The South Sydney Rabbitohs went down 16-22 against the Parramatta Eels in front of a crowd of 14,218 in their Round 12 match tonight (Friday) at ANZ Stadium.
The two teams stood out clearly on the field with the Rabbitohs sporting their 2017 New Edition Superman Jersey. The exclusion of Bryson Goodwin to a knee injury saw Tyrell Fuimaono start in the centre position alongside Alex Johnston on the left wing. The Burgess twins were back together in the middle with George Burgess returning from suspension.
The Eels opened up the scoring in the sixth minute, finding a gap in the Rabbitohs defence. Despite a chase from Cody Walker, Tepai Moeroa flew over the line for the evening’s first try. The conversion attempt by Clinton Gutherson swayed to the left but the Eels came out in front four points to nil.
The Eels attack was strong, with the visiting side holding on to 67% possession in the opening 15 minutes. They would go over for a second try in the 19th minute when a well-weighted Gutherson grubber forced a handling error in goal opening the ball up to be scored by Beau Scott. A successful conversion saw the Eels extend their lead 10 points to nil.
The Eels added an extra two points shortly after with the Rabbitohs penalised in front of goal for being off-side and giving away a penalty goal.
With the first half ticking away, the Eels got themselves another try when a quick play the ball saw Gutherson make a line break and pass it off to Semi Radradra who would power down the field to grab the Eels third four-pointer. The conversion added to the Eels lead totalling 18 points while the Rabbitohs ran into the sheds scoreless at half time.
The Rabbitohs came back onto the field for the second half and had some catching up to do. The Eels began to show some weakness, giving away three penalties in the opening minutes.
The drive in the Rabbitohs ramped up and Hymel Hunt made a successful strip in a one-on-one tackle with Radradra near our line. Angus Crichton saw the loose ball and picked it up to sprint an impressive 92m and touch the ball down for the Rabbitohs first try. Adam Reynolds nailed the conversion and the Rabbitohs were on the board. The hope was still there for the home side with 30 minutes remaining but they still had some catching up to do falling behind six points to 18.
The Eels wouldn’t make it easy though adding another four pointer through winger Josh Hoffman. The try extended their lead 22 points to six while the conversion was unsuccessful.
The Rabbitohs however responded with Johnston flying down the left side and scoring in the corner. Reynolds sealed the achievement with a successful conversion and the Rabbitohs narrowed in 12 points to 22.
Johnston would get his way over the line for a second time with seconds remaining on the clock. The Rabbitohs declined the shot at goal with four seconds left on the clock but the time got the best of the home side fighting their way for more points but they couldn't catch the Eels and went down 16 points to 22.
Parramatta Eels 22 (Tepai Moeroa, Beau Scott, Semi Radradra, Josh Hoffman tries; Clinton Gutherson 3 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 (Angus Crichton, Alex Johnston 2 tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)