Souths beat Cowboys 20-16 in NRL

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    South Sydney moved back into the NRL top eight, punishing a slow-starting North Queensland to run out 20-16 winners at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

    Daylight saving might have ended a month ago but the Cowboys looked like they were still an hour behind at the kick-off, allowing the Rabbitohs to surge to an early 20-0 lead that proved just enough.

    The Cowboys scored three second-half tries, including a double to Ashley Graham, to give themselves a chance of a dramatic comeback, but South Sydney’s start proved far too big.

    The Rabbitohs kept pace with the clock over the opening quarter, the Cowboys paying dearly for a lack of discipline and soft goal-line defence.

    The first two tries came directly on the back of offside penalties, while the efforts to stop Greg Inglis and Issac Luke from close range were dreadful.

    Ray Thompson was out of his depth when he was left one-on-one facing up to Inglis after seven minutes, but even four defenders could not deny Luke in a trademark twisting effort from dummy half on 12 minutes.

    Another penalty allowed the Rabbitohs to extend their advantage beyond two converted tries and they went within millimetres of going further in front when Nathan Merritt – playing his first game of 2012 after overcoming a toe injury – fumbled an athletic leap for a high ball.

    It was a temporary moment of rest for the scoreboard attendant with Dave Taylor living up to his nickname as the ‘coal train’ rumbled over from close range.

    The Cowboys finally were awarded their first penalty in the 24th minute, but it only served to help keep Souths at bay until the break.

    Their ears ringing from a dressing down from coach Neil Henry, the Cowboys had more spark to their play when they resumed, and there was sign of life when James Segeyaro dived over seven minutes after the restart.

    A penalty once again provided the impetus for another try, this time the Cowboys the beneficiaries as Graham did brilliantly to get under the defence for his first.

    The visitors were full of running and it appeared 20 points wasn’t going to be enough for the Rabbitohs, but their excitement failed to match their execution as Matt Bowen’s long ball for an unmarked Graham found the sideline advertising.

    The winger eventually scored his ninth try in eight games four minutes from the finish, but the Cowboys ran out of time to reel in the home side.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • April 29th 2012 @ 9:20am
      mike from tari said | April 29th 2012 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Poor display of reffing, Steve Lyons is hopeless, the commentators had a distinct cowboys flavour, Thurston knocks on & the cowboys score, Souths Captain goes the blind from a scrum and goes out first tackle, I cant for the life of work out how long a player can be held down before being penalized, give us all a break & do something right for once.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 11:05pm
        Queensland's Game is Rugby League said | April 30th 2012 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

        Souths were holding down far longer in the tackles during the first half. They should consider themselves lucky they weren’t penalised for it.

    • April 29th 2012 @ 11:59am
      Bearfax said | April 29th 2012 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      As is well known I’m one of those despised Manly supporters but I watched the Souths-North Queensland match and I thought it was a game of two halves in many respects. First 20 minutes Souths dominated and how they can consider letting Taylor go (suggests someone needs some psychiatric help). Second twenty minutes of the first half was more even and close but Souths held on. Was a promising game up until then.

      Second half, as Mike from Tari mentioned, was marred by some of the worst refereeing I’ve seen in years. The Refs missed knock ons, forward passes, one crazy moment with the Cowboys restarting from the 20 metres when they should have been penalised and instead Souths were. I dont think Souths received a penalty throughout the second half but they copped a succession of penalties, many for frivolous reasons, which the other side should have been penalised for just as easily. I dont want to suggest bias, but it seems that both referees had lost the plot and to the Cowboys advantage. That’s not to say the Cowboys didnt play well in the second half. But the result was much closer than it should have been, had the refereeing balance been more equitable.

      Souths played very well under difficult circumstances and deserved their win. The Cowboys were competitive and Thurston was trying his heart out, but frankly the better team won and should have won more easily.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 11:10pm
        Queensland's Game is Rugby League said | April 30th 2012 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        Bowen had a poor game. He botched a couple of tries.

        The refs allowed Souths to hold the tackled player down for far too long during the 1st half. Maybe the bias you’re accusing them of showing towards the Cowboys in the 2nd half was a square up.

        Neil Henry needs to make a few changes to rid the team of its complacent attitude. The defence was terrible in the first 20 minutes. The line speed was lacklustre. Souths did not earn any of their tries: the first was was on the back of Cowboys defence not moving off their tryline; the second one was down to laziness from Cooper; the third was poor communication between Johnson and Sims and an inability to get up off their line quickly. If the Cowboys played to their potential then Souths wouldn’t have scored a point.

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