Two sides from the wrong half of the table met in Sydney as the Rabbitohs took on the Canterbury Bulldogs. A win would see the Bulldogs off the bottom while the Rabbitohs could make it up to seventh if they could secure a decent points win.
The Rabbitohs made just one change with Patrick Mago in for Bayley Sironen while there were three changes for the ladders bottom club as Christian Crichton, Marcelo Montoya and Nick Meaney came in to replace Cogger, Averillo and Hopoate.
A fantastic Alex Johnston fifty metre solo try opened the Rabbitohs account as he took a Latrell Mitchell flick pass to go outside the winger and shrug off two attempted tackles to score in the corner. Adam Reynolds put his kick between the uprights from wide for 6-0.
On twenty-six Adam Reynolds added a two-pointer after the Bulldogs slowed down the play the ball.
Canterbury struck back on thirty-five when Marcelo Montoya collected a Brandon Wakeham chip over the top to walk over from two metres to ground. Nick Meaney added the conversion and the Souths lead was back down to two points.
Two minutes after the restart Adam Reynolds put in a cheeky grubber which was grounded by Jake Su’A in clear ground. Reynolds added the conversion to re-open the eight-point lead.
After benefitting from a tackle restart deep in the Bunnies half, the Bulldogs forced a goal line drop-out. On the last tackle of the resulting six, Raymond Faitala-Mariner bust through three defenders and reached for the line to score. Meaney was unable to add the conversion, the Doggies still four points adrift.
Within five minutes the Rabbitohs re-asserted their lead thanks to Cody Walker taking a pass five metres out and powering his way over the line. The Bulldogs kept getting themselves back into the game but couldn’t make it last. Reynolds added the conversion for 20-10 with twenty minutes left on the clock.
A Dane Gagai intercept and breakaway ninety metre try on seventy-nine was the icing on the cake for Souths. The Bulldogs were puching for the try and the winger took full advantage of a sloppy pass to sprint downfield. Reynolds added his fifth goal of the game for a 26-10 win.
It was far from one way traffic but the Rabbitohs took an early lead and never really looked in any trouble, despite some good periods of play from the Bulldogs. The Rabbitohs move up one place on the ladder but remain in the bottom half, the Bulldogs are now just one win in eight outings in 2020.
Canterbury Bulldogs: Watene-Zelezniak, Meaney (G), Smith, Montoya (T), Crichton, Foran, Wakeham, Tolman, Marshall-King, Napa Jackson, Faitala-Mariner (T), Elliott. Subs: Holland, Britt, To’omaga, Sue.
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Mitchell, Gagai (T), Graham, Roberts, Johnston (T), Walker (T), Reynolds (5G), Tatola, Cook, Burgess, Su’A (T), Lowe, Murray. Subs: Knight, Burns, Mago, Sele.
Referee: Peter Gough.
Ground: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney.