NRL Match Report | Round 2 v Rabbitohs
In a match that many will be talking about throughout the full 2015 NRL Season, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have beaten the Sydney Roosters by eight points 34-26 in a thrilling affair at ANZ Stadium.
After a brutal opening to the match it was the home side that had the scoreboard attendant up off his chair first when Dylan Walker crossed for their opener.
Walker ran a beaitiful inside line off five-eighth Luke Keary who popped the ball up perfectly for his flying centre after receiving the ball from Glenn Stewart out the back. Adam Reynolds had little trouble from in front of the uprights and the Rabbitohs led 6-0 after just seven minutes.
The visitors began to gain momentum through their big men in the middle of the field before a freakish effort from Rabbitohs No.1 Greg Inglis saw the fullback latch onto a Tricolours chip one-handed in his own in-goal before beating three defenders and linking with Alex Johnston, who raced 75m to score.
Reynolds again converted, seeing the home side out to a 12-0 lead after just thirteen minutes.
The Roosters big men continued to pressure the Bunnies in the middle of the field and following a piggy-back up the field from the first penalty awarded to the away side of the match, Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck took it blind late in the count to find Michael Jennings who flicked on for Daniel Tupou to score the Tricolours opener.
Tupou's four-pointer was his 33rd in Roosters colours in just 50 matches, racking up the half century today.
The visitors were in again just minutes later after Rabbitohs winger Joel Reddy allowed a James Maloney bomb to bounce, which fell into the go-go-gadget arms of Tupou who this time returned the favour in finding Jennings in support to score. Maloney converted to close gap to just two points.
Jennings was in again just minutes following as the visitors crossed for their third try in seven minutes when Maloney's solid defence forced the ball from the Bunnies hooker Isaac Luke's hands and into the waiting palms of Jennings, who ran 50m to score.
Maloney's successful conversion saw the Roosters leading for the first time in the match, 16-12, where it stayed up until the half time break.
Half Time: Rabbitohs 12 - Roosters 16
The sides traded pleasantries for just a matter of three minutes before the first try of the second half when Roosters young-gun Dylan Napa took his second hit-up of a set inside the Rabbitohs half, thanks to a kick sent out on the full from Reynolds, and managed to drag three Bunnies defenders with him over the line.
Maloney's conversion saw the visitors out to a 22-12 lead early in the second half.
A penalty awarded the home side's way for a questionable tackle from Pearce on his opposition skipper Inglis saw the Bunnies handed prime field position to start an attack.
After sending the ball both ways it was George Burgess that found the gap and reached out one sizeable arm to slam it down score. Reynolds converted to close the Roosters gap to just four points.
Burgess was in again just minutes later in an almost deja vu like manner and position however after being sent upstairs for review from the Video Ref it was found the English international had knocked on.
Against the run of play the Roosters found themselves deep in Rabbitohs territory in the 58th minute and again Tuivasa-Sheck chose to take it blind and this time it sailed through the right edge's hands to see Shaun Kenny-Dowall score in the corner and extend the visitors lead to eight points, 26-18.
The Rabbitohs hit back not long after however after five-eighth Keary broke the Roosters defensive line to find himself 2-on-1 with Tuivasa-Sheck with Johnston in support, who got his second of the match. Reynolds added the extras and the home side trailed by just two, 24-26.
They were the next to score as well as the clock ticked over into the final ten minutes Reynolds ducked out of a Jared Waerea-Hargreaves tackle and spun the ball wide for Reddy to crash over in the corner.
An unsuccessful attempt from out wide on the conversion saw the home side's lead at just two points with just ten minutes remaining.
A late try to Rabbitohs hooker Luke sealed the victory for the defending Premiers, 34-26.