David Sygall June 02, 2012
Thanks for joining us for the big game. Hope my blogging made some sense. Was a bit nervous on debut, but it's all up from here. Grab tomorrow's The Sun-Herald for all the wash-up - and there will be plenty! - from our experts, Adrian Proszenko and Daniel Lane. That's it from me, David Sygall. Catch you next time!
Just saw a replay of that field goal by Inu. It was ugly, wobbly, all over the place. But, from about 35 metres out, it flew through the posts. When you're hot, you're hot...
A remarkable game of rugby league. Reynolds, Inu, Graham and Barba the stars for Canterbury. After 20 minutes or so it really didn't look like their night, with Hunt and Taylor on the scorecard for Souths. But three tries at the back end of the first half, to Inu, Wright and Barba, got them back in business. The second half was a bit messier than the first, but no less exciting, as the Rabbitohs levelled it at 18-18. But then that man Inu potted a field goal to give the Bulldogs the edge. A try-saving tackle by Barba to deny Farrell the matchwinner with two minutes to go earned the Bulldogs the points, before a try to Stagg finished off the match in style. That's four in a row for the Bulldogs, who are fast becoming one of the premiership favourites.
80m: It's a short kick off. Souths regain the ball but a wayward pass is pounced on by Inu. And that's it!!
80m: Inu takes the conversion attempt and it's gone wide. But there's only seconds remaining.
79m: David Stagg finishes the move. It's a remarkable swing of fortune. Inu got it to Stagg at close range and he managed to get across the line to score the matchwinner.
78m: And the Bulldogs have gone up the other end and SCORED A TRY!!!
78m: Farrell dived for the line to try to avoid Barba's tackle. But the Dogs' fullback did the damage, pushing Farrell's foot into touch just before the centre grounded the ball over the line. Amazing!!!!!
78m: Burgess makes a bust!!! Outside ball to Farrell who sprints for the line - but was he out before he grounded it?????
78m: Ennis kicks downfield and Inglis runs it up. Minutes counting down...
77m: The Bunnies get us underway again. Can you believe what a month Krisnan Inu has had?? Has he just won another game for his new club? It's the first field goal of his career. It's 19-18.
76m: Inu field goal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dislocated shoulder, it appears, to Tim Lafai, the Bulldogs centre. Poor bloke is being escorted off. Will force a reshuffle of the backline.
75m: And now the Rabbitohs lose the ball! Finally the wet weather - and fatigue - must be taking a toll.
74m: Dogs throwing it around - and Kasiano loses it!
Both sides now must be thinking of a field goal... But neither can get into good position.
73m: Dave Taylor loses the ball after a clever tackle by Keating.
Still 18-18. Game's there to be won.
72m: Inu is penalised now. Merritt fielded a bomb but was stripped of the ball by Inu after the tackle had been affected. Might have been a tough call against Inu.
71m: Souths do the same thing though - the ball's gone over the deadball and now it's Canterbury's turn to work it out of defence.
69m: Wright kicks inside but it's just too big and goes over the deadball line. Souths run it up now.
Peculiar stage of the game. Both sides struggling to hold possesssion.
68m: Now Tyrrell loses the ball for Souths!
67m: But they've been penalised! Josh Reynolds ruled to have joined the play despite being way offside when the play began. What was he doing that far downfield? He must have been injured and then got up to join the play. Weird!
67m: Long kick by Reynolds. But Dogs make a break and sprint out of their defensive area.
65m: Keating looking threatening running to the line. Reynolds chips on the last and Farrell comes up with it for Souths.
64m: Forward pass by Inglis! Bulldogs will get the ball back.
But they've lost the ball with a tackle to go and Issac Luke gains possession for Souths.
63m: Dogs on the attack.
63m: Hunt is smashed at fullback when Halatau times his tackle well after Hunt took a bomb. Drop out is taken by Inglis.
62m: Sutton's kick goes over the deadball line. Bulldogs making good metres out of their own area.
61m: My pizza has just arrived.
60m: Fifth tackle - Reynolds keeps it low at the base of the upright but Barba fields it well. Good hands again.
58m: Inu knocks on and Souths have the ball from a scrum.
57m: Adam Reynolds' bomb is well held by Barba who gets monstered by the defence after taking the ball.
