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It could have been worse - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Mon, 30 Apr 2007 08:58:00 GMT
Inspirational prop Roy Asotasi gave South Sydney fans the only piece of good news yesterday after watching his side fall down 18-16 at the final hurdle against New Zealand.

Coming off worse for wear in a 3-man gang tackle on former Bulldogs teammate Steve Price in the 71st minute ,the Kiwi test international then left field for the remainder of the game.

However at the post-match press conference he confirmed he’d only ‘jarred’ the back of his neck and that it was ‘nothing serious.’ Asotasi is expected to play in round 8.

Up 16-8 with 9 minutes left on the clock, the Rabbitohs late insurgence through two converted tries to a Nathan Merritt intercept and a David Fa’alago grounding appeared to have got the home side over the line.

But looks proved to be very deceiving yesterday with the Warriors leading for just over an hour before the Bunnies produced the sort of magic usually only reserved for David Copperfield.

But then a Wade McKinnon break up the middle off a Steve Price offload spun the wheel of fortune back in the Warriors favour.

It remains an up in the air hypothetical if Price would’ve had a free arm to crash the party had Asotasi still been on duty yet one worth thinking about.

One defensive lapse South Sydney’s biggest signing of the season couldn’t have rescued his side from was the try that Todd Byrne scored that helped New Zealand steal the game inside the final minute of play.

A kick from five-eighth Michael Witt into the right corner with seconds remaining then turned the dream ending into a nightmare for Jason Taylor when Todd Byrne took advantage of Shannon Hegarty and Nathan Merritt being up in the line before crossing over in the corner.

“The most disappointing thing is how hard we worked in the game” Rabbitohs coach Jason Taylor said.

“About 4 times we didn’t get to a kick on the last tackle. In the end it got us.

“We need to work out how to finish off a game.”

It was a disappointing result on a day when Rabbitohs fullback David Peachey was celebrating his 250th first grade game in front of Souths and Cronulla fans.

The game was perhaps only marred by the constant need to refer to the video referee to check for obstruction.

There is a belief that the current rule has not improved things and is only assisting the referee in finding more penalties while killing off the ability of teams to execute decoys.

The result? Some in the media jokingly calling for a crisis summit on the matter.

“79 minutes of torture, 1 minute of ecstasy” was how Warriors coach Ivan Cleary summed up his side’s get out of jail performance.

To the credit of Souths, this was a big improvement on their last game against the Warriors. This time they only lost by 2-points instead of 66.

The Rabbitohs also went down 28-18 against the Balmain Tigers in Jersey Flegg.

The only other disappointment was 2GB Continous Call Team member Daryl Brohman not handing out a ‘Mickey Mouse’ award to the worst player of the match.

Brohman had suggested the idea on Saturday yet opted not to present the award.

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New Zealand 18 (T Byrne, W McKinnon, G Rovelli tries; T Martin 3 goals) d South Sydney 16 (D Fa’alago, N Merritt, N Vagana tries; J Williams 2 goals) at Telstra Stadium. Referee: Jason Robinson Crowd: 13,044. Penalties: Souths 12-10 Line Breaks: Souths 3-2 Missed Tackles: Souths 31 Warriors 24. - Read More, Here