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Australia Rabbitohs overcome battling Bulldogs but lose Burns for season

03:51  06 july  2020
03:51  06 july  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Canterbury's giant-killing late- season run has put the Rabbitohs ' top-four hopes on the rocks, while a likely season -ending injury for Burns cast a dejected figure in the ANZ Stadium sheds as the resurgent Bulldogs surged to a 14-6 upset, the luckless young centre re-injuring the same hamstring

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Jaydn Su'A of the Rabbitohs celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round eight NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on July 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. © Getty Images Jaydn Su'A of the Rabbitohs celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round eight NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on July 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.


True to form, South Sydney beat another team that won't be near the finals and Wayne Bennett will be forgiven for thinking he's had the perfect weekend.

Brisbane is burning and the supercoach is not exactly in a rush to put out the inferno, but when will his own team catch fire?

Predictably, the Rabbitohs put another team not threatening the top eight to the sword. Even more predictably, the Bulldogs busted their guts but couldn't match a team simply boasting more talent.

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After a week of drama at his old kingdom up north, Bennett had a low-key end as South Sydney battled past Dean Pay's cellar-dwellers 26-10 at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday night.

But as many questions as there are surrounding his Brisbane successor Anthony Seibold and the embattled club, there are a few puzzles still to be solved at Redfern.

Specifically, are the Rabbitohs actually going that good?

To date, they've only beaten the Sharks, Warriors, Titans and now the Bulldogs. And they've been beaten by every top eight team they've played so far this year. They will get a chance to correct the record next week, sitting behind the eighth-placed Tigers by just two points on differential.

But Bennett knows a thing or two about timing and getting it right this year will be as crucial as any.

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Bulldogs v Rabbitohs : Burgess benched; Elliott promoted. The Rabbitohs must've sensed it was coming after watching GI battle various injuries over the past few years and it might go some way toward explaining their distracted performances over the last three rounds.

nrl 2019 rabbitohs v bulldogs , rabbitohs v bulldogs , round 6 rabbitohs v bulldogs , souths v canterbury round 6. It was the Rabbitohs ’ fifth win of the season but it’s fair to say it was their least convincing. It was by no means as slick as the five-try demolition of the Warriors at the Sunshine

"We've got a fair bit of improvement in us," Bennett admitted. "It was important we won here tonight and played well. We've just got to improve in a couple of areas and winning helps that because it gives them a bit of confidence.

"The next three or four weeks I'll be in a better position to answer your question because we've got some tough games coming up."


Braidon Burns of the Rabbitohs is assisted from the field after sustaining an injury during the Round 8 NRL match between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, July 5, 2020. © AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts Braidon Burns of the Rabbitohs is assisted from the field after sustaining an injury during the Round 8 NRL match between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, July 5, 2020.

Braidon Burns just cannot catch a break. On a night where he would be happy with the two points and maybe not a whole lot more, Bennett's centre left the field with a sickening dislocated knee late in the second half. He'd only been on the field for a few sets in place of James Roberts.

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Rabbitohs pair Burns and Reynolds look fit to play. Rabbitohs officials said the main issue in getting Reynolds back on the park had been pain management. "Obviously we've lost the last few games but I thought our defence against Penrith was pretty good," centre James Roberts said.

"He'll probably be gone for the season," Bennett said. "The last three or four years I don't think he's finished a season. He's a 10 out of 10 bloke who tries his hardest for you and is great to have around the club. But it's the game we play and the risk you take.

"He hasn't had a lot to say [in the sheds] and he's in pain. That's what it is, but it doesn't make it easy."

Pay would have felt like it was groundhog day. Next week he will face Seibold's Broncos and the prize should his team win will be condemning Brisbane to last on the ladder.

"There was a lot more commitment there tonight," said Pay, who lamented a shoulder injury to Adam Elliott which has the coach fearing the worst.

"The first half was really strong. I thought the 15 minutes after half-time really hurt us. There were some opportunities there to take, but we didn't really take them. [But] you can't doubt their commitment and effort."

The prolific Alex Johnston started the week admitting he will have to leave the only club he's ever known next year and started the match doing the only thing he's ever known.

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The Bulldogs have a stash to spend in next year's salary cap - for outside backs, too - and couldn't have had a closer look at Johnston if they tried.

Slick hands from Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell put the winger into space on the left and he fooled few bar Dallin Watene-Zelezniak when he feigned a kick and then brushed off the Bulldogs No.1.

It took the Rabbitohs another 20 minutes to add to their margin through Adam Reynolds' penalty goal, but the eight-point buffer was short-lived.

Brandon Wakeham's deft chip found Marcelo Montoya, who was playing his first NRL game in almost a year, and the Bulldogs only trailed by two points at the break.

Just like the first stanza, the Rabbitohs barely wasted a moment scoring early in the second.

The outstanding Jaydn Su'A latched onto a Reynolds kick inside the first two minutes of the half, but Pay's men again hit back through Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

It would be the last time they scored though as Cody Walker padded the margin before Dane Gagai's last-minute length-of-the-field intercept completed a deceptively lop-sided scoreboard.

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 26 (Alex Johnston, Jaydn Su'A, Cody Walker, Dane Gagai tries; Adam Reynolds 5 goals) defeated CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS 10 (Marcelo Montoya, Raymond Faitala-Mariner tries; Nick Meaney goal) at Bankwest Stadium. Referee: Peter Gough.

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With only three wins between them this season, Saturday night’s clash between the Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium threatens to turn into a mockbuster. Nearing the halfway point of this shortened season, the sides sit in 14th and 16th place on the ladder respectively, with the Broncos the only team to have not won a match since the season resumed in May and the Bulldogs’ lone win coming against the Dragons in Round 4.

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