Holden Cup wrap: Round 12
All the key stats, breakout players and talking points from Round 12 of the National Youth Competition.
Comeback of the year
The Roosters probably thought they had the two competition points wrapped up when Jarred Anderson went over to give the defending premiers a 24-4 lead in the 53rd minute. What they didn't count on was the Raiders piling on 28-unanswered points in the final 14 minutes. Sebastian Kris got the ball rolling in the 66th minute and his four-pointer was quickly followed by a try to Sam Finnegan. With momentum on their side, the Green Machine ran in back-to-back tries as Harry Van Dartel and Andre Niko crossed to give Canberra the lead before Jarred Tuite touched down to seal the improbable win. The Roosters are no strangers to massive comebacks; it's just that they're the ones usually storming home to steal the win.
Bunnies continue to hop along
With just one win from the opening nine rounds, it looked as though the Rabbitohs were headed for a disastrous 2017 campaign. But things can quickly change in the Holden Cup, and with three wins on the trot, South Sydney are gathering momentum with plenty of time left in the season to make a charge for the top eight. Victories over the Tigers and Storm were impressive, but Friday's two-point triumph over the Eels was extra special and you could tell it meant a lot to the playing group. Given they have a guaranteed two points this week courtesy of the bye, the Bunnies could well find themselves just a win outside the top eight if results go their way.
Let's gone Warriors!
It's taken 12 long weeks but the Warriors are finally on the board courtesy of a 36-20 win over the Broncos on Saturday evening. Much like their NRL squad, the Junior Warriors took advantage of a severely depleted Brisbane side to claim their first win of the NYC season. The early signs weren't great as the Origin-ravaged Broncos shot out to a 14-6 half-time lead, but three quick tries after the break turned the game on its head, with the Kiwis surviving a late scare to end their 11-game losing streak in 2017.
Players of the Round
We're tracking the best performances every round this year with a good old-fashioned 3-2-1 points system.
3 – He's been their best player all year so it came as no surprise to see Warriors halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita play a starring role in their drought-breaking win. The No.7 finished with two tries and six goals to go with three line breaks and 111 running metres.
2 – Rabbitohs fullback Beau Cordtz was brilliant on Friday night, with the pint-sized speedster proving the difference with a quick double to inspire his side to an upset win over the Eels. Cordtz finished the game with 195 metres and 12 tackle breaks; most of those coming from a freakish run that led to his first try.
1 – He's been the super sub all year, but Reed Mahoney showed he deserves to be in the starting side with another tireless display for the Eels. Mahoney made 58 tackles, scored a try and set one up with a flat kick out of dummy-half that hit its intended target on the chest.
Rabbitohs 28 – Eels 26
Warriors 36 – Broncos 20
Sharks 30 – Bulldogs 10
Raiders 32 - Roosters 24