Real Bunnies return - Australian Rugby league News
Backglobalrugbyleague - Sat, 09 Jun 2007 10:44:00 GMT
South Sydney marched right back into the winners circle in round 13 with a well deserved 14-4 victory over inconsistent Penrith at a rained out Telstra Stadium.
Hoping to end a winless drought dating back to round 7, the Rabbitohs simply found too many holes to run in to be denied some overdue competition points.
Aided by the charitable penalties and crucial errors of the opposition, the Bunnies had too much momentum, too many opportunities and a greater level of desperation.
And while their losing streak was broken, so too were some other past records with the home side holding an opposition tryless for the first time since re-entering the competition in 2002.
The last time the red and green pulled off that trick was against the Panthers in 1999 when they defeated them 20-0.
As they did in two of their previous 5 losses, Souths put first points on the scoreboard when winger Paul Mellor crossed off a Dean Widders grubber.
With the first conversion attempt going astray, the devoted faithful in the mostly red and green crowd then had to look on in agony inside their ponchos as the Panthers clawed their way back to level the scores at 4-all on the back of two Michael Gordon penalty goals.
The second-half was marked with plenty of danger signals for Panthers coach Mathew Elliot when Ben Rogers was narrowly denied a try by the video referee in the 45th minute.
Rogers was ruled to have knocked on a Jeremy Smith grubber short of the line.
Help finally arrived in the form of interim goal kicker Nathan Merritt who then took advantage of a silly serving of penalties donated by Penrith deep inside their own territory.
The first came in the 62nd minute after Luke Lewis ‘crowded the player’ as Merritt tried to play the ball. Merritt’s shot from in front handed Souths a two-point lead.
Peter Wallace – who was having what we’ll just call a ‘creative’ night of football – then delivered a beautifully timed high-tackle and another free shot in front for the accurate foot of Merritt.
Two repeat sets for Souths was the pressure potion they needed to score the last try of the game with David Peachey being awarded a benefit of the doubt try in the 77th minute.
Merritt’s final conversion of the night sent most of the 5,053 home with a smile on their face.
On the small minority that braved the wild storms engulfing NSW, NRL CEO David Gallop said "If we gave frequent flyer points, the people here tonight would get double."
Should fans who turn up to NRL games in poor weather be compensated? Send your thoughts to us via our contact form at the bottom of the article.
Meanwhile in Jersey Flegg, South Sydney Juniors and Penrith battled it out to a nil-all scoreline due to the game being postponed because of the weather.
South Sydney 14 (P Mellor, D Peachey tries; N Merritt 3 goals) d Penrith 4 (M Gordon 2 goals) at Telstra Stadium. Referee: P Simpkins Crowd: 5,053. Penalties: Souths 9-6 Line Breaks: Souths 1-all Completed Sets: Souths 37/46 Penrith 24/39 - Read More, Here