South Sydney was unable to match it with a determined Canterbury Bulldogs side, falling 36-32 at Accor Stadium.

It was always going to be a tough task with nine players missing due to injury, Origin commitments and suspension, but the Rabbitohs started the contest strongly.

A strong tackle on the last forced a repeat set in the opening minutes, and stand-in captain Tom Burgess made them pay from the ensuing set with a charging run seeing him score under the posts inside five minutes.

A try for the captain

An error soon after the kick-off saw the Bulldogs take advantage off the scrum through Blake Wilson to level scores up.

Souths were handicapped from the very next set with Taane Milne sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge after a lengthy delay from the Bunker.

Wilson's second try of the night on the back of a charge down gave the Bulldogs a 12-6 lead through 14 minutes as they made use of the extra man.

Some sloppy defence allowed the Bulldogs to march down the field and make it back-to-back tries through Reed Mahoney, pushing the lead to 18-6.

The onslaught ended after a dropped ball, and it was South Sydney's turn to hit back, with quick hands from Richie Kennar giving Tyrone Munro enough space to put some footwork on and make it two tries in as many NRL games.

Munro sure can score

A questionable obstruction call gave the Bulldogs good field position, and they capitalised in the corner with a Jacob Kiraz try.

A clever kick from Lachlan Ilias intended for Munro almost had the desired effect, only for the winger to prove too quick as Canterbury held a 24-12 lead at the break.

Canterbury was on the attack to start the second half, and looked certain to score 10 minutes in if not for the swift work of Milne to knock a pass down and kill the play.

Desperate defence from the Bunnies

The relentless possession and field position proved too much for Souths to handle, as they cracked in the 56th minute with Ethan Quai-Ward's try making the task tough for the home side to come back from.

Just as the game looked to be slipping away, Blake Taaffe used his pace to perfection, racing the best part of 40m to get the Rabbitohs back in contention.

Taaffe too quick

A clear double movement from the Bulldogs saw them bailed out with Souths ruled to be offside, allowing them to take an easy shot at goal for a 30-16 lead.

It was Taaffe again in the thick of things to keep the game alive, breaking through a tackle after an unders ball from Ilias to cut the margin to 30-22 with less than 13 minutes to play.

Souths still in it

Any hopes of a comeback were all-but erased soon after however, with Wilson’s third of the night making the task an impossible one.

Munro's second of the night continued his hot try-scoring form to make it 36-26 with three minutes to play.

A glimmer of hope

Tallis Duncan then provided a highlight moment from the kick-off, breaking the line, linking with Peter Mamouzelos and then getting the ball back to race the length of the field to cut the margin to four with a little over two minutes left.

Unfortunately they couldn’t go on with it, with Canterbury denying one last charge at the line.

Match snapshot

Play of the Game

With time winding down and quick points needed, Tallis Duncan produced some heroics from the kick-off to race the length of the field and give Souths a fighting hope inside the final three minutes.

Absolute scenes!

What's Next?

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will have a well-earned bye in round 20, followed up by a blockbuster clash on the Sunshine Coast against fellow top-four contenders the Brisbane Broncos on July 21.

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