57m: Inglis shows great hands to field a kick from Reynolds. Souths running it up, about to enter Canterbury's half.
54m: Adam Reynolds scores the extra two points. It's 18-18 folks. Going to be a big finish!!
Interesting stat - Bunnies have scored more tries after receiving penalties than any other side. This one adds to the list.
53m: Dylan Farrell punces on Sutton's kick into the in-goal and the video ref says TRY!
This is a fiery game!
51m: Rabbitohs resent the treatment of John Sutton by Taupau and Crocker comes running in. Original decision was a penalty to Souths, but Crocker nearly gave it away with his reaction.
49m: Inglis, you freak! Pushes away from three or four defenders, offloads to Crocker. But on the next play the Bunnies lose it and Canterbury start running the ball up.
48m: Dale Finucane gets his first run in the NRL, for the Bulldogs.
48m: Wright runs it up after a clearing kick by the Rabbits. Inu shows his confidence by offloading early in the tackle count. But Souths defending well.
47m: A let off for the Rabbits, with poor ball security from Barba.
45m: Knock on by Hunt from a long Bulldogs kick. One of those horror knock ons by a fullback.. Ouch! Puts the Bulldogs in prime position.
44m: Reynolds grubbers through for himself and nearly regathers near the line - but just couldn't hold on. It's a knock on and Souths have a reprieve.
43m: Bulldogs working the ball up.
Some words from our man at the ground, Adrian Proszenko: "We have a massive momentum shift at ANZ Stadium. The Bunnies, sporting no less than three Burgess brothers, appeared on course for a commanding victory. However, the most acclaimed of the trio, Sam, got into a stink and the result was a penalty, followed by a try ... and then two more for good measure. It's raining bombs and Burgesses ... this one is living up to the hype."
Just having a read of the preview and I guess no one should be surprised with Bulldogs' comeback. Twice in the past month they've trailed by more than six points only to come back and win comfortably. And, yes, I'll admit one of those wins was against my team, the Roosters.. But anyway, on with the show. Just a minute or two until the second half starts.
It's half time. That was huge!! Souths sprinted out of the blocks, grabbing a 12-0 lead. But the Bulldogs can never be underestimated. They came storming back with three tries in a short space of time to steal an unlikely 18-12 lead at half time.
Time for everyone to regain their wits. Back soon!!
40m: Kasiano loses the ball with the Bulldogs looking like they'd go for a field goal.
39m: Souths lose the ball working it out of their 20m. Finally Burgess cleans up and it's a drop out.
38m: Conversion is successful by Inu - and Canterbury has the lead by 18-12.
37m: Ok, I've realised that I haven't put the word 'TRY' into bold - so TRY TRY TRY
36m: Barba scores a try!! That's three in about seven minutes. Great kick from Josh Reynolds, took a slight deflection of Crocker's hands and into Barba's mits for the four pointer.
35m: Bulldogs penalty for Souths being offside.
34m: George Burgess on the field for Souths. Welcome to the NRL.
Great comeback by the Bulldogs. Inu from the sideline again and .... IT'S THERE! 12-12!
3m: They've gone back to back! They swing from left to right and Jonathan Wright crashes over in the corner!!
32m: Barba makes a break!
31m: 'Dogs earn their second penalty of the match. Souths lying all over the tackled player.
29m: Ok, Inu now hoping to convert from the sideline. Maybe the stink between Burgess and Graham will fire up the 'Dogs. Inu converts from the sideline!!! 12-6 to Souths.
Wow! What a start to this game. It's all action. My fingers are hurting.
28m: Inu scores a try!!! Barba throws the final pass. The wide ball started with Ennis at dummy half. Inu crosses over out wide on the left.
Canterbury now on the attack.
Penalty looks like it's going against Burgess. He got the ball after a knock on in goal by Souths, ran at Graham, which precipitated a stink. Great stuff between the two big Englishmen.
25m: And it's on!! Burgess and Graham going at it!
25m: Adam Reynolds is successful with the shot and it's 12-0 to South Sydney. A deserved lead, really.
eynolds will take the shot at two..
This time it's a high tackle by Corey Payne
24m: Another penalty against Canterbury!!
22m: Barba's bomb is fielded - and now Canterbury gives away a penalty! What a let off for Souths.
