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Simon hat trick helps Rabbitohs secure draw

A hat-trick from winger Taleena Simon has helped the South Sydney Rabbitohs secure a 14-all draw against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs today at Belmore Sports Ground.

It was a tough affair with the Rabbitohs heavily matched against a Bulldogs side with nothing to lose. 

It was an excellent start by the Red and Green with a sweeping backline move from a scrum allowing Simon the space down the sideline to burn her markers around the outside for the first try of the afternoon in the 3rd minute.

Halfback Maddie Studdon was unable to convert the try leaving the Rabbitohs with an early 4-0 lead.

However, the Bulldogs' reply was swift as they marched their way downfield with powerful running through their renowned forward pack.

With the Rabbitohs stretched the Bulldogs took advantage through the fleet-footed Amarah Shillingsworth, who stepped her way through the defensive line to put the Bulldogs on the board.

With the conversion from right in front, it was easy work for goal taker Candice Clay, who put the Blue and Whites in front 6-4 with 15 minutes gone.

The match would then turn into an arm wrestle as either team struggled to assert the dominance on proceedings.

Again it was star winger Simon who broke the deadlock right on half-time as she powered her way over in the corner.

Once again, the conversion was a tough task for Studdon, who's attempt fell just short, which left the Rabbitohs with an 8-6 lead at half-time.

The second half started like the first with fast running and hard hitting.

As the half wore on errors began to creep in for the Rabbitohs as they afforded Bulldogs a way back into the match.

The Bulldogs would capitalise on the Red and Green's ill-discipline taking an easy two points from in front to level the scores at 8-all with 20 minutes to go.

The penalty seemed to kick the Rabbitohs back into gear as they upped the intensity and put the pressure back on their opponents.

However, it was the Bulldogs that took the front against the run the of play.

After forcing a line drop out the Rabbitohs were unable to regather a short drop out giving the Bulldogs possession back.

With the forward momentum and then a penalty the Bulldogs punished Souths for the error, with forward Clay crashing over from close range.

Clay would slot the extras to give her side a 14-8 lead with just 10 minutes remaining.

With the Rabbitohs starring down the barrel of a second straight loss, they once again went to their number one attacking player to provide them with the spark they needed and the electric winger provided it.

Receiving the ball in space inside her own half Simon ducked, weaved and then strode away from the chasing defenders running close to 60 metres to score an incredible solo try under the posts.

Studdon nailed her first conversion of the afternoon from directly in front to level the scores at 14-all.

With just seconds remaining the Rabbitohs had one last chance to steal the victory but unfortunately fullback Sharon McGrady just couldn't keep a hold of the ball with the line begging.

In the end, the draw was a fair result between two teams that gave it their all on a beautiful afternoon and Belmore.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 14

Taleena Simon 3 tries; Maddie Studdon 1 goal


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14

Amarah Shillingsworth, Candice Clay tries; Clay 3 goals


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