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Key Takeaways – Rabbitohs vs Bulldogs

The South Sydney Rabbitohs put in a strong performance in a 36-16 victory against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Accor Stadium in front of 30 thousand Members and fans on Good Friday. Here are some key takeaways from the match.

Cook’s Stellar Night

Damien Cook led the way in both defence and attack, capping off his outstanding night with a career-first hat trick.

After scoring a quick-fire double in the first-half, Cook crossed the line for a third time to seal the impressive result and importantly his hat trick.

Cook looked dangerous every time he handled the ball, forcing the Bulldogs’ defence onto the back foot with his quick bursts from dummy-half.

With 30 tackles made and none missed, Cook’s impact on the Rabbitohs defence was instrumental.

Cookie gets his hat-trick

Cook changed the game and was monumental in the win, with his support runs and ability to find gaps in the Bulldogs’ defence on fine display.

Capitalising On Sin Binning

After a tricky opening period where the Rabbitohs had a disallowed try, the Bulldogs began to seize the momentum and would consider themselves unlucky to have not been up by 12.

With the Bulldogs threatening to blow the game open in their favour, the Rabbitohs stepped up massively and forced them into committing some crucial errors and penalties, giving the Rabbitohs some much needed field position.

The game swung in the favour of the hosts when Jeremy Marshall King was sent to the sin-bin while the Rabbitohs were in attacking field position.

Souths capitalised on the back of the extra-man advantage, when Cook secured a double and Alex Johnston crossed over to give the Rabbitohs a 12-point lead.

The Rabbitohs scored 18 unanswered points while the Dogs were a man down, heading into the sheds at half time full of confidence.

Key Contributions Off The Bench

The bench-play from Hame Sele, Liam Knight, Jacob Host and debutant Isaiah Tass, proved to be a difference maker in the result.

Knight led all players in run metres (202) in 41 minutes, Sele notched up an impressive 128 metres from 11 runs, with Jacob Host contributed a solid 70 metres from eight runs.

Knight also led all players in post-contact metres with 106, as the tired legs of the Bulldogs defence was unable to match his intensity off the bench.

The forwards were critical in both attack and defence, as their hard-work catapulted the game in favour of the Rabbitohs.

Taaffe Shines At Fullback

Blake Taaffe impressed upon his first return to starting at fullback, filling in seamlessly for the injured Latrell Mitchell.

After surviving a dangerous bomb from Matt Burton early on, Taaffe settled back into the role with 92 run metres (58 from kick-returns) and 22 post-contact metres.

Along with his notable running game, Taaffe secured a crucial line-break and try assist as the Rabbitohs began to run away with the result.

Taaffe also continued his 100% conversion rate, knocking down all six attempts against the Bulldogs, to give him a perfect season record of ten from ten.

Tass Caps Off Debut With Try

With just 15 minutes remaining and the result all but secured, Isaiah Tass was given the chance to make his NRL debut – replacing Taane Milne at left-centre.

Immediately his impact was shown, as he took the Bulldogs’ line on within seconds of running onto the field.

Tass looked dangerous every time he was given the ball and was denied of a spectacular line-break by some valiant Bulldogs’ defending.

As the minutes winded down, the Rabbitohs found itself in many prominent positions close to the line, as Tass seemed destined to get a debut try.

After Johsnton dragged in two defenders and brilliantly offloaded a pass to Tass, no-one was going to deny the debutant on his way to the line, as he stretched out for a maiden four-pointer

The fans and player alike were in jubilation for the Tass, as he capped off a memorable night with a try.

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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