South Sydney ended Canberra’s season with an impressive 38-16 win at ANZ Stadium in Week 2 of the 2012 finals series.
The Raiders had produced a miracle just to make the top eight and came into the game full of confidence after winning nine of their past 11, but it was the Rabbitohs that shot out of the blocks as Issac Luke and John Sutton combined for Adam Reynolds to score a clever long-range try. A Reynolds penalty goal soon after made it 8-0 and they were in again in the 23rd minute when they put it through the hands to the right for Andrew Everingham to make it a 14-point lead.
That seemed to spark Canberra into action and they finally posted their first points when Sam Williams dummied and raced through to score between the posts. For all their early dominance, Souths suddenly found their lead slashed to just four points moments later as Williams hoisted the ball high and Sandor Earl claimed the scraps to make it a contest once more.
But the Bunnies restored their buffer just before half-time, a Reynolds chip spectacularly claimed by Chris McQueen who offloaded for Sam Burgess to make it 20-10.
Both sides posted tries within 15 minutes of the restart through Dylan Farrell and Blake Ferguson to set up a thrilling climax, but South Sydney’s class told in the end. The decisive play came courtesy of a rare penalty try. With 16 minutes remaining, Luke Burgess broke the line and offloaded to an unmarked Greg Inglis, but the superstar fullback was tackled from behind before he could catch the football and with the try line beckoning the officials had no choice but to award the try.
Everingham then added his second in the dying stages to complete a memorable win.
It was a dominant performance from the home side who enjoyed a whopping 60 per cent of possession and ran for 1638 metres to 1124. They also produced 63 hit-ups to Canberra’s 38.
Seven different Souths players topped 100 metres, led by Inglis who ran for 203 metres and made 14 tackle-breaks. The Burgess brothers – Sam and Luke – made 169 metres apiece.