The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs today (Good Friday) by 42-12 at ANZ Stadium.
The Bulldogs would go on a first half rampage that saw the teams go to the break with the blue and whites leading 32-0. But despite going down in the match, Souths produced an improved second half in front f the 38,192 strong crowd.
The Bulldogs elected to attack the right hand side in the opening three minutes of the match and with their second attempt, Will Hopoate came up trumps by planting his hands on the ball following a kick in-goal. Moses Mbye converted from close range to give them an early 6-0 lead.
Mbye would pick up a try of his own when he stepped through the Rabbitohs defence close to the line before crossing it to make the score 10-0 with ten minutes gone.
A penalty to Souths inside their own half saw the men in Red and Green get their first real attacking opportunity in good field-position on the back of a kick for touch. Cameron McInnes came close to scoring from acting half as a result, but was held up by the ‘Dogs defence.
Canterbury would tighten their grip on the match when a blind-side play saw Josh Morris take a desperate pass to avoid going into touch – Morris running the remaining 20 metres to score. Mbye converted to make it 16-0.
But things were about to get worse for the Rabbitohs, with a knock-on on just the second tackle deep in their own side of half-way eventually resulting in a try to Craig Garvey – the hooker dummying one way and running the other to touch down. Mbye made no mistake with the extras from close range to make it 22-0.
Two sets of solid defence from the Bulldogs would eventually result in another try to the Canterbury side when Paul Carter lost the ball in-goal, with Morris pouncing on it to grab his second of the afternoon. Mbye converted to make it 28-0.
Sam Perrett would be next to score for the Bulldogs, with the winger getting outside the last Rabbitohs defender to score the side’s sixth try of the afternoon – the score reading 32-0 to take the teams to the break.
After the break, Cody Walker looked to create an opportunity for Souths when he opted to attack the line on the last tackle – the five-eighth slicing through the defence and looking to pass. Walker got the ball away, but Aaron Gray was unable to hold on to it.
A Canterbury mistake on their own 30 would gift the Rabbitohs an opportunity and the side nearly took full advantage when a kick in-goal came within a whisker of scoring – the ‘Dogs batting the ball dead to force a goal-line drop-out and thus another opportunity for Souths.
After two repeat-sets, Souths continued to apply pressure, but again came up short – a possible try to Luke Keary was sent to the Bunker and after much deliberation was given a no-try.
The Bulldogs would get another try half-way through the second stanza when Kurtis Rona did well to stay in-field – the winger scoring millimetres inside touch to make it 36-0.
Souths would finally get over the line some 60 minutes into the match when Hymel Hunt streaked away from the Bulldogs defensive line before drawing and passing to Rabbitohs debutant Michael Oldfield who scored. Damien Cook converted to bring the score to 36-6.
Luke Keary then made inroads for the men in Red and Green when he burst through the narrowest of gaps to race 60 metres up-field before being brought down. The ‘Dogs would concede a penalty of the very next set and it would lead to a try for Souths’ Chris Grevsmuhl – the forward taking a short-ball to score. Cook added the extras from out wide to make it 36-12.
With eight minutes remaining, Chase Stanley crossed for another try for the Bulldogs to notch up the mark, and with Mbye’s conversion, the score was taken to 42-12 to round out the match.
Bulldogs 42 (Will Hopoate, Moses Mbye, Josh Morris 2, Craig Garvey, Sam Perrett, Kurtis Rona, Chase Stanley, tries; Moses Mbye 5 goals)
Rabbitohs 12 (Michael Oldfield, Chris Grevsmuhl, tries; Damien Cook 2 goals)