Highlights: Souths beat Dragons, back in NRL top eight

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    South Sydney have temporarily moved back into the NRL top eight courtesy of a questionable try to second-rower Paul Carter in their 34-24 win over St George Illawarra.

    The Rabbitohs led 20-18 with 18 minutes to go when Carter planted his hand on an Adam Reynolds grubber. It was missed by teammate Sam Burgess and, according to the bunker, not grounded in-goal by Dragons fullback Josh Dugan.

    Replays showed a small knock-on by Carter in the lead-up, however Bryson Goodwin sealed the win by taking another Reynolds kick – his third try assist of the night – in the 74th minute.

    In his final outing before the naming of the NSW State of Origin team, Reynolds then kicked an 80th-minute penalty, becoming just the fourth player in the foundation club’s history to crack the 800-point mark.

    In front of a crowd of 12,054 at ANZ Stadium, the Rabbitohs overcame a horror night with the ball to register back-to-back wins and leap the Dragons into the top half of the ladder.

    Tom Burgess turned the ball over in the opening set of the game that resulted in a 2nd-minute try to Jake Marketo, while Sam Burgess and Reynolds also dropped the ball inside the opening 15 minutes.

    Third brother George also lost his marbles seconds into the second half.

    However, led by the pinpoint kicking of Reynolds, the Rabbitohs showed great resolve, twice coming from behind in the first half to take an unlikely 14-12 lead into the sheds.

    Utility Cody Walker – the Rabbitohs’ third fullback in as many games – scored a sublime individual try on the stroke of halftime to rub out a poor opening 40 minutes by the team.

    Opposition pivots Gareth Widdop and Greg Inglis traded highlight-reel plays in the space of just seven minutes, Widdop first showing quick hands to send Tim Lafai on an 80-metre run, before Inglis returned serve with a 30-metre cutout for Dane Nielsen.

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • Roar Guru

      May 20th 2016 @ 8:18am
      M.O.C. said | May 20th 2016 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      I feel for Souths supporters these days, it must be frustrating watching stupid mistakes such as wingers ignoring the ball bouncing towards their own try line and instead, trying to shepherd the opposition winger out of play rather than just race for the ball. The Burgess twins drop every second ball thrown to them and the Bunnies forgetting that you probably should mark up in defence following a 20m restart rather then let the opposition run the length of the the field to score. The coach much be going nuts with the stupidity on show.The only ones more frustrated must be Saints supporters who just watched their team get beaten by the afore mentioned rabble.

      • May 20th 2016 @ 9:16am
        Ken said | May 20th 2016 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        As a Saints supporter it was frustrating on two fronts. Firstly the middle-third defence that was so strong last year was leaking metres last night. Sure, Souths have three Burgii + Brown – big, fast hard-runners – but it was all to easy to run simple one-off the ruck or inside balls and find plenty of space.

        The second frustration was the reffing. Yeah I know losing fan complaining about bad calls and ignoring any that went their way is a common trope, but there were some major shockers there and they all seemed to lead to tries. Like when they dragged Dugan 10m to the sideline when the ball was clearly grounded, or when Carter knocked it on twice at crucial times and was allowed to play on, or the ruling that Dugan didn’t ground the ball (check the way the ball suddenly stopped rotating)…. OK I’ll stop now, I’m becoming a caricature. It didn’t help that I had no beer in the fridge last night while watching….

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2016 @ 10:11am
          Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          The reffing last night was pretty bad, but the calls seemed to go both ways. There were a few calls I thought were lucky to go Souths’ way, but by the same standard, the Dragons never got pinged for holding the tackled player down. Which they did. A lot. There were a few high shots that went unpenalised.

          Just on the point about Dugan being taken over the sideline, I will say this: I loved seeing it, and not just because I’m a Souths supporter.
          Dugan is one of the worst offenders when it comes to surrendering. When he collects a kick on his own tryline, he dives to the ground even when there isn’t a defender in sight. I know the rules say that a player can dive back into the field of play, but considering that the voluntary tackle rule seems to be all but forgotten about, players (and especially Dugan) will hit the deck if they are even remotely close to their own tryline with a defender coming in. I don’t like it and it’s not in the spirit of the game.

          Last night, Dugan did it again because he was near the sideline and this time he was made to pay. Yes, the ball had touched the ground, but considering nobody was actually tackling him at the time, the defenders are more than welcome to take him over the side as long as it is in one motion.

          This used to be a completely commonplace thing, but these days a ref will call held if a player looks even remotely close to going over the sideline or forced back in goal because they are so afraid of copping any backlash. It stifles the spontaneity of the game and rewards hitting the deck over good defense.

          • May 20th 2016 @ 10:38am
            Ken said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            I can’t disagree that I’m one-eyed – I basically admitted it in my reply. I would say though that I’m usually uninterested in the back and forth of arguing whether the calls against my team outweighed the call against the other team. It just felt particularly significant last night, where fairly blatant stuff was let go and happened to lead to points. But yep, losing fan blaming the ref is not especially original.