22m: Lafai runs wide and makes ground for Canterbury.
21m: Bulldogs starting to work back into the game. A good set of six and Souths are on the back foot for the first time.
Back up and at 'em now.
John Sutton is down, looks like he took a knock in the back of the head from James Graham
Wasn't a nasty spear, but went over the horizontal.
18m: But they've lost the ball. And now the Bulldogs have given away a penalty after a spear tackle on Crocker.
18m: Yet again, the Bulldogs have to work it out of their half. Ennis makes some ground.
Adam Reynolds slots the conversion. It's 10-0 to Souths after 16 minutes. Brilliant start for the Bunnies!
That's eight for the season for Taylor.
15m: And what do you know? Dave Taylor smashes through Stagg, weaves past Barba and crashes over for Souths' second try!
14m: Penalty to the Bunnies now. Souths deep inside the Bulldogs' half.
Forced Merritt to knock and the Bulldogs have possession.
12m: Try saving tackle on Merritt after Luke found Inglis, who offloaded to Merritt. Merritt mowed down by Barba. Great tackle just short of the line.
Souths with nearly 70 percent of the ball so far.
10m: Change over and Canterbury have some respite again. Can't afford a mistake now. Souths smell blood.
9m: Fifth tackle play comes to nothing and Canterbury have the ball - but kick it away again, leaving Souths with a full count just outside the attacking half.
9m: Souths forwards charging up. Sutton making yards around the ruck
8m: Bulldogs working it out of their 20m again. They're under pressure early
7m: Dogs kick the ball downfield and Inglis runs it up
5m: Wright now has the ball and the Bulldogs need to work it out of their territory
4m: Conversion attempt from the sideline ...... hits the upright! 4-0 to Souths
They drew in defenders, Sam Burgess got his hands free, offloaded on his outside and it was all over, with Hunt finishing the try out wide.
Justin Hunt scores after some beautiful hands down the left side of the field
2m: Rabbitohs in good field position now. And it's a try just like that!!
1m: Long kick down the ground. Bulldogs have their first touch - but Kasiano has lost the ball
And we're off! Souths have the ball first. Crocker runs it up
Both sides are on the field now. Just moments to go till we get underway.
Calf strain for Pettybourne, Chris McQueen into the starting line up.
Ok, there appears to be some drama - word is that Eddy Pettybourne has been injured in the warm up..
At ANZ, Canterbury hold the advantage with 10 wins from the teams' 13 meetings, including five of the past seven.
For the history buffs - these teams have played 143 times, the Bulldogs have won 75, Souths 64 and there have been 4 draws.
About half an hour to till kick off in this Saturday night blockbuster between two massive in-form Sydney teams. The Dogs are looking to make it three on the trot. Souths are hoping to make it five in a row. This game's got the makings of a classic - Barba, Inglis, Taylor, Burgesses, Inu - even a debut NRL blogger who hopefully won't screw up too often..
Righto, we've got the team changes for you. And there's a few. For the Bulldogs, David Stagg comes into the starting side, Greg Eastwood is out with a bung hammy. Trent Hodkinson's gone from the interchange, with Martin Tapau and Dale Finucane on the bench.
For the Rabbitohs, Scott Geddes is out and George Burgess debuts from the bench to make it three Burgess brothers in action tonight. Matt King is also scratched, while Justin Hunt moves into the centres from the interchange.
Got all that?!!!
David Sygall pulls rank on 'Sonny' Phil Mitchell to bring you all the action from the Saturday night blockbuster.
Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium 7.30pm
Head to Head: Bulldogs 75 Souths 64 drawn 4
Last clash: Round 6 2012 - Souths 20 bt Bulldogs 10 at ANZ Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Bulldogs $2.05 Souths $1.80
FootyTAB: Bulldogs +2.5
Canterbury looked slick on Monday night against the Roosters, but the short turnaround to a Saturday game is the toughest in the competition. Even more fearsome is a Bunnies team that is running rampant right now - Greg Inglis looks unstoppable, Adam Reynolds unflappable and they've turned that into a four-game winning streak. The Bulldogs are humming along nicely as well thanks to smart-passing forwards and their own brilliant fullback, Ben Barba.
Key: Could it be Krisnan Inu again? The former Parramatta and Warriors centre was brilliant in his Bulldogs debut.