Souths forwards led the way in upset win over table leaders

Image Rights - GettyImages (Brendon Thorn)

The South Sydney Rabbitohs defeated the St. George Illawara Dragons 24-10

Game Review:
The game had a perfect start for the Bunnies, with a few strong carries from Tom Burgess got Souths in great field position with an attacking kick which pinned Nene McDonald on the try line. Whilst bringing the ball back McDonald dropped the ball on first tackle which gave Souths a further set inside the 10m. This lead to an outstanding tackle from Euan Aitken on Alex Johnston but the play after saw Hymel Hunt go over in the corner off a nice catch and pass from Greg Inglis.

After good field postion a linebreak to Damian Cook saw the Dragons stuck on the back foot and a short ball from Reynolds saw Angus Crichton go over next to the posts. It was a shaky restart off the kickoff with an error from Cody Walker putting all the pressure back on Souths. After three penalties on the line the Rabbitohs held on resulting in the Dragons coming away with no points.

Within the first twenty minutes of this game the Dragons have had numerous attempts to score but have come up with nothing. Nightingale came close but a knock on after getting tangled up with GI saw a turnover. A few moments later Ben Hunt almost went threw but a Sheppard on the Try Line saw a no try given. Souths almost hit back straight away after this with a line break almost saw Hunt go in for a double but great cover defence from the Dragons saw Nightingale come up with the ball again.

The Dragons dominataed the field position and the possession with 84% however everything they tried went wrong, they just couldn't break the Rabbitohs line. McDonald dropped  the ball and a penalty early into the count saw a monster kick for touch. Another penalty close to the Dragons line for being offside saw the Rabbitohs elect to go for the two points extending the lead out to 12-0.

The Rabbitohs went into the break leading 12-0, The Dragons threw a lot at them but too many errors and poor 5th tackle options saw them come away with no points. The Dragons came out of the second half with a solid opening set with the ball, and defensively held the Bunnies inside the 30 meter mark. It wasn't until a wayward offload saw Angus Crichton hold Ben Hunt off the ball giving away a penalty to the Dragons inside the 20m mark.


As like much of the first half, the Dragons came up with a poor 5th tackle option which saw Sam Burgess catch the ball on the full and Souths marched up the field from a line break from Angus Crichton.

A wonderful set from the Dragons and an offload from Frizzell followed by a pass from Widdop almost say McDonald score on the last tackle but was held up over the line. This followed with a solid line break from Angus Crichton which almost resulted in a counter try however a great take from Matt Dufty spoiled that plan.

The game went back and forth for the next few minutes with neither side able to gain the upper hand, However after the Dragons were hard done by on an Adam Reynolds knock on a few cheap penalties drove the Rabbitohs up the field and as well as a penalty goal from in front of the sticks giving Souths a 14-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining.

A knock on from dummy half saw the Dragons in a lot of trouble with a little over 15 minutes remaining, and with a penalty in front gave the Rabbitohs a chance to increase the lead to 16. However the Rabbitohs chose to go for the try and after shifting the ball to the left a poor pass from Reynolds saw the ball go into touch.

Shortly after Cameron McInnes took a run out of Dummy Half and ran for close to 20 meters before he was brought down and a quick play the ball saw the James Graham gain another further 15 meters before they shifted the ball to the right where Ben Hunt dropped it cold.

A Sam Burgess knock on 10 meters out of the Dragons line saw Tyson Frizell jump on the loose ball and ran away for a remarkable 90 meter try to the Back Rower scoring his first try since Round 2, however the much needed conversion from Garreth Widdop was missed and the Rabbitohs lead the Dragons 14-4 with 11 minutes remaining.

An error from the kickoff was overturned when the referees deemed that the Rabbitohs stripped the ball out and from the kick to touch the Dragons marched up the field into good field position however another Ben Hunt knock on saw the Rabbitohs go on the offensive with a line break from Cody Walker almost resulting in a try after a few offloads before Damian Cook was brought down close to the line. The Dragons conceded a cheap penalty close to the line in which Adam Reynolds decided to go for the two points to give the Rabbitohs a 12 point lead once again and with 7 minutes remaining Adam Reynolds kicked the ball off the right upright straight back to him where Souths had another set inside the Dragons 20.

After Angus Crichton almost went over next to the post a short kick in behind from Adam Reynolds from Dummy Half saw it deflect off of Garreth Widdop across the face of the try line resulting in Campbell Graham diving on the ball to score.

A short kick off from the Dragons almost didn't pay off however a knock on from Crichton saw Matt Dufty pick the ball up and almost scream through the line for a try if it wasn't for a last ditch effort with the ankle tap. George Burgess was penalised moments later for laying in the ruck and a short ball from Cameron McInnes saw Tyson Frizell hit back instantaneously with his second try of the game.

With the clock winding down a kick from Damian Cook down the sideline saw Matt Dufty come up with the error and saw Greg Inglis score in the corner. If Cook wasn't standing on the corner post Matt Lomax on debut for the Dragons would have had a good chance to take Inglis into touch saving the try, however things did not go that way.

Souths had one of their best games of the season and the Burgess brothers were influential in the win over the first placed Dragons.

Fewy's Player of the Game: Angus Crichton

Scoring Timeline:
2' (Try) Hymel Hunt (SOU)
7' (Try) Angus Crichton (SOU)
8' (Conversion) Adam Reynolds (SOU)
32' (Penalty Goal) Adam Reynolds (SOU)

HT

59' (Penalty Goal) Adam Reynolds (SOU)
69' (Try) Tyson Frizell (STI)
74' (Try) Campbell Graham (SOU)
77' (Try) Tyson Frizell (STI)
77' (Conversion) Garreth Widdop (STI)
79' (Try) Greg Inglis (SOU)
80' (Conversion) Adam Reynolds (SOU)

-Fewy

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