Rabbitohs minor premiership hopes take a hit with loss to Raiders

Canberra Raiders utility Blake Austin

It was a match the South Sydney Rabbitohs were expected to win but the Canberra Raiders had other plans. 

In their final home game of the season, departing trio Junior Paulo, Shannon Boyd and Blake Austin capped it off with a win.

The signs are starting to become worrisome for the Bunnies who have now lost three games in a row.

It was the Rabbitohs who started the brighter of the two sides; Cody Walker scoring first, slicing and dicing his way over to score.

The return of Greg Inglis seemed to galvanise the Bunnies troops and the captain would score, brushing off Joey Leilua to dive over.

An Adam Reynolds penalty goal from almost right in front then gifted the cardinal and myrtle faithful a 12-0 lead.

The Raiders would finally get on the board in the 30th minute when Michael Oldfield just reached a Josh Hodgson grubber before it went dead.

The momentum then began to shift in the second half in favour of the Raiders.

First, Jason Clark was sin-binned for the Bunnies for a professional foul.

This was soon followed by a second try to Oldfield, who thundered onto a Josh Hodgson pass and found his way over to score.

It just got worse for the Rabbitohs. Their next try came after a towering Blake Austin bomb left Souths fullback Alex Johnston wrong-footed.

The ensuing play saw Austin and Iosia Soliola combine, with the forward coasting over with ease.

Nick Cotric then made his presence felt, with raw power and nifty feet before planting the ball down to score.

A late penalty goal to Sam Williams and that was all she wrote, giving the Raiders a win in their last home game of 2018.

In the last two weeks, the Raiders have shown that they are capable of playing good footy.

Though if they want to get serious about finals footy, coach Ricky Stuart knows they need this sort of form much earlier.

“I’m very excited about the quality of football and the way we won over the last two weeks,” Stuart said.

“I know as a coach we’ve got that in us and we’ve got to get more of it for our fans and for us.

“But we’ve got to get more resilience and composure, which we showed is in us over the last two games.”

Anthony Seibold slammed his Rabbitohs outfit, particularly their consistent errors that denied them numerous chances to attack.

“The Raiders were outstanding last week, so we were prepared for their best,” Seibold said.

“I thought our effort areas were much improved from last week, I’m really disappointed with our performance today, but our effort areas were really high.

“From our point of view, it is just unacceptable to make continual errors, and then expect to win games at NRL level.”

Player of the Game:

3. Blake Austin

2. Michael Oldfield

  1. Josh Hodgson

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