Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs, live blog, updates, score, stats, Latrell Mitchell, Matt Burton
The Rabbitohs beat the Bulldogs 36-28 on the back of seven tries to five, including a long-range stunner from Latrell Mitchell, who spent a night at the Accor Stadium.
Mitchell produced a brilliant solo try that turned the game in Souths favor in the second half, beating five Bulldogs players, including Josh Addo-Carr, with a brutal fight.
MATCH CENTRE: Bulldogs v Rabbitohs, score, teams, video, stats
Stream every game from every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season live and ad-free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Lachlan Ilias opened the scoring with a try in the opening five minutes as he blasted his way over a grubber and chased to give the Rabbitohs a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs fought back with a former bunny with center Braydon Burns scoring in the corner on a pass from Kyle Flanagan.
The Bulldogs had two tries in three minutes when center Declan Casey scored moments later in the far corner to make it 10-6.
Cody Walker put the Rabbitohs back in front after finishing a break from Keaon Koloamatangi to give Souths a two-point advantage.
Alex Johnston extended the Rabbitohs lead with a try before the break after some silky build-up work from Mitchell and Walker. The try came after a tough call against Corey Wadell.
Jeremy Marshall-King set up Joe Stimson for a barge on the dummy half try to lock in the scores.
Casey then set up a superb long-range try for Jake Averillo to give the Bulldogs the lead heading into the final quarter.
Mitchell produced a brilliant raging attempt to bring Souths back in and lock in the scores.
Paul Vaughan completed another long-range stunner to see the Bulldogs regain the lead.
Tevita Tatola finished off some more magic from Walker and Mitchell to make it 28-28 with nine minutes on the clock.
Johnston scored his brace to put the Rabbitohs ahead after a brilliant no-look pass from Mitchell.
Johnston scored his 12th career hat trick after netting a catch and pass from center Isaiah Tass as the Bunnies sealed a comeback victory.
Here are the main takeaways from the game.
SIZZLING LATRELL TURNS MATCH WITH FREAK TRY
Latrell Mitchell turned the game in the Souths favor with a brilliant solo try that capped off a masterclass from the Rabbitohs fullback.
Mitchell finished with 119 rushing yards, five tackle saves, three offloads, one line hop, three line hop passes, three try passes and one of the best individual tries of the season.
Cooper Cronk believes the Bulldogs were on course for victory until Mitchell’s solo try spurred Souths to a comeback win.
“That game was on the line with the Bulldogs leading after 60 minutes 22-16 and Latrell Mitchell with a point and about five broken tackles and a right defense to the chest from Addo-Carr upset this game,” Cronk said. .
“He inspired his teammates and they went running. Paul Vaughan scored, but all that followed was all South Sydney.
“When the game and his team needed it, Latrell Mitchell stood up.”
Greg Alexander thinks Mitchell will only get better with the playing time he gets after returning from a lengthy layoff.
“Latrell had some good times,” Alexander said.
“We have seen some examples of his power.
“It’s Latrell restarting his season. He’s restarting his season and he’s just finding his feet.
“He had good touches. He did not overplay his hand. He sent the ball directly to Alex Johnston.
“Latrell will improve with each performance as we progress to the final.”
Cronk thinks Souths will be a scary proposition in the second half of the year with Mitchell in this form.
“Mitchell’s form mimics what Tom Trbojevic did last season and with him back to his southern best can be scary heading into the final,” Cronk said.
THE SOUTH HALVES SET UP WITHOUT A COOK
The Rabbitohs halves have come under a lot of criticism this season, but with Mitchell taking the pressure off, Lachlan Ilias and Cody Walker are starting to discover their mojo for the Souths.
Ilias had 21 yards running and a monster grubber and recovery attempt to open the scoring for the night, while Walker had 46 yards running, four tackle busts, two line breaks, a try assist and a test.
The duo’s form was all the more important as the Souths were without half-model Damien Cook, who had been rested for the clash.
Cooper Cronk paid tribute to Ilias who took a difficult week off the pitch for personal reasons to play for Souths.
“Hats off tip to Lachlan Ilias and the Ilias family for the week they’ve had,” Cronk said.
“With his first kick Tevita Pangai Jr rushes in from the outside and Ilias with good footwork and good vision and with a nice touch hits the ball between Averillo and Addo-Carr and with their indecision Ilias comes to jump on it with a nice twist here.
“A skillful little kick and just the urge and the desire to get to the ball first.”
Walker’s try finished off an abnormal pass from Ilias to Keaon Koloamatangi which produced a brilliant one-handed offload for the five-eighth to score a crucial try to give Souths a 12-10 lead.
“Good combination work there from Ilias and Koloamatangi,” Cronk said.
“He’s the halfback and that raging rower who likes to hit an outside shoulder line.
“It was a nice unloading armed inside towards main man Cody Walker.”
THE BULLDOGS ATTACK STARTS TO CLICK AS THE COLUMN GLOWS
The Bulldogs may not have gotten the win, but they deserve a lot of credit for a brilliant footy game that was theirs.
The Bulldogs scored five tries, including long-range stunners that haven’t been seen from the blues and whites in a long time.
Second-half tries from Jake Averillo and Paul Vaughan both showed that the Bulldogs are now a threat all over the park and are capable of scoring from anywhere.
The improvements on offense are due to their backbone starting to find its mojo with Averillo, Matt Burton, Kyle Flanagan and Jeremy Marshall-King all in great shape against Souths.
The spine has four assists, three assists and a try between them and is starting to create chances consistently for themselves and their teammates.
However, the Bulldogs still have to tackle their leaky defense if they want to pick up some wins at the end of the year, as 28 points is enough to win a football game.
The Bulldogs are looking to earn their fifth win of the season against the Rabbitohs, missing two of their Origin stars.
The South are without NSW star Cameron Murray after he suffered a blow to the head in the Origin decider.
They are also missing hooker Damien Cook, who is resting despite playing just 28 minutes for the Blues on Wednesday.
Davvy Moale moves in to lock with Siliva Havili replacing Cook at hooker.
Canterbury youngster Aaron Schoupp has been kicked out of the Bulldogs after testing positive for Covid, with Declan Casey replacing him.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Register now!!
Relive the action in our blog below. If you can’t see it, Click here.
Comments are closed.