The Canterbury Bulldogs gave the Bunnies the perfect chance to snatch last spot, but they failed to capitalise following a 38-24 loss against a punishing Dragons side.

The Dogs win earlier on in the day meant that if the Bunnies beat the Dragons by 5 points, they could sneak into 8th position and face a re-match with the Dragons, but it wasn’t to be.

The Dragons, knowing full well that they had the minor premiership sewn up rested several players in Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby, Dean Young and outgoing lock Jeremy Smith.

Whilst resting players may have given the impression that the Dragons would take the game easily, this was hardly the case as they took a quick lead courtesy of a hat-trick from Ben Creagh.

St George Illawarra can also be happy at the fact that they managed to avoid facing their bogey side, the Canberra Raiders after the Bulldogs beat Manly earlier on in the day.

The Rabbitohs had many chances to make the 8, but they fluffed them all and paid the ultimate price, thus missing out on the finals series for 2010.

Theyplayed with heart and with passion, but they just couldn’t match it with a tough and physical Dragons side who are prime favourites to take out the 2010 premiership.

The only concern for the Dragons is centre Beu Scott being placed on report for a high tackle in the 60th minute, that could land him in hot water.

Souths coach John Lang admitted that his side couldn’t deal with the pressure that was faced with them heading into the game.

“I think we did a bit to be perfectly honest. It was exciting to be given an opportunity to try and force our way into the finals but I do think the occasion did get to some of the boys,” said Lang.

“It was a strange old week, there was good energy amongst the boys during the week and then to sit all weekend waiting to see if we were going to be playing for a spot … We probably didn’t do ourselves a lot of help and they had rested a number of their top line players.”

St George coach Wayne Bennett said that he rested players due to niggling injuries, and was delighted with the efforts of Nathan Fien and Kyle Stanley who stood up in their absence.

“We’ve just got to wait and see haven’t we, we’re right where we were last year and over the next weeks that are in front of us we’ll see whether we’ve learnt anything and if we’ve improved or if we haven’t,” Bennett said.

By ricky

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