Rabbitohs has forced Gagai over the touchline before getting through the defence. Scrum feed for the Rabbitohs on their 10 metre line.
38 min: Sam Burgess took a dive over the line but was caught on the last tackle short and gave away a penalty for throwing the ball away. Knights march up to the 20 metre line.
40 min: James McManus took the kick as the siren sounded and it found the arms of Nathan Merritt who was quickly wrapped up. HALF TIME at Hunter Stadium sees the Rabbitohs up 12-6.
41 min: The second half is underway at Hunter Stadium as the Newcastle Knights kick off to get us started.
41 min: Tim off here as Mullen went down after trying to tackle low.
41 min: Penalty to the Knights and they march up over halfway.
44 min: WOW! Uate had space to score in the corner but Greg Inglis came across and raked the ball out of his hands and it fell back in field. The Rabbitohs dive on it to start their set a metre from their goal line.
46 min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs for the markers not square at the play of the ball.
50 min: Andrew Everingham is forced back in goal by three Knights defenders. The Knights get a line drop out to get a repeat set
51 min: UNFORCED ERROR Newcastle Knights
Neville Costigan getting up to play the ball failed to do it cleanly and knocked on in the ruck. Rabbitohs with it on their 20 metre line.
52 min: Penalty against Willie Mason for laying in the ruck too long. Rabbitohs force the penalty as Greg Inglis tried to play it quickly. They attack just shy of halfway
53 min: Tahu was confronted by Dave Taylor and under a load of pressure took it in the field of play. Time off meanwhile as Tyrone Roberts is down with an injury.
56 min: Boyd pushing up in the chase and again saved points as he threw the ball dead off the kick. The Rabbitohs will have another line drop out, their 5th for the night
57 min: Reynolds put a short kick in and it was dived on by the Knights, another line drop out for the Rabbitohs.
58 min: Reynolds with another kick to the in goal and this time it's Tahu forced in goal. The pressure mounting on the Knights defence and will surely crack shortly.
60 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by John Sutton. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
John Sutton from acting half saw the gap and dived in over the whitewash for the Rabbitohs third four-pointer. Reynolds wit the conversion added the extras.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6
68 min: UNFORCED ERROR Newcastle Knights
Chris Houston took the short pass and lost the ball in the tackle. The Rabbitohs come up with the possession with a scrum feed.
71 min: ZERO TACKLE! The Rabbitohs in great position for points as they attack only 10 metres from the Knights line
71 min: UNFORCED ERROR South Sydney Rabbitohs
Jason Clark makes an unforced error as the pressure was too much. Knights with the scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
80 min: FULL TIME at Hunter Stadium sees the Rabbitohs claim a top 4 spot with a 18-6 win over the Knights.