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Capital Punishment

For the most part, Canberra has been a tough away trip for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Having only three wins from eleven visits in the nation's capital seems bad, but with the injury toll throughout the 2011 season made it a turbulent year for the Club to say the least. 

However, the South Sydney spirit had shone brightly over the last couple of weeks as the squad refused to be counted out, with big wins against the St George Illawarra Dragons (34-24) and the Parramatta Eels (56-6) buying the confidence of the side and gave their chances for a top eight berth a huge boost.

And it seemed like that confidence would continue for the Grand Old Club, as just eight minutes into the contest, halfback Chris Sandow scooped up an attacking grubber to sprint 90 metres, and eventually send Dylan Farrell over for a length-of-the-field try.

Soon after it would be the Red and Green attacking on the Raiders' try line, but unlike their opponents, they were able to capitalise through a rampaging Greg Inglis to make the scores 12-nil after fifteen minutes.

Having returned from a problematic and career-threatening neck injury, book-end prop Ben Ross became an inspirational leader for the Rabbitohs, and manager to score his first - and only - try for the Red and Green, stepping around his opponents to score the third try of the day.

Fox Sports commentator Andy Raymond channelled the excitement of Ross and the Rabbitohs' faithful.

"He hasn't missed a game, they thought he'd never play again. Well, he has, and he's been the cornerstone of the South Sydney pack," he exclaimed. 


Another runaway try was just around the corner as again the Rabbitohs turned defence into attack, with Greg Inglis making a trademark intercept to run 70 metres to score one of the tries of the season.

Although they managed a consolation try towards the back end of the half, the Raiders were getting a taste of the real potential of a young and destructive South Sydney side, who led at half-time 24-6.

Having scored a Club record-equalling five tries against the Eels the week before, fullback Nathan Merritt was sure to inject himself into the contest. Ten minutes into the second stanza he did exactly that, slicing through the Raiders' defence to score. Just three minutes later John Sutton sent the mercurial Merritt in for another four-pointer to take the lead to 30.

Although Canberra mounted a shortly-lived comeback, a Sandow field goal - his seventh for the season - sealed the deal.

But the Rabbitohs weren't done yet, with Sutton and Merritt combining again for another extraordinary try.

Chasing a kick from 40 metres out, Merritt swooped on a fortunate bounce that landed in his arms to bring the side's points tally to 43.

And again, Raymond couldn't contain his excitement.

Andy Raymond

Five last week, a hat-trick this week - That is wonderful Rugby League from South Sydney! Nathan Merritt yet again!

But Merritt was from satisfied with a three-try haul, grubbering ahead for a seemingly impossible position to regather the ball and offload to winger Chris McQueen, who put the icing on the cake with a try of his own.

The final score of 47-18 made it 103 points for the Red and Green in just two weeks, typifying the attacking prowess of Nathan Merritt and his mighty Rabbitohs. 

With the two top attacking sides coming against each other next week, there's bound to be plenty of points scored. 



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