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Marsters and Dargan were trimmed 24 hours before the game. Mago and Sele were 18th men.
Wayne Bennett was "sending prayers down" at ANZ Stadium when the Rabbitohs fell behind 14-0 after 11 minutes of their elimination final against Newcastle. But the master coach was able to crack a few trademark dry jokes following another attacking blitz that set up a 46-20 comeback victory and a clash against Parramatta next Saturday. It had been 2563 days since the Knights' last playoff in 2013 and when Hymel Hunt and Bradman Best scored early tries it seemed like it would be worth the wait for their fans. Kalyn Ponga added a penalty goal and at that stage Bennett was seeking some divine intervention to help his troops. "We just presented them with good field position and they were at their freshest and most alert and they grabbed it," Bennett said "We cut that out and we got our game going." And how. Eight tries pushed the Rabbitohs' total to 106 points in their past two matches after a 60-8 flogging of the Roosters. The spine - hooker Damien Cook, halves Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds and fullback Corey Allan - again played leading roles. Walker, who scored a try and assisted another, was given the Bundaberg Rum Man of the Match award on Fox League but Bennett said it was a team effort. "I didn't think [Cody] and Adam were quite as dynamic as they have been in other weeks," Bennett said. "They were quite good, the pair of them, but other guys kind of took over them today. Damien did that, a couple of things that he did really set us on a roll. "I thought our forwards were tremendous again. Junior [Tatola] picked up two tries working through the middle there. They kind of spread it around a little more today which was pleasing." Cook was hobbling at points in the second half and said he'd clashed knees with Ponga but hadn't done any serious damage. That was apparent as he dashed 80 metres to claim his side's final four-pointer after Cameron Murray scooped up a loose ball "Can't say there was too much wrong with his ankle, can you? He was like a little rabbit running from hole to hole," Bennett said with a wry smile. "He looked good when I just left him five minutes ago. He was telling everyone how good his try was." After being beaten by the Titans last week and giving up a home final, Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien made some big pre-game calls with Kurt Mann moving to five-eighth, Chris Randall replacing him at starting hooker and Tex Hoy coming onto the bench. An early captain's challenge went their way and the Knights seized the advantage with their flying start. But momentum is so very fickle, more so than ever under the six-again rule, and it wasn’t long before South Sydney had all the running. An Enari Tuala dropped ball was the turning point. The Rabbitohs promptly got on the board as Allan atoned for his blunder by beating Tuala to reach the in-goal area. Walker then scored untouched having run a sweeping line before accepting a wonderfully held-up Reynolds pass. If there was a microcosm of the sometimes unbelievable first half, it came in the sequence when play restarted from that try. Walker couldn't gather the kick-off, meaning South Sydney had to take a drop-out, but Reynolds managed to find touch right away and win back possession. The Rabbitohs surged level when Reynolds and Walker combined on the left edge to deliver winger Alex Johnston his 21st try of 2020. Cook exploited the tired Knights defence four minutes from the break to edge his team ahead. He exploded into a gap between second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon and lock Mitchell Barnett, who was slow to retreat, drawing in Ponga and linking with the supporting Murray. Newcastle's completion rate nosedived in the second half and the last 20 minutes became a training run for the rampant Rabbitohs. Prop Junior Tatola powered in for two tries either side of Johnston's second four-pointer before Cook capped the win in front of 17, 212 fans. Hunt went in for his second as the siren sounded, allowing the retiring Aidan Guerra to kick the sideline goal as his final act as an NRL player.
