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Is this the coach of the year? - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Tue, 21 Aug 2007 00:05:00 GMT
Jason Taylor remains a strong contender for the coach of the year award following South Sydney’s miracle 24-18 victory over Manly on Monday.

Taylor – who took the Eels to the finals in his first NRL coaching job last season – is on the verge of going one better should his side defeat the Wests Tigers in round 24.

The win puts South Sydney on 24-competition points and on the verge of appearing in a finals series for the first time since 1989.

It would be an incredible achievement for the Rabbitohs on top of better winning percentages and higher crowd averages since returning to the NRL in 2002.

Victory number 11 in 2007 once again was earned the hard way after the Sea Eagles ran out to an 18-6 lead at half-time care of 3 tries to Brett Stewart, Chris Hicks & Steve Menzies.

South Sydney’s solo try was delivered by Yileen Gordon off the back of a brilliant Jeremy Smith cross-field kick.

A controversial second half saw the Rabbitohs hold the visitors scoreless while landing 3 tries of their own, two of which came off the back of costly yet controversial penalties.

The South Sydney comeback kicked off in the 50th minute when hooker Isaac Luke ran in from dummy-half to ground the ball right on the line.

With a mountain of possession and momentum, the home side struck again 3 minute later when lock John Sutton stretched his arm out to plant the ball down.

The third conversion of the evening from five-eighth Joe Williams locked the scoreboard at 18-all until Fetuli Talanoa raced to the ball after a kick on the third tackle to steal the lead.

A failed intercept attempt from Souths almost proved costly but thankfully for most of the 12,087 in attendance the red and green defence stayed strong when it really counted.

Manly's loss has handed Melbourne back-to-back minor premierships unless they lose their last two fixtures which is highly unlikely pending divine intervention.

It wasn’t all bad news for Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler who did witness former teammate Steve Menzies score try number 165.

“It could have gotten away from us but it didn’t and I’m very proud of them,” proclaimed JT.

“We just hung in there and kept going for the whole 80 minutes and got the win in the end. We just kept at it and eventually it was very satisfying.

“If we play well we know we are a chance of beating any team.”

South Sydney 24 (Y Gordon, I Luke, J Sutton, F Talanoa tries; J Williams 4 goals) d Manly 18 (B Stewart, C Hicks, S Menzies; J Lyon 3 goals) - Read More, Here