            I would disagree with a few other points though. Firstly I don’t think Dugan is a particularly noteworthy example of someone that dives for the ground. All experienced players will do it close to their tryline to avoid being forced back, Dugan’s no exception, but it’s otherwise hard to argue that the leading metre gaining fullback in the comp is a serial surrenderer. I’m basically on your side that the voluntary tackle rule should be enforced though, don’t like the current situation much myself.

            In the particular incident, I’m a little baffled by you saying that nobody was tackling Dugan when the ball was on the ground. He was horizontal with the ball on the ground being dragged across the turf by three players – the tackle was clearly completed some 5 metres before he reached the sideline – it was a nonsense ruling and not play that should be encouraged.

            • Roar Guru

              May 20th 2016 @ 12:34pm
              Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              Thanks Ken, I know we’re probably going to disagree on this, but I’m arguing that Dugan hit the ground before anybody tackled him so the first defenders on the scene just dragged him over, rather than flopping on him. Bill Harrigan made a similar point as well.

              Jeez I’d love to see the voluntary tackle rule enforced again. There’s something so frustrating about watching players dive instead of taking on the defense.

              • May 20th 2016 @ 2:07pm
                Ken said | May 20th 2016 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                Sorry mate, I’m trying to look beyond my red and white eyes but all I can see is Bill Harrigan talking himself around a corner as he is occasionally prone to do.

                For simplicity let’s abstract it away from last nights scenario and just consider that a player has hit the ground on purpose for safety. Apart from consistency, neither of us would have an issue with that being blown as a voluntary tackle.

                Where it loses me is the idea of a rule that says ‘if the defender believes the player has dived but the ref refuses to call a voluntary tackle, then the defender gains the right to drag the attacking player as far across the turf as they like’.

                Such a rule does not exist.

          • Roar Guru

            May 20th 2016 @ 11:40am
            Nathan Absalom said | May 20th 2016 @ 11:40am | ! Report

            I’ve always thought that rule needed clarifying. There’s going to be ambiguity in whether the player is tackled or not, so I think it would be better to give the referee the option of ordering the play the ball to be taken back inside the field if they call held before the players is carried into touch. This would be similar to if a player offloads after held is called. If it’s blatant you can still call a penalty. If you’re just diving to the ground the ref won’t help you and players will quickly learn.

            • Roar Guru

              May 20th 2016 @ 12:36pm
              Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Yeah that seems fair. If 3 players are shovelling a player towards the sideline and the ref calls held, there’s a fair bit of momentum there and they can’t just stop. I’d rather see a play the ball allowed, instead of a penalty.

          • May 20th 2016 @ 3:13pm
            craig swanson said | May 20th 2016 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

            I have supported the Dragons for over 50 years and I am with you on Dugan;; this bloke is oh so over rated. The Tele waxes lyrical about his huge metres every game. Take a look at footage of the number of times metres are eaten up when he crabs cross field or when he runs freely back to the 25 after securing in goal ball. He may be ok in defense but a lot of tries are scored against the Red V when he plays at the back. Every week I look to see if he will live up to all the hype and every week I am disappointed.

        • May 20th 2016 @ 3:06pm
          craig swanson said | May 20th 2016 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

          You are spot on about the poor refereeing. Not the first game it has burned the Red V. Our marker defense needs a lot of work. We need a quality half back and a big metre eater in the engine room. We also need Peter Doust to resign for someone who will build this club back to somewhere near its former greatness.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 20th 2016 @ 11:29am
        steveng said | May 20th 2016 @ 11:29am | ! Report

        Thanks M.O.C, we are a suffering breed that is for sure and we are being abused every week!!! Last nights performance by the Rabbitohs was abysmal and in some parts of the game unbelievably bad. They were lucky to win!

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2016 @ 12:37pm
          Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          I disagree steveng, apart from all the drop ball and a couple of defensive errors, I thought Rabbitohs played well.

          I think if they had managed to complete more sets they would have scored a lot more tries.

          • May 20th 2016 @ 2:18pm
            Worlds Biggest said | May 20th 2016 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            Tend to agree, the 7 or 8 dropped balls ( most of them by the Burgess trio ) were maddeningly frustrating. The Burgess Twins will drop one or two balls a game every week. When they did hang on to the ball, Souths put together some good passages of play. Reyno kicking game was very good, GI very involved in first half, Walker and Nielsen were very busy. Up front Carter and Brown were excellent.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 20th 2016 @ 2:26pm
            steveng said | May 20th 2016 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

            ‘Epiquin’ I agree, but considering the Dragons had 5 players out our Rabbitohs should have thrashed them. I do agree that we had some good passages of play but overall we were bad and we made some very bad elementary mistakes (and I thought that we were back to our usual self) compared to the game against the Eels which really proved how good we can be.

            • Roar Guru

              May 20th 2016 @ 4:55pm
              Con Scortis said | May 20th 2016 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

              Hi steveng, are you saying that you agree with Epiquin disagreeing with you. Haha/

              • Roar Rookie

                May 20th 2016 @ 7:31pm
                steveng said | May 20th 2016 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

                Pretty much Con Scortis’ because that is how it is with ‘Epiquin’ you have to agree to him disagreeing with you lol but seriously the Rabbitohs did play some good football but it was mostley scrappy and wouldn’t do anything against a good side, and that is what I was saying.

