ICYMI, on Thursday the @NRL - National Rugby League released the 2018 #NRLDraw.
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The Raiders finals hopes continue for another week as they put away the Rabbitohs 32-18 in front of 9112 fans at Stadium Australia.
For most of the contest it was one-way traffic, as the Raiders flew out to a 14-nil lead to keep their slim finals hopes alive against a Rabbitohs side just looking for the end of the season in a five tries to three contest that never rose to great heights.
The final scoreline flattered the Rabbitohs, as the Raiders were on top for the whole contest and turned on the class when needed, which will please coach Ricky Stuart after being involved on the wrong side of too many tight contests in 2017.
At times tonight, the ball movement looked more like the 2016 Raiders that were inches away from a grand final berth, as they put on three perfect backline movements for Nick Cotric and Jarrod Croker to score before a magnificent wingers effort from Michael Oldfield against his old team, in the second half pushed the game out of reach.
A maligned forward pack also showed some teeth, as both Luke Bateman and Joseph Tapine found their way over the stripe either side of the break. The Raiders knew they had the measure of the Rabbitohs and played much more like the side most expected to once again challenge in 2017 especially in the ten minute spell where Angus Crichton, a bright spot this season for the home side was sin-binned for a professional foul.
Regarding the Rabbitohs, the end of the season can't come soon enough, as they muddled their way through another contest. Some superb individual efforts from Cody Walker and superb finishes from Alex Johnston and Tyrell Fuimaono kept them in the contest. Once again though, the effort came in spurts for the Rabbitohs which isn't enough against most teams this season.
The Raiders next test is against premiers Cronulla next Saturday night at Southern Cross Group Stadium, while the Rabbitohs will look to upset the applecart on Friday when they hit the SCG to play the Dragons.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 - Canberra Raiders 32
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 Canberra Raiders 20
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Hodgson
2 points - Joseph Tapine
1 points - Nick Cotric
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (18)
Tries: Cody Walker, Tyrell Fuimaono, Alex Johnston
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
CANBERRA RAIDERS (32)
Tries: Jarrod Croker, Joseph Tapine, Nick Cotric, Luke Bateman, Michael Oldfield
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1)