Bulldogs v Rabbitohs: Five key points
After a dramatic and at times controversial grand final rematch, here are five things we learnt from the Bulldogs clash with South Sydney on Easter Friday.
Maguire calls for 18th man
Concussions to hooker Issac Luke in the first half and Glenn Stewart in the second left the Rabbitohs with just 15 fit men for the last 24 minutes, leaving coach Michael Maguire to call for an 18th man.
"I haven't made a lot of comment about it, but to lose a player, I think the game's got to either look at whether or not they have someone that can actually sit on the sideline and replace that player," he said.
"Whether or not the opposition team will lose a player but still be able to put 13 on the park, because I guess at the end of the day in that situation, we lost a player for a half.
"That's why I talk about the character of our team, to be able to come up with a result there. But I think from the concussion point of view, they've definitely got to look at, if someone comes from the field, especially where there's a penalty, it affects us. And so therefore, we need to, as a game, look into that."
Greg Inglis to continue playing through knee problem
The Rabbitohs star was crunched in a tackle by Bulldogs second-rower Josh Jackson late in the first half, and spent the next few minutes with the trainer getting extra strapping and attention. The Kangaroos representative said it was a re-occurrence of an ongoing knee issue.
"It's just an ongoing thing. I think that's just what I have to deal with. We've got really good medical staff here, so strapped it up and back out you go," he said.
Inglis finished the game at five-eighth, making 130 metres from 14 carries.
Dangerous contact on field goal: the rule explained
There was much confusion after lead referee Gerard Sutton handed South Sydney a penalty in front of the sticks when halfback Adam Reynolds' leg was taken out on a James Graham chargedown. Referees boss Tony Archer fronted the media post-game to explain the rule.
"If there is an unsuccessful field goal attempt, and there is an infringement on the kicker, that penalty is awarded 10 metres out from in front of the goal posts," he said.
"That's why they went to that position for the penalty. It's not where the ball bounces, which is just from a general play kick. That was the difference in it."
Whether the penalty should have been awarded or not, Archer was unwilling to say.
"It's really difficult for me to comment because the player has been placed on report for the dangerous contact, and there obviously has to be a process that has to occur in relation to that," he said.
Rabbitohs don't have wood on Dogs: Hodkinson
Friday night's defeat left the Bulldogs with five losses in their past six games against the defending premiers – including last year's grand final. But halfback Trent Hodkinson denied the Rabbitohs had the wood on them.
"No, we know we won that game. We had it deep down. We've just got to accept what's happened now. It always is fiery against Souths, and it was a grand final replay on top of it. It'll be interesting next game," he said.
Hodkinson sympathises with Reynolds
The Rabbitohs will sweat on scans on their star halfback, who could be out for an extended period after copping that hit from James Graham late in the game. But the NSW halfback contender got some sympathy from the incumbent, who has had a long-history with knee issues.
"Obviously I've been through that with the knees and the injuries. It's never good being injured and missing footy, because that's what we love to do. Hopefully for his sake he's not out for too long and he gets back out on the park as quick as he can," he said.
How South Sydney respond without their in-form halfback will be an intriguing story over the next few weeks.