    • Roar Guru

      May 20th 2016 @ 8:41am
      Edward Kelly said | May 20th 2016 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Souths mustn’t have received the memo about diving.

    • May 20th 2016 @ 9:28am
      fazed said | May 20th 2016 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      I would like to ask a question in regards to Josh Dugan.
      First off I am neither saints or souths supporter but have watched Dugan for a while now & after every game I see on TV I come up with the same question.

      Is Dugan the most player prone to suffer various mini type injuries in a team. I tend to lose count of the amount of times he comes out of a tackle or some plays, even after passing & running, likewise in his defence as to how many times he seems to go down after a play with the need for attention from the trainer.

      On his day especially in attack, & even last night against souths he played some good football but those times he stayed down needing attention seemed to be more than I have previously noticed. It has me concerned that if he’s picked for SOO then there could well be some concerns in that arena as well.

      • May 20th 2016 @ 10:12am
        Ken said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        The short answer is yes. Last year he was carrying a bunch of niggling injuries and it was especially bad, he was clutching and groaning after almost every tackle. I wondered before if he’s a sook or if he’s actually extremely tough.

        This year that habit has dropped away considerably, and his form has been much better to go with it, so I’d say he really was toughing it out last year with genuine injuries. Last night would support that, he suffered a hyperextention of his elbow, and then played on at full speed, running and tackling at full pace for the rest of the game.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2016 @ 10:16am
        Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Dugan woul dhave to have the most battered body in the NRL, he is completely held together by strapping tape. The reason he is best at fullback is because he gets to take the ball on the first because he needs the rest of the set of six to get back to his feet.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2016 @ 10:36am
        Edward Kelly said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        Incidents of injuries increase when his team is losing. Has been like this for years. There was a time not long ago when he never finished playing on the field if his team was losing by a lot.

    • May 20th 2016 @ 10:20am
      gronna gruntus said | May 20th 2016 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      young jacob host was named on the bench, why was he not used?

    • May 20th 2016 @ 11:02am
      Mike from tari said | May 20th 2016 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      I watched the replay of the carter try a few times & he never touched it, don’t know why you think that everything the commentators say is the gospel truth.

    • Roar Guru

      May 20th 2016 @ 12:06pm
      Con Scortis said | May 20th 2016 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

      There were some terrible calls last night, almost all of which went against the Dragons. I know how Dragons fans feel as Souths had about half a dozen bad calls against us the previous week. I hate saying “swings and roundabouts” because a lot of the calls were inexplicably bad – like 2 refs and 2 touchies missing that Cody Walker knocked on twice (was Walker not Carter).

      So, I cringed a few times and felt a bit bad for my Dragons mates.

      What I find bemusing is I initially watched the footage of the Carter try listening to the Channel 9 commentary and then later saw the footage with the Fox commentary. The Channel 9 commentators were in favour of the try being given (they kept banging on about Sam’s torso and were adamant that Dugan hadn’t grounded it), whereas the Fox commentators emphatically said “no try” as they believe Souths knocked it on and that Dugan had grounded it anyway.

      I guess it shows that we all see the same footage differently. I wouldn’t be a video ref for quids.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2016 @ 12:39pm
        Epiquin said | May 20th 2016 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        This is why I think we need to try and eliminate some of the grey area when it comes to interpreting the rules.

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2016 @ 1:06pm
          Con Scortis said | May 20th 2016 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

          So what you’re saying Epi is we need to have “separation” of “(benefit of the) doubt”.

      • May 20th 2016 @ 2:17pm
        Ken said | May 20th 2016 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

        Very good of you Con. Noted that it was Walker not Carter in the knock-ons.

        I was watching on Fox so possibly I was influenced by them to feel so strongly on the Carter try – my own feelings though is that while one angle showed inconclusive fingers possibly just sliding on the ball, another angle showed the ball clearly being pushed into the ground sufficient to stop the rotation. Not an easy one, but for them to be so confident of no grounding to overrule the ref pushed the buttons of this Dragons fan.

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2016 @ 4:57pm
          Con Scortis said | May 20th 2016 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

          I honestly thought Dugan got a fingertip to it first, which in most cases is deemed to have grounded the ball.

          • May 21st 2016 @ 2:21pm
            Professor Rosseforp said | May 21st 2016 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            Agreed — I have seen tries awarded with less downward pressure, yet the replay room couldn’t see the ball was dead in goal.
            The other bad call (I think before half-time) was when a St George player played the ball as well as anybody did all night, yet the ref called a penalty, Souths got the ball and scored. It brought them right back into the game.
            Saints were also lucky not be penalised for holding players back, Souths were shepherding and obstructing all night.
            As a Saints fan, I could see they were struggling, because they were trying to play a disciplined defensive game. Souths were all over the place, which allows for individual touches of brilliance, and against a struggling side like St George, it came off. It won’t work against other teams.
            I wondered whether the ref’s advantage to South was a catchup for the way Souths had been dudded against Parramatta last week!

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