Bunnies keep finals hopes alive as Eels look to 2011

South Sydney’s spirit lives on, after they put the nail into the coffin on Parramatta’s poor 2011 season with a 24-16 win at ANZ Stadium.

In what was touted as a game of survival, with the losing team all but out of finals contention, it was the Rabbitohs who were the better side, and with the win, they jump over Brisbane into the top 8.

In what was a lacklustre first-half that ended in a 0-0 slug-out, testing many fans patience, the deadlock was finally broken when Rhys Wesser darted through to score the opening try.

The Eels looked as if they might have been staging a late resurgence when Justin Horo went over, before outgoing lock Feleti Mateo threw an offload that didn’t have to be thrown, and the Bunnies got a penalty that led to them scoring.

Several players were put on report, with Mateo the main culprit after engaging in a fight with Bunnies make-shift second rower Jaiman Lowe. He was unlucky not to be sin-binned or sent off after he started the fight.

Bunnies halfback Chris Sandow will also come under scrutiny for a dangerous throw on Justin Horo, that is sure to catch the eye of the NRL Match Review Committee.

Whilst over the moon that his players had kept Souths season alive, coach John Lang said that there was no point relying on other results to go their way.

“It would be great to be going down there and playing (the Dragons) for a spot in the final, but that’s out of our control now,” Lang said.

“There’s no point in doing all that (trying to work out possibilities), we’re in a situation where it can be good, it can be bad … we’ll know where we stand, we’ll just have to sit back and wait.

Eels coach Daniel Anderson acknowledged that his side lacked the creativity to score points and penetrate the Bunnies defence.

“That pretty much typified our season,” he said of the performance.

“There’s a few upset boys in there obviously … we’re out of our misery as far as September footy.

“We’ve had difficulty in our halves this year in establishing a confident pairing – we have to improve that area.”

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