The Rabbitohs’ NYC side has defeated the Bulldogs in fine style by 34-26 on Good Friday after trailing for much of the match.
The side showed great control and patience to overcome a Bulldogs side intent on grabbing their second win of the year. But the Rabbitohs’ resolve proved too strong.
Souths dominated the opening exchanges, parking themselves firmly within the Bulldogs’ half and nearly coming away with a four-pointer to an unmarked Sam Young, but Wallace Tangiiti’s pass to the winger dribbled over the side-line.
But it was the Bulldogs who got on the board first through centre Sam Gerry-Burgess, who hit the ball at speed before crossing under the sticks. Guy Hamilton converted to make it 6-0 in te Dogs’ favour.
Gerry-Burgess was at it again just four minutes later, this time regathering a deflected cross-field kick to cross out wide, making it 10-0.
The red and greens hit back mid-way through the half after a last tackle kick failed to be picked up by the Bulldogs. Rabbitohs fullback Devon Makoare-Boyce raced through and snatched the pill before scoring behind the uprights. Irae Simone converted to make it 10-6.
Canterbury weren’t about to be out-done though, with fullback Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy grabbing a four-pointer of his own out wide to make it 14-6. Sam Seau also crossed with 12 minutes left in the first stanza with Brad Keighran converting from the touch-line to make it 20-6.
Rabbitohs centre Aaron Gray would respond in the best possible way though, slicing through the Dogs defence on the fringes before racing 30 metres to score 10 metres in from touch. Simone missed the conversion, leaving the score at 20-10 in favour of the visitors.
On the stroke of half-time Rabbitohs prop Jack Gosiewski crossed crossed out wide to give the Dogs something to think about going into the sheds. Simone’s sideline conversion made it 20-16 at the half.
The Bulldogs were first to score in the second half after eight minutes when prop, Danny Fualalo powered over adjacent to the sticks. Brad Keighran converted to make it 26-16.
With 20 minutes remaining in the match, Irae Simone danced through the Bulldogs defence from close range to score under the posts before converting to close the gap to 26-22.
Souths edged ever closer in the ensuing minutes, and their patience paid off, with winger Tom Hughes scoring right on the side-line to level it all up at 26 apiece. Simone’s pressure-kick sailed over the cross-bar in fine style to give the Rabbitohs the lead for the first time in the afternoon.
The home-side continued to grow in confidence, and Eden Syme proved it by showing good foot-work to race in from close-range. Simone added the extras to make it 34-26 in the Rabbitohs’ favour.
Rabbitohs 34 (Devon Makoare-Boyce, Aaron Gray, Jack Gosiewski, Irae Simone, Tom Hughes, Eden Syme tries; Irae Simone 5 goals)
Bulldogs 26 (Sam Gerry-Burgess 2, Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy, Sam Seau, Danny Fualalo, tries; Guy Hamilton 1, Brad Keighran 2 goals)