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Live: Eels v Rabbitohs


Dominic Bossi


Wrap:  At times it was like watching a snake killing a mouse. The result was never in doubt, but the fight of the mouse made you watch on until the end. The Rabbitohs looked comfortable throughout the 80-minutes but should have made sure of the result much earlier than they did. Parramatta were competitive enough to hold the Rabbitohs for as long as they did, but were otherwise toothless in attack. Despite the best efforts of Jarryd Hayne, Ken Sio and Fuifui Moimoi, there wasn't much that Eels coach Stephern Kearney can take from this loss. Parramatta tried to play a simple game in the wet tonight in hope that it would be sufficient enough to steal a result against a superior side and while their work up the middle was at times impressive, it failed to mask their directionless attack. The gamble to play Sandow didn't pay off, but neither did it backfire. Sandow displayed the odd flash of flair and ability, but he and  Ben Roberts failed to work set plays.

South Sydney's creative men, Issac Luke and Adam Reynolds, proved that they are an attacking outlet to watch out for this season. Inglis played an important role in a number of the Rabbitohs tries tonight but Queensland coach Mal Maninga will be digging his nails into the arms of his lounge chair as he watched Inglis continue to play with a damaged shoulder. The Rabbitohs fullback managed to get through the rest of the game with ease, but is still awaiting a full diagnosis of his injury.




 78th min: Parramatta with a good attacking play on the left. Luke Burt receives the

Full-time: South Sydney Rabbitohs clinch a 24-6 win over Parramatta Eels. ball metres away from the try-line but is pushed into touch immediately.

77th min: Reynolds with yet another successful conversion from out wide. Souths lead 24-6.

76th min: TRY. Crocker pushes himself across the line with a run that was effective but not flash. Rabbitohs 22-6 KTC.

75th min: Reynolds puts a kick low into the ingoal area that the Eels are forced to put dead. Drop out to come.

72nd min: Parramatta are starting to play more expansive football. They're happy to throw the ball wide much earlier and bring their backs into play. However they got caught out by a strong Souths defence and fumble the ball back to Sandow who is immediately swamped by three Rabbitohs. Changeover.

68th min: Sandow intercepts just as Souths are about to score and runs the entire length of the field. The small no.7 is being chased by Reynolds, who somehow catches up to Sandow and tackles him into touch only one metre away from the try-line. Expect that tackle to feature on the highlight reel at next seasons NRL launch.

66th min: NO TRY. David Taylor ruled to have shoved Sandow out of the way as the ball came down.  Rabbitohs will definitely feel hard done by with that decision.

65th min: Video Ref. Luke Burgess capitalises on a poor Eels kick defence. Sutton puts up a bomb that Sandow fails to catch. Burgess scoops up the rebound and grounds the ball.

59th min: Conversion successful, Parramatta back to within two converted tries. 18-6

58th min: TRY. Reni Matua crosses in the corner to put Parramatta on the board for the first time tonight. KTC

55th min: Fuifui Moimoi comes out of nowhere to provide a try saving ankle tap. The Eels recieve a fortuitous ricochet from a kick and bring the ball back into a dangerous position. Sandow breaks the line puts in a kick that sits deep in the in-goal area. He's narrowly beaten to the ball by a Rabbitoh who grounds the ball for a drop-out. Is there life in the Eels tonight?

51st min: The Eels are awarded a penalty and move to a dangerous position inside Souths' 20-metre line. Roberts spreads the ball wide by the Eels are tackled into touch. Souths lead 18-0

49th min: The Eels concede a penalty that sums up their evening so far. Sio catches the ball on his goal line and breaks through the Rabbitohs line but the referee blows for Rabbtitohs penalty due to Sandow blocking a chaser.

47th min: Another good set of six but a poor final product by the Eels. Parra comfortably make the metres but appear to have no plan come the fifth. They need to score the next try and soon, if they are to stay in the game.

44th min: Jason Clark is sent to the blood bin with a nasty gash above his eye.

42nd min: TRY. Dylan Farrell deals a blow to the Eels aspirations of a comeback by slicing through Parramatta's defence from and finding the line from ten metres out. Reynolds continues his perfect record off the boot today, converted from 11 metres out from touch. Rabbitohs lead 18-0.

41st min: The rain continues to fall as both teams run back onto the pitch. The Eels resume play but give away a needless penalty on the Rabbitohs third tackle. Not the start they needed.

Half-time: Rabbitohs lead the Eels 12-0 at ANZ. Both teams have been playing a simple game in the wet but it's Souths who are doing the simple things better. Both teams are keeping the ball in the middle of the field and happy to let their forwards do the work up until the fifth tackle. The Eels look slightly directionless in attack with Roberts and Sandow fighting Hayne for the ball. Reynolds and Isaac Luke are working well together as the linchpin of the Rabbitohs attack and seem more willing than the Eels halves to spread the ball-wide and take a gamble when in possession.  


