The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Parramatta Eels by 30-12 in Round 15 of the NRL this evening (Friday) at ANZ Stadium.
Missing Origin representatives and first choice halves-pairing, Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis, but bolstered by the surprise inclusion of John Sutton, the Rabbitohs were unable to get the points despite a gallant effort.
It was all the Rabbitohs in the opening five minutes of play, with the new-look side forcing multiple repeat sets and showing good early signs. But a dropped-ball 15 metres out from the try-line would release the pressure-valve, allowing Parramatta to march up-field.
But an Eels error just one set later in virtually the same position, gifted the Rabbitohs another opportunity. The side would make no mistake this time, with Cody Walker sending a speedy Alex Johnston in for the first try of the night. Walker added the extras to make it 6-0.
As the mid-way point of the first-half approached, a penalty against the Rabbitohs for a strip with more than one man in the tackle set the Eels up for a perfect opportunity close to the line, and Clint Gutherson would take full advantage. Michael Gordon converted to square the game up at six apiece.
At the 20 minute mark, a penalty to the Eels 32 metres out and 10 metres in from touch saw Gordon opt to take the shot at goal. Gordon would make no mistake to give the Eels a two-point lead at 8-6.
The Eels would turn momentum firmly in their own direction when they went down their right-hand-side and came up with a try through centre, Bevan French, who bettered the position to allow Gordon to slot the next conversion to make it 14-6.
With the clock winding down in the first half, Johnston would burst through the middle of the park before offloading to a flying Nathan Brown, who raced the remaining 20 metres to score under the posts – his first NRL try. Walker added the extras to make it 14-12 going into the sheds.
Just four minutes into the second stanza, Dane Nielsen fired a warning shot for the Rabbitohs when he finished off a second-man-play out wide to come within millimetres of scoring. But The Bunker would deny the Queenslander upon review – replays revealing Nielsen’s foot touching the side-line.
But momentum was about to shift again, with the Eels receiving two penalties and three repeat sets in quick succession to put the Rabbitohs under immense pressure on their own line. But the Red and Green defence would hold strong, until an error coming off their own line would gift French his second try of the night out wide. Gordon converted to make it 20-12.
The Eels would move further ahead when a penalty against the Rabbitohs for dissent gifted the fullback a shot at penalty-goal to make it 22-12.
The ensuing kick-off would see the Eels penalised for passing the ball forward in-goal, gifting Souths an opportunity in prime attacking position at just 10 metres out. But the men in Red and Green weren’t able to capitalise.
Another penalty-goal to Gordon before a rampaging Semi Radradra ran virtually the length of the field following an intercept to score.
Eels 30 (Bevan French 2, Clint Gutherson, Semi Radradra, tries; Michael Gordon 7 goals)
Rabbitohs 12 (Alex Johnston, Nathan Brown, tries; Cody Walker 2 goals)