Sep 15, 2012 League Freak South Sydney Rabbitohs 2
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have smashed the Canberra Raiders 38-16 and are now one win away from making the NRL Grand Final.
This was a really tough game early on and you got the feeling that Souths were more prepared for the early exchanges than the Raiders were. It was only about 15 minutes into the game when the Raiders lifted, and started and fought their way back into the game. Then, in responce, Souths took the game to a new level and the Raiders just couldn’t go with them.
It sounds simplistic, but thats just what happened.
South Sydney won this game on their ability to win the contest at the play the ball. Their powerful running saw their forwards dominating the tackle, getting up and playing the ball quickly. Off the back of that Issac Luke had room to work in and the Raiders defense rarely got a chance to really set itself. It allowed the Bunnies to make huge meters up the middle of the field and as the game wore on, the Raiders wore down.
Both teams had a few brain explosions at times and if the Rabbitohs are going to have any chance of winning next weekend they need to get those mistakes out of their game. Blake Ferguson had a bit of a shocker in this match. Against the Raiders he was fantastic but in this one, not so much. It is strange how some players are rocks or diamonds like that.
John Sutton played well for the Bunnies while Greg Inglis looked a bit off. Leading into this game Inglis actually lost his voice so I’m guessing he was carrying a bit of a bug which dulled his performance.
Sam Burgess may have an issue at the judiciary this week after a head high tackle was put on report. It wouldn’t surprise me though if the charge was at the right level to allow him to play.
I thought the penalty try awarded to South Sydney was interesting. By the book, it was the right call, but over the years referee’s have resisted awarding penalty tries unless the player just needed to fall over the line to score. The way the penalty try was awarded in this game was correct. Situations where a player is tackled without the ball, before recieving a pass with now one between them and the line is exactly why the penalty try rule was brought into the game. It was a win for Rugby League!
The Raiders will look at this season and should probably take confidence out of it. At one point of the year they looked terrible. They looked like a team that had completly given up on their coach. Their run towards the end of the seasonlooked a bit flukey but a tough win over the Cronulla Sharks would have caught the attention of every other team left in the finals.
Canberra have the talent to be a finals team again next season. Talent has never been their issue. How they react to David Furner obviously is, and that is something the clubs management needs to think about before signing him to a contract extension.
As for the Bunnies, this is going to be a huge week for them.
I’d expect next weeks semi final against the Bulldogs will be an 80,000 sellout and they will have to deal with the excitment and media circus that will go into overdrive now they have a shot at winnings the Grand Final. They need to keep their heads screwed on though. Yes this was a good win, but they need to improve if they are to compete with the Bulldogs.
I can not wait for next week! Bring it on!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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It’s been a long time coming — Souths this close to the Grand Final once again.
If Souths are to get any closer, they need to focus for the entire 80 minutes. No clocking off midway, no brain explosions, no panic.
They need to play the way Michael Maguire trains them to play.
Apparently it was their first win in a finals game for 25 years!
This week is going to be insane. Souths fans will be everywhere all of a sudden. I hope they sell out ANZ next weekend. This clash deserves it.