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The Storm's controversial match winning try and can the Roosters hold on to the title? All the big news in the world of Rugby League.PT6M6S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36rlp 620 349 April 16, 2014
The Bulldogs became the first club in history to win three consecutive one-point games after a dramatic come-from-behind 15-14 win over South Sydney on Friday at ANZ Stadium.
After beating the Warriors and the Roosters with field goals in recent weeks, the Bulldogs added South Sydney to that list when Trent Hodkinson kicked a 21 metre one-pointer in the 78th minute to break the deadlock. Hodkinson described it as “deja vu” after kicking a penalty goal and field goal in successive weeks to claim victory.
Canterbury prop James Graham passes the ball wide as the South Sydney defence closes in. Photo: Anthony Johnson
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Burgess, Sutton||Tries||2||Tries||2||Players||Brown, Thompson|
|Players||Reynolds 2/2 (100%)||Conversions||2||Conversions||2||Players||Hodkinson 2/2 (100%)|
|Players||Reynolds 1/1 (100%)||Penalty goals||1||Penalty goals||1||Players||Hodkinson 1/1 (100%)|
|Players||Merritt 0/1 (0%), Reynolds 0/2 (0%)||Field goals||0||Field goals||1||Players||Reynolds 0/1 (0%), Hodkinson 1/1 (100%)|
“It was very similar to last week,” Hodkinson said. “I have been more focused on my goal-kicking. I’ve had a fair record [with drop kicks], and hopefully they keep going through.
“The kicks going over helps with the confidence. I was saying in my head to do exactly what I did last week.”
Adam Reynolds and Nathan Merritt had field goal attempts for South Sydney but it was left to Hodkinson to secure victory after his side trailed 14-6 with 15 minutes remaining. It capped a remarkable turnaround for Hodkinson who came close to retiring after shoulder and knee injuries crippled his 2012 season, restricting him to six matches.
Bulldogs forward Josh Jackson tries to slip past the South Sydney defence. Photo: Anthony Johnson
“I questioned myself if I’d be back playing and if I had confidence in my body,” Hodkinson said. “A full pre-season helps.
“The doctors never said that [I couldn’t play on]. It was the demons in the back in the back of my mind. They were confident I could come back to full fitness but I didn’t really believe them at first.”
An injury-ravaged South Sydney side might have finished the first half without any replacements but they carried an eight-point lead at half-time in front of 43,255 people.
Canterbury forward Dale Finucane is reported for a lifting tackle. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Forwards Kyle Turner (concussion), Apisai Koroisau (shoulder), Joe Picker (ribs) and Dave Tyrrell (concussion) left the field in the first half, with the side already missing suspended duo Ben Te'o and George Burgess. Greg Inglis sent a shudder through the Rabbitohs camp when he looked to have aggravated a lower-back injury midway through the second half, but the fullback played on.
All but Koroisau returned to the field in the second stanza in a game in which Englishmen Sam Burgess and James Graham starred for their sides. Canterbury captain Michael Ennis was inspirational for his team, coming back from a sickening head cut to lift his side - particularly in defence - in the second half.
While a try after the siren created headlines in the NRL last week, it was the obstruction rule that reared its ugly head on Friday night. Respective coaches Des Hasler and Michael Maguire had differing interpretations of two rulings that resulted in Corey Thompson crossing the try line. The Bulldogs winger was denied a try after 10 minutes when Josh Morris was ruled to have run behind a teammate before firing a 30m spiral cut-out pass to Thompson, who crossed in the corner.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs
Action from the first five minutes of the match. Photo: Anthony Johnson
The other was a decisive moment, when Thompson scored for Canterbury to gain momentum, and within two points of South Sydney in the 68th minute. Maguire was filthy that lead runner Josh Jackson made contact with captain John Sutton, before Sutton raced to the corner to try to deny Thompson from scoring.
“I felt like I got impeded,” Sutton said of the video referee's decision. “If I didn’t get impeded I would’ve got out and the boys would’ve been more comfortable. [The referee] said it was sweet.”
Maguire added: “I’m not sure how they are interpreting the obstruction rule. Sutton got impeded, and he was the person standing where the try is scored. He probably stops it. I’m not quite sure of the understanding of the ruling of the try.”
The Bulldogs face an infraction notice after an official failed to register a change in the team sheet. Greg Eastwood started in place of Dale Finucane, who was placed on report twice in the first half.