NRL Round 7 – Match 5 Results: Canberra Raiders 24 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 26

It was a close call, but on Sunday afternoon the Rabbitohs managed to defeat the Raiders down at Canberra Stadium giving them their fourth season victory.

The Raiders gave up their handy half time lead to suffer another second-half beating, which was their fifth loss of the season. They now sit at number 14 on the NRL Ladder.

South Sydney enjoyed an excellent return to form following their disappointing 22 – 8 loss to the Eels in Round 6 and came from 18 points behind at half time to win the match in front of the 13,000 plus spectators.

The visitors began the scoring eight minutes in when five-eighth John Sutton put down a try that was then converted by Issac Luke to give the Rabbitohs an early six point lead.

It was Sutton’s first try of the year as he side-stepped a number of Raiders players and coasted over the line.

The remainder of the first half, however, belonged to Canberra and it looked like it was all over for South Sydney after the Raiders scored four tries within 20 minutes.

Centre Jarrod Crocker opened the home team’s account in the 20th minute and Terry Campese, who booted four from four on the night, converted to see the score tied six all after the first quarter.

Then the Raiders really brought it with Josh Dugan, centre Joel Thompson and Trevor Thurling all scoring between the 25th and 36th minutes and Campese’s great kicking saw them soar to 24 points.

Fullback Dugan’s acrobatic try was one to remember as he stayed focused and managed to ground the ball despite the rest of his body hanging over the sideline in mid-air, while Thurling’s showed the Bunnies weak first-half defence as the visitors were unable to hold him up on the line.

Going into half-time the Rabbithos trailed 6 – 24 and had a lot of work to do.

Back from the break South Sydney worked hard to come from behind and make up for their error-ridden first half performance.

Canberra, despite their impressive performance in the first 40 minutes, were kept scoreless by a reenergised and determined Rabbitohs in the second half.

South Sydney then took control with winger Nathan Merritt scoring their second try in the 49th minute. Five minutes later Issac Luke got over the line again and Chris Sandow’s conversion saw them shorten the gap to just eight points.

Another five minutes later, now with plenty of momentum behind them, the Rabbitohs second-rower Dave Taylor put down their third second half try and again Sandow converted so they trailed by a mere two points.

Rhys Wesser then turned the game in South Sydney’s favour when he scored the winning try in the 67th minute and the final match score sat at 26 – 24.

It was the first time South Sydney had defeated Canberra in the last five times the two have met.