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Rabbitohs put on an absolute clinic to send the Sharks packing

Max Sherry

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Rabbitohs put on an absolute clinic to send the Sharks packing

Featured Image Credit: Supplied/NRL

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have sent a stern message to the four remaining NRL teams: that they're genuine premiership contenders.

The Bunnies put the Cronulla Sharks to the sword in their semi-final clash at Allianz Arena, the score ending 38-12.

Souths fullback Latrell Mitchell - despite being relentlessly booed by the Sharks supporters - was deadly from the boot, slotting every single one of his conversions.

Red and green cult hero Mark Nicholls bundled over to open the scoring with less than five minutes played.

You could tell both teams were feeling the heat this late on in the season as there was errors galore in the opening half-an-hour.

That said, Nicho Hynes looked a constant threat, although the Sharkies couldn’t find the killer blow early on.

But the Cronulla No.7 made a hueg error as his botched short kick-off attempt put Souths within striking range – and they made their opponents pay.

Some quick hands from Lachlan Ilias and Keon Koloamangi ensured the ball found Taane Milne’s hands and the winger had nothing but green grass and the try line in sight.

Despite the incredibly-tight angle, Mitchell slotted the sideline conversion with ease to extend the Bunnies’ lead to 12-0.

With legs beginning to tire as the half drew to a close, Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray stepped up.

Making a jinking run, Murray left Sharks big man Dale Finucane stuck in the mud as he drifted past him.

18-0 at half-time.

But when play resumed for the second 40 minutes, it was Cronulla who came out firing.

A cross-field kick from Nicho Hynes ricocheted back and landed squarely in the hands of Briton Nikora who grounded the ball to bag his side’s opening try of the night.

But it didn’t take South long to issue a rapid-fire response of their own, hitting right back with a try from halfback Ilias.

And with Sharkies fans screaming down his ear, Latrell made no mistake with the conversion – bringing his tally to 4/4.

Hynes, from an almost impossible angle with the right boot, slotted home the conversion to make it 18-6.

The game well and truly spiced 10 minutes into the second half when Nikora produced one fo the sexiest try assists of the season.

Well, almost.

When the Souths defence coughed up a high ball from Matt Moylan, the pill landed in Nikora’s hands.

Yet as he was bracing for impact, he cleverly flicked the ball behind his back to his teammate Jesse Ramien who scored a try which looked to have narrowed the scoreline even further.

Boy, it looked so slick.

But unfortunately for Cronulla, the dreaded Bunker intervened and ruled out the try, ruling that players were in front of the kicker.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Cronulla as they did manage to cross the line just a few plays later through Ronaldo Mulitalo after the winger scooped up an intercept pass from Mitchell.

With Hynes’ conversion, the scoreboard inside Allianz Arena read 24-12 in favour of the Rabbitohs.

But, again, the Bunnies fired right back after some fancy footwork from Cody Walker saw him break through the Cronulla defensive line.

Latrell maintained his unblemished kicking record for the night, converting his five-eighth’s try to bring up 30 points.

Taane Milne then put the final Cronulla coffin, beating his opposite number with ease to ground the ball in the corner.

Latrell, of course, converted once again.

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League, Cronulla Sharks

Max Sherry
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