The Raiders ensured Josh Papalii celebrated his 250th game in style with a romping 32-12 win over a lacklustre Rabbitohs at Apex Oval on Sunday.
The Raiders picked up where they left off in last week's big win over Cronulla to piled on four answered tries in the first half as the Bunnies struggled with their completion rate in a trend during games lost this year.
Tries to Papalii, Nick Cotric, Hudson Young and Sebastian Kris in the opening 40 minutes set up a 20-0 lead before both side's exchanged tries early in the second half.
A penalty goal with a quarter of the game left put the Raiders up by 20 before a blistering try to Xavier Savage sealed victory.
Match: Rabbitohs v Raiders
Round 11 -
Venue: Apex Oval, Dubbo
South Sydney's efforts with the ball weren't helped by two failed HIA's to Taane Milnes and Tevita Tatola but overall they struggled to produce any points with a lack of cohesion in attack.
Their defence was also a concern for Jason Demetriou, particularly in the manner some of their tries were conceded through the middle of the field.
Papalii scores a special try in his 250th
- Canberra called in Brad Schneider pre-game with Matt Frawley succumbing to illness, the Raiders having at least affected ahead of the game.
- The Rabbitohs suffered a blow immediately at the kick-off with Tevita Tatola suffering a head knock before failing a HIA after a heavy collision.
- Raiders forward Josh Papalii scored a try in his 250th game to give the visitors an 8-0 lead early after Nick Cotric crossed untouched in the fourth minute.
- Tom Starling came onto the paddock with immediate impact, setting up Hudson Young on the left edge with a short ball in similiar to Papalii's try a few moments earlier.
- South Sydney lost Taane Milne to a head knock to compound their woes with Kodi Nikorima playing fullback and Blake Taaffe shifting to the centres.
- The Raiders lost Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to a hamstring injury at half-time, shifting Xavier Savage to fullback for the second half.
- South Sydney completed at 66% for the match, well below their 72% average for the season.
- Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook got the Bunnies on the board with a piece of individual brilliance before chasing down Jack Wighton in defence in a rare highlight for the home side.
- Josh Papalii finished his milestone game with a try, 116 metres and eight tackle busts.
- Alex Johnston's second half try took him to 144 tries, equal second alongside Benny Wearing for most in South Sydney history.
Raiders turn defence into attack
Play of the game
The Raiders produced one of the tries of the season, started by a charging carry from Corey Horsburgh and finished off by Sebastian Kris. In between that was a flick pass from Horsburgh, a no-look pass from Hudson Young and a one-handed pass from Tommy Starling. Worth a watch!
The Raiders turn into the Harlem Globetrotters
What they said
"We're finally stringing it together and it's very pleasing to see. We've showed the last three weeks what we're capable of doing. I love this club with all my heart and it's good to bring up my 250th. I cried all week, just reminiscing on what got me here, what my parents sacrificed and my wife and kids, it's been an emotional week. Now I get to sit back and enjoy it with the boys with a few cold ones." - Raiders milestone man Josh Papalii.
"It's disappointing, we had a great week and I thought our prep going into the game was good. We had a bit of adversity to start the game and individually we tried to solve it. We put a lot of pressure on our defence. Canberra completed high and were running harder and tackling harder than us. Losing Junior was a big blow but I felt like we gave them opportunities through poor offloads." - Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou.
Johnston gets consolation for Souths
The Rabbitohs are back in Sydney after a couple of weeks on the road to host the Wests Tigers at Accor Stadium. After a poor showing in front of their Dubbo faithful, the Bunnies will look to bounce back against a Tigers outfit that got them only a month ago.
For the Raiders, they return to GIO Stadium after three-straight wins and will aim for a fourth against the Eels, who are coming off their last-minute win over Manly.