The South Sydney Rabbitohs have slaughtered the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in a 38-0 Good Friday masterclass at Stadium Australia.
With the loss, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have become only the second team in the NRL-era to not register a point in three consecutive matches.
While many pundits were expecting South Sydney to run away with the game in the first half, the Bulldogs demonstrated strong resolve to keep the Bunnies scoreless for the first fifteen minutes.
The Bulldogs dominated the possession stakes through this period, giving the Rabbitohs just 40% of the ball.
Their cause wasn’t helped however when halfback Lachlan Lewis was ruled out of the game early with a concussion.
It was Josh Mansour who got the scoring underway, receiving the ball on the end of a sharp left-to-right shift before crossing for his second try in as many weeks.
Adam Reynolds then converted a penalty goal after a crusher tackle on Cameron Murray to give the Rabbitohs an 8-0 lead.
Just as it appeared that the Bulldogs would keep the contest tight at halftime, Damien Cook took advantage of a poor defensive read from Dean Britt to break the line.
He then sent Cody Walker away to score untouched and Souths would hold onto their fourteen-point buffer as both sides hit the sheds.
— NRL (@NRL) April 2, 2021
Following the trend of past Good Friday encounters, the game was full of aggression and repeatedly threatened to boil over in a series of scuffles.
The next try was a near mirror image of the last, with Damien Cook scooting out of dummy-half before pushing two bulldogs defenders out of the way, breaking the line, and passing to an unmarked Walker.
Alex Johnston and Latrell Mitchell both crossed for their first tries of the afternoon shortly after, latching onto a pair of perfectly weighted kicks.
Johnston caught a cross-field chip from Cody Walker while Mitchell chased down a Benji Marshall grubber to extend the lead past 30 points.
— NRL (@NRL) April 2, 2021
Adam Reynolds then charged down a Kyle Flanagan kick and ran sixty metres to score in the final minute to rub salt into the Bulldogs’ wounds.
Canterbury had several opportunities within the attacking zone throughout the match, but they failed to trouble the scorers with a lacklustre display.
Their 16 points over the first four rounds is the lowest total achieved by any side in the NRL era and the lowest since Glebe in 1928.
The Bulldogs remain in 15th place on the ladder while South Sydney has secured their place in the top eight for the remainder of the weekend.
They will however be sweating on the availability of Cody Walker, who struck Nick Meaney in the head with his elbow in an incident that drew comparisons to Felise Kaufusi’s recent attack on Ryan Matterson.
South Sydney will advance to play the Broncos next Thursday night while the task gets no easier for the Bulldogs, who will return to Stadium Australia to face Melbourne next Saturday.
NRL News Player of the Game:
3 Points – Damien Cook – No tries for Cook tonight but he was instrumental in the win with two try assists, two line-breaks, and forty tackles.
2 Points – Cody Walker – Walker’s emotions threatened to get the best of him in some fiery moments, but he crossed for two tries and put in a beautiful kick for Alex Johnston’s try.
1 Point – Latrell Mitchell – He wasn’t the star of the show, but Latrell played his part to perfection with one try and one try assist.