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Cook’s Career-First Hat Trick Inspires Big Win

After finding themselves trailing in the opening half-hour of play, the Rabbitohs were on the back-foot with the Bulldogs threatening to extend their lead.

With a tough opening period of the game behind them, the Rabbitohs gained a massive advantage when Jeremy Marshall-King was sent off for ten minutes - due to repeated ruck infringements from the Bulldog's defence.

Damien Cook seized the opportunity and crashed over for his first four-pointer just moments after the sin bin. He wasted no time securing a double, as he found himself on the receiving end of some excellent solo work from Campbell Graham. The Rabbitohs, led by their number 9, never really looked back and in the end, ran away with the victory.

Cook splits them

Cooks's second and third try was slit by another Alex Johnston double in the second half, with the Rabbitohs by this point enjoying a comfortable lead and searching for more points to put the result beyond doubt.

Once again seizing the opportunity to pounce, Cook caught the Bulldog’s defence off guard and bolted through a gap in the middle and sailed over untouched, securing his career first hat trick.

Cookie gets his hat-trick

After being embraced by his teammates and fans alike, Cook’s effort only increased from here as he lead the defence against a late surging Bulldogs. And while his point-scoring efforts have rightly garnered much of the focus, he got through a mountain of work in defence throughout the game as well, with 34 tackles at a 100% success rate.

Leading the game in tackles and being one of only three players to not a miss a tackle only highlighted how crucial his work in defence was, as the Rabbitohs held the Bulldogs out for the majority of the game.

Cook’s energy in defence, translated to an elevated attacking game as he strategically picked his moments to make some crucial runs through the Bulldogs’ defence. With three tackle breaks and two line breaks, he was a constant threat in engaging the line and creating space for his teammates. During the opening period of the game in particular, Cook’s work and leadership in defence was monumental, as the Rabbitohs managed to hold out several Bulldogs’ attacks close to the line.

Cook once again showed his championship calibre, stepping up to seize the opportunities presented by the Bulldogs and ultimately leading his side to victory. He did himself no harm in staking his claim as the best hooker in the game, with yet another outstanding performance on a winning side.

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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