1 min 0-6 6 min 0-12 11 min 0-14 15 min 4-14 C.Allan try Reynolds miss 19 min 10-14 Walker try Reynolds goal 23 min 14-14 Johnston try Reynolds miss 36 min 20-14 Murray try Reynolds goal HT 20-14 47 min 22-14 Reynolds goal 61 min 28-14 Tatola try Reynolds goal 65 min 34-14 Johnston try Reynolds goal 73 min 40-14 Tatola try Reynolds goal 75 min 46-14 D.Cook try D.Gagi goal 79 min 46-20 Johnston 2, Tatola 2, C.Allan, Walker, D.Cook tries Reynolds 6 from 8, D.Gagai 1 from 1 goals Referee B.Cummins Crowd 17,212 (Match played with 50% capacity restricted attendance due to COVID-19) Scrums 7-8 (1H 3-5 ) Penalities 4-1 (1H 1-1 ) 6 Again 0-2 (1H 0-2 ) Final Line Up - Min Tac Pe 6A MT LB Rn DR m Er OL K TA T G/A FG Flbk - 1 - Allan, Corey 80 4 - - 2 2 15 2 152 2 - - 1 2 - - RWng - 5 - Paulo, Jaxson 80 2 - - - - 12 1 107 1 - - - - - - RCnt - 3 - Graham, Campbell 80 26 - - 1 - 8 - 62 4 - - - - - - LCnt - 4 - Gagai, Dane 80 11 - - 2 - 15 1 112 - - - - - 1/1 - LWng - 2 - Johnston, Alex 80 2 - - 1 2 8 - 57 - 1 - - 2 - - 5/8 - 6 - Walker, Cody 80 24 1 - - 1 12 - 101 1 - 3 1 1 - - Half - 7 - Reynolds, Adam 80 18 - 1 - - 14 - 86 1 - 17 1 - 6/8 - (c) Prop - 8 - Tatola, Junior 47 20 - - - 2 13 - 133 - - - - 2 - - [0-23,56-80] Hook - 9 - Cook, Damien 80 39 - - 3 1 10 6 175 - - - 2 1 - - Prop - 10 - Burgess, Tom 52 24 - - 2 - 16 - 167 - - - - - - - [0-27,55-80] SRow - 13 - Murray, Cameron 69 39 - - - - 12 1 124 - 1 - - - - - [0-56,67-80] SRow - 12 - Sironen, Bayley 56 30 - - 1 - 8 - 64 1 - - - - - - [0-56] Lock - 15 - Knight, Liam 45 21 - - 1 - 10 - 108 1 1 - - - - - [0-30,52-67] Int - 11 - Su'A, Jaydn 57 25 - - - - 9 - 87 - - - - - - - [23-80] Int - 14 - Nicholls, Mark 29 24 - - 2 - 6 - 65 - - - - - - - [27-56] Int - 16 - Cartwright, Jed 24 13 - - 1 - 3 - 41 - - - - - - - [56-80] Int - 17 - Koloamatangi, Keaon 25 19 - 1 - - 8 - 90 - - - - - - - [30-55] 341 1 2 16 8 1737 11 3 20 5 8 7/9 - Completion Rate - 31/40 78% Opposition Offloads - 7 Effective 1st Tackles 0 min 37m P Nw-CC SS Err(Sironen) SCR / (Nw TRY) 2 min 14m KO 4 min 16m Reynolds kick COF 5 min 53m Reynolds kick OOF / (Nw TRY) 8 min 11m KO 9 min 100m SS Err(CAllan) SCR 69m / SS P(Walker) (Nw GOAL) 12 min 13m KO 13 min 71m Reynolds kick ChDn 15 min 0m Nw Err SCR / TRY 18 min 12m Walker kick 19 min 0m Nw Err SCR / TRY 21 min 100m SS Err(Walker) 22 min 59m DO 23 min 0m Nw Err SCR / P / TRY 25 min 83m SS Err(Knight) SCR 72m / P Nw-CC SS-6TG(Graham) 30 min 39m Reynolds kick COF 25m / SS-6A(Koloamatangi) 32 min 71m Nw Err / Reynolds kick DIG 38m / SS-6A(Reynolds) 33 min 80m Sh-DO 36 min 0m TRY 38 min 25m Reynolds kick COF 39 min 76m SS Err(CAllan) SCR half time 40 min 14m KO 41 min 34m Reynolds kick COF 44 min 12m Nw Err SCR / Reynolds kick SCR 47 min 0m Nw Err / P GOAL 48 min 18m Reynolds kick COF 50 min 8m Reynolds kick COF 52 min 25m Reynolds kick COF 53 min 33m Nw Err / SS Err(Paulo) SCR 55 min 40m Reynolds kick 57 min 12m Walker kick COF 58 min 18m Reynolds kick COF 60 min 1m Reynolds kick 61 min 0m Nw Err SCR / TRY 64 min 4m Walker kick SCR 67 min 16m Nw Err SCR / Reynolds kick COF 68 min 0m P / TRY 73 min 0m Nw Err SCR / P / TRY 74 min 70m Sh-KO 75 min 0m Nw Err TRY 78 min 60m Reynolds kick 17m / SS-6TG(Graham) / (Nw TRY) Average effective 1st tackle location - 31.2m - for the whole match - 45.7m - 1st half - 18.9m - 2nd half Other First Grade Matches 29-28 Penr (1v4) Penrith b Syd Rstrs 36-24 LngS (2v3) Melbourne b Parramatta 32-20 Bruc (5v8) Canberra b Cronulla
No one was charged out of the match.
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