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Roosters stun Rabbitohs in NRL thriller

Date

Glenn Jackson

Match winner ... Anthony Minichiello scored the Roosters last minute try as they toppled the Rabbitohs in the final minute.

Match winner ... Anthony Minichiello scored the Roosters last minute try as they toppled the Rabbitohs in the final minute. Photo: Getty Images

A new era for South Sydney, but an all-too familiar problem. The Rabbitohs simply do not know how to win yet. The Roosters waited and waited and finally pounced, scoring twice in the final three minutes. Souths were guilty of going through the motions while their opponents kept the ball in motion.

MATCH STATS

The final try was an astounding example of keeping the ball alive; beginning at the defensive end of the field before Boyd Cordner kicked for Anthony Minichiello, who touched down with 19 seconds left.

rabbitohs fans at anz stadium Click for more photos

Roosters ransack the Rabbitohs

The South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Monday, March 5th, 2012. The Roosters won the game 24-20. Photography by Brendan Esposito. Photo: brendan esposito

The Roosters, who had trailed 20-12 up until Jared Waerea-Hargreaves bounded over, never looked like winning the contest but did, which says a lot about an unheralded squad.

''We kept fighting, that's the key,'' Minichiello said. ''You've just got to keep fighting in these games.''

Just as winning becomes a habit, so does losing. And the Rabbitohs, whose supporters still offer standing ovations at half-time - and count moral victories - have had their fair share of losses.

Michael Maguire is the right coach for the club but he still needs to overcome that hurdle. Last night, they came up against a resolute Roosters side that made their plays count. Which is exactly what the Rabbitohs had failed to do in the second half, when they had most of the ball and couldn't take advantage.

It will be a learning curve for the Rabbitohs' new halfback Adam Reynolds. It's no secret that playmakers are important to any side but there was more interest in the key halves in both sides than usual, and they both impressed.

One, Roosters five-eighth Daniel Mortimer, was making his club debut, while Souths' No.7 Reynolds was making his first-grade debut. Reynolds is a good player. But he is a Todd Carney-type player in tattoo-sleeves only. That is not a criticism; Maguire has already stated he is the right player for his style of coaching.

He is a player more likely to get his side out of trouble than create it. That might be exactly what the Rabbitohs need, when they eventually learn how to put a game away.

When the team got into the attacking 50, John Sutton seemed to take over. That might have had a bit to do with the Rabbitohs' advantage on their left side, where Greg Inglis and David Taylor were loitering alongside the No.6.

Many have noted that Sutton needed to lift to take pressure off Reynolds. The opposite might also occur; Reynolds might be the type of player who takes pressure off Sutton. A reliable man for an occasionally unreliable one.

Replacing Carney as Roosters five-eighth was not Braith Anasta, as expected, but Mortimer. The former Parramatta playmaker replaced Anasta on game day, after the captain was ruled out with a back injury.

Both newcomers performed admirably, being heavily involved in early endeavours. Reynolds kicked accurately for Chris McQueen's try while Mortimer followed with another pin-point effort for his second-rower Aidan Guerra. But they were both aided by their more experienced partners; the Roosters by half Mitchell Pearce and the Rabbitohs by Sutton, who looked more automatic than enigmatic, before he was felled by cramps.

Souths have spoken about the structures and the processes over the off-season, which have been buzzwords for successful line-ups in recent years, but they quickly broke down. The Rabbitohs' first two sets resulted in loss of possession, and subsequently the first points of the evening went the way of their opponents.

But the Rabbitohs' profligacy was more crucial in the second half, when they were in control. When the game was there for the taking, the team that has more experience winning took over.

The term waste not, want not, can apply to rugby league.

The Rabbitohs will be repeating that in their heads this morning. They wasted that one.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS 24 (A Guerra A Minichiello L Tasi J Waerea-Hargraves tries D Mortimer 4 goals) bt SOUTH SYDNEY 20 (M Crocker C McQueen J Sutton tries A Reynolds 4 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Gerard Sutton, Adam Devcich. Crowd: 18,278.

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A new era for South Sydney, but an all-too familiar problem. The Rabbitohs simply do not know how to win yet. The Roosters waited and waited and finally pounced, scoring twice in the final three minutes. Souths were guilty of going through the motions while their opponents kept the ball in motion.

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MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
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CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
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SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
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CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
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CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
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PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
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NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
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SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
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STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
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NQL vs STG 19:301300
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PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
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NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
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GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
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WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
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CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
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NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
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Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
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SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
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GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
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Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
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GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
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Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
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CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
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BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
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STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
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CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
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NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
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Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
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Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
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MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
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SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
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GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
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PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
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CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
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WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
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SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
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Round 19
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STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
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MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
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Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
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Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
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Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
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Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
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Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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