The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC side has gone down to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Good Friday by 20-18 despite a late Rabbitohs revival.
It was the Bulldogs in control all the way until the final three minutes when Souths scored two quick tries to get them back into the game. But the game belonged to the Bulldogs.
The Rabbitohs put themselves under immense pressure in the opening 10 minutes with drop-balls marring their progress up-field. The weight of Dogs possession eventually proved too much, resulting in the blue and whites grabbing first points through back-rower, Harry Pondekas. Brad Keighran converted to give the side a six-point lead.
It took the red and green’s almost 20 minutes to get into the Bulldogs’ side of halfway, with John Olive making a break down the touch-line as part of a promising raid. But the centre was bundled into touch 15 metres short of the line.
With 14 minutes left in the opening stanza, the Bulldogs continued to dominate proceeding when prop-forward Jake Kamire muscled his way over the try-line right under the posts. Keighran converted to make it 12-0.
A penalty to Canterbury 10 metres from the line gave Guy Hamilton the chance to kick his side two points further ahead – the halfback making no mistake to take the score to 14-0. But the half was far from over.
An altercation in mid-field saw Souths’ Eden Syme placed on report, allowing the Bulldogs to kick themselves a further two points ahead from inside the 40 metre line, making the half-time score 16-0.
On the resumption, the Bulldogs continued their dominant display by scoring inside the first ten minutes of play courtesy of a back-line movement that eventually saw centre Reubenn Rennie score out wide to take it to 20-0.
Souths would hit back immediately though when a short-side play saw Damon Goolagong find the slightest of gaps. The winger danced through defenders before racing 30 metres before bettering the position to score. Jordie Hedges converted to make it 20-6.
With three minutes on the clock remaining a Rabbitohs revival was about to begin, with Olive picking up a try after a game of hot-potato in near the corner-post resulted in the Bulldogs being a man short in defence. Hedges converted out wide to make it 20-12.
Another Rabbitohs attacking raid close to the line saw Wallace Tangiiti kick for a flying Hedges to come through centre-field and score. Hedges converted his own try to make the final score 20-18.
Bulldogs 20 (Harry Pondekas, Jake Kamire, Reuben Rennie tries; Brad Keighran 3 Guy Hamilton 1, goals)
Rabbitohs 18 (Damon Goolagong, John Olive, Jordie Hedges, tries; Jordie Hedges 3 goals)