 39th min: Sandow side boots the ball into the Rabbitohs in goal area. The chase is poor but Merritt and Inglis spend too much time shielding a ball they hope will go dead and in the end are forced to concede the drop-out.

36th min: Eels again kicking to Hunt's wing and Souths replying with a kick to Sio. Both teams are desperately trying to avoid kicking to Hayne and Inglis.

33rd min: Hayne again moves into a first receiver role and kicks deep into the corner but it bounces dead and Rabbitohs have the 20-metre restart.

31st min: Reynolds scores his second sideline conversion of the evening. Rabbitohs lead 12-0.

30th min: TRY. Rabbitohs score seconds after having one try disallowed. Greg Inglis runs inbetween two tacklers before offloading to Justin Hunt who scores in the corner. Video referee gives it the green light. KTC

29th min: Rabbitohs cross the line but the referee had blown his whistle seconds earlier for a foul on Greg Inglis. Souths are fuming that no advantage was played.

27th min: Eels have their best attack of the game, Hayne is moving into a more creative role and throws a cut-out pass to Sio on the wing but Hunt does his defensive duties. Parramatta take a page out of David Taylor's book and decide to burry past defenders on the last tackle, but similarly it fails to produce any points.

25th min: Hayne runs a kick return back to the 25 metre line but a strong chasing pack lifts him up and dumps him back inside the 20. Inglis is back on the pitch with a heavily bandaged shoulder and upper arm.

23rd min: Inglis has come off with what looks like a shoulder injury. The physio is testing to see if there is any dislocation. Worrying signs for the Rabbits and Maroons.

21st min: The Eels are struggling to find decent field position as Souths are beginning to apply pressure. Souths kick has gone dead and gives the Eels some respite and a chance to regather.

19th min: Reynolds puts in another kick to Ken Sio's wing. It looks like the Rabbitohs are targeting the Eels no.5 early on.

18th min: Reynolds adds the extras with a kick that swerved from one upright to the other. 6-0 to the Rabbitohs.

17th min: TRY. Nathan Merritt finishes a lovely Rabbitohs move. Reynolds chips into the corner and Merritt races behind the Eels defensive line to score in the corner. Rabbitohs 4-0 KTC.

14th min: Penalty to the Rabbitohs, Dangerous tackle on Inglis who is lifted and dumped on his head. Souths find touch 40 metres out.

12th min: Dave Taylor decides to run it on the last tackle and it nearly pays off as he's held up over the line.

10th min: The Rabbitohs have a set of six in a good position, Reynolds puts in a grubber in behind the Parramatta defensive line which Hayne is forced to put dead. Drop out to come.

7th min: Adam Reynolds penalised for holding Roberts for too long in tackle. Eels find touch at halfway.

4th min: Eels back in possession and kick a deep bomb into the right corner that's easily defused, but the Eels give away a penalty with a late tackle.

1 min: The Eels make good metres off the kick-off, 50 by tackle three. Reni Matua makes a break down the blindside but is tackled into touch ten metres into Souths' half.

It looks like the rain might just cease as we approach kick-off but conditions still remain grim. Both teams are out and it will be the Rabbitohs to kick off.

The Eels haven't had any luck this season but have still proven that they can play some great football in short spells. In a cold and wet evening at Olympic Park, slippery conditions could bridge the gap of form and ability to play into the hands of the Eels. 

For the first time this season, Chris Sandow will face his former club South Sydney Rabbitohs and with coach Stephen Kearney opting to start the under-performing halfback, this will be a great opportunity to find some form. Origin star fullbacks Jaryd Hayne and Greg Inglis return for both teams and will shrug off the fatigue from Wednesday night's blockbuster to lineup in what will be another great battle at ANZ Stadium.


ANZ Stadium, Saturday, 7.30pm (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 22 2011 - Rabbitohs 56 bt Eels 6 at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs 61 Eels 50
Referees: Brett Suttor, Alan Shortall
Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet:
Eels $2.50 Rabbitohs $1.55
FootyTab: Eels +4.5

Greg Prichard writes: First game for Eels halfback Chris Sandow against his old club. Both teams are coming off the bye, and before that the Eels scored just their second win of the season, over the Sharks. The Rabbitohs are last-start losers to the Bulldogs, but they could have easily won what was the game of the year so far. The Rabbitohs are favourites, but need to be on their guard.

AAP writes: Chris Sandow returns to face his old team who have moved effortlessly forward without the mercurial playmaker thanks largely to the performances of Adam Reynolds. Souths have won the last three encounters between the sides, but they will miss Sam Burgess, who’s sidelined yet again with a knee injury. Parramatta sparkled against Cronulla in their last game, chalking up only their second win of the season. Once again Jarryd Hayne got them home and with the NSW star in good form at the moment, they will fancy their chances of another upset.

Key: If Hayne plays well, so do the Eels. But Souths are littered with match-winners in Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt and David Taylor and should be too strong.


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Round 16
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