Canterbury Bulldogs are off the bottom of the NRL for the first time in months after a deserved 26-16 win over playoff contenders South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Bunnies were looking to move into the top four but it was the Bulldogs who leapfrogged Brisbane Broncos with only their third win of the campaign.
Canterbury gained a 20-point lead in the first half. Tim Lafai, Reimis Smith and Raymond Faitala-Mariner all crossed with Jake Averillo adding four goals. The Bulldogs had been helped by the sin binning of Jaydn Su’A in the first 40. With the back-row forward off the field, the Dogs crossed for two of their tries.
Souths’ comeback began when Jaxson Paulo dived in on the right but the try shouldn’t have counted as his foot crossed the dead ball line. Then Campbell Graham got over just before half-time making the score 20-10 at the break.
The Rabbitohs scored the first try of the half through Alex Johnston cutting the deficit further but Chris Smith’s first NRL try sealed Canterbury’s win.
Rabbitohs: Allan, Johnston, Graham, Marsters, Paulo, Walker, Reynolds, Knight, Cook, Burgess, Su’A, Sironen, Murray; Interchanges: Nicholls, Cartwright, Sele, Koloamatangi
Tries: Paulo, Graham, Johnston; Goals: Reynolds 2
Sin bin: Su’A (22) – high tackle
Bulldogs: Hopoate, Watene-Zelezniak, R Smith, Lafai, Okunbor, Averillo, Lewis, Tolman, Marshall-King, Thompson, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, C Smith; Interchanges: Wakeham, To’omaga, Katoa, Sue
Tries: Lafai, R Smith, Faitala-Mariner; Goals: Averillo 4
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express