Western Sydney Stadium
Sat Oct 10, 7:50pm
Selected Semi-Final TeamsCyberView from the Hill - Last Week CyberView from the Hill - This Week Late Changes
Dargan and Mago were trimmed 24 hours before the game. Marsters and Sele were 18th men.
South Sydney will march on to their third grand final qualifier in as many seasons after a stunning 30-point fightback ended Parramatta's horror week with more finals heartbreak. By all rights, not least their pre-game lead-in, the Eels were dead in the water. A simply electrifying first-half flurry by Clint Gutherson and co proved otherwise, with three tries in five minutes as "The King" reigned supreme making for a shock 18-8 Eels lead. The Bankwest crowd was duly in raptures, only for Damien Cook to answer in kind and run riot himself. Cook had a hand in three tries as the Rabbitohs rattled up 30 points in 40 minutes after the break, ruthlessly exploiting critical errors from first Mitch Moses and then Gutherson himself. With South Sydney storming back to a 20-18 lead after halftime, Moses lined up a penalty goal from point blank range with 19 minutes to go. Instead of levelling proceedings, Moses' shot cruelly struck the upright, ricocheting straight to Jaxson Paulo for a 60-metre run downfield. By the set's end Gutherson, until this point a moral for man-of-the-match honours, was fumbling a Cook grubber straight to Bailey Sironen. Parramatta's week started with first Maika Sivo being lost to injury, then Blake Ferguson being scratched as well. For Michael Jennings to be rubbed out 12 hours before kick-off by a failed drug test, and then the Eels to fight back in spectacular fashion, said plenty about the resolve in Brad Arthur's maturing squad. The Rabbitohs' own rise spoke just as much about their form with ball in hand, which has delivered 35 points a game for the past 10 weeks. A showdown with minor premiers Penrith next Saturday night is their reward, Wayne Bennett once more delivering them to within 80 minutes of another grand final. Having been in this same spot twice before in the past two seasons, Bennett revealed a tapered approach for his Rabbitohs side in what has been topsiest of turvy seasons. "The good thing is [this team] don't want to be beaten, they just keep turning up," Bennett said. "When we had the break for COVID, some teams trained really hard and flogged their players, but we weren't in that category. I wanted them playing well this time of year. "We played well at the beginning of last year and then lost our mojo. Parramatta are pretty much in the same boat to what happened to us last year. You can't do it [all year]. "I think they've played to about 70 per cent of their ability tonight. We need to find a bit more, we've got an opportunity to do that, and I'm confident we can.'' For the first 20 minutes, progress to another preliminary final looked a formality as Souths made all the running and led 8-0 Junior Paulo changed that in an instant as Parramatta pushed one, then two, then three picture-perfect offloads. The first had Phil Gould dubbing Junior Paulo's effort Arthur Beetson-esque in commentary, the 123-kilo big man laying on Gutherson's first try with defenders hanging from his every limb. Within two minutes Lane produced a fair imitation for Gutherson to streak into the backfield. "The King" trumped both with his effort on the fly, matched by George Jennings as he collected it around his ankles and crossed for the Eels to lead. When Gutherson dummied and darted over for his second, Parramatta suddenly held a 10-point advantage and the 14,510-strong crowd in raptures. But with halftime the Bunnies took a breath, and then Cook took charge. Springing to life as the game opened up, Cook did the same to Parramatta's marker defence with a simple ball for Liam Knight to go over. Adam Reynolds then produced a pretty offload of his own to bust the Eels' left edge, Cameron Murray looming in support for South Sydney to hit the front. Showing the finals nous still lacking from the Eels, Souths went for the throat and found fortune in the errors from Moses and Gutherson. Long-range tries to Jaxson Paulo and Cook made sure of the result, a late salvo from Jennings just not enough to save Parramatta from more post-season pain.
4 min 2-0 Reynolds goal 17 min 8-0 Paulo try Reynolds goal 23 min 8-6 25 min 8-12 28 min 8-18 HT 8-18 45 min 14-18 Knight try Reynolds goal 54 min 20-18 Murray try Reynolds goal 62 min 26-18 Sironen try Reynolds goal 70 min 32-18 Paulo try Reynolds goal 74 min 32-24 78 min 38-24 D.Cook try Reynolds goal Paulo 2, Murray, Knight, Sironen, D.Cook tries Reynolds 7 from 7 goals Referee G.Sutton Crowd 14,510 (Match played with 50% capacity restricted attendance due to COVID-19) Scrums 8-6 (1H 5-4 ) Penalities 2-3 (1H 1-1 ) 6 Again 5-4 (1H 4-3 ) 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 - - 1 - 17 1 145 3 - - 1 - - - RWng - 5 - Paulo, Jaxson 80 7 - - 1 3 15 - 233 - 2 - - 2 - - RCnt - 3 - Graham, Campbell 75 22 - - 2 1 10 - 91 1 1 - 1 - - - [0-75] LCnt - 4 - Gagai, Dane 80 13 - - 5 2 18 - 153 1 1 - - - - - LWng - 2 - Johnston, Alex 80 5 - - 1 - 10 - 99 1 1 - - - - - 5/8 - 6 - Walker, Cody 80 12 - - 3 - 12 - 78 2 1 2 - - - - Half - 7 - Reynolds, Adam 80 17 1 1 2 - 15 - 78 1 1 13 - - 7/7 - (c) Prop - 8 - Tatola, Junior 43 23 - - - - 10 - 92 - 1 - - - - - [0-24,61-80] Hook - 9 - Cook, Damien 80 47 1 1 1 1 14 10 162 - 2 3 2 1 - - Prop - 10 - Burgess, Tom 49 22 - 1 2 - 14 - 151 1 - - - - - - [0-24,55-80] SRow - 11 - Su'A, Jaydn 61 26 1 - 1 - 8 - 67 - 1 - - - - - [0-61] SRow - 12 - Sironen, Bayley 80 38 - - 2 - 14 - 110 1 - - - 1 - - Lock - 13 - Murray, Cameron 59 34 - - 1 - 7 - 65 2 - - - 1 - - [0-31,52-80] Int - 14 - Nicholls, Mark 31 23 - - - - 8 - 110 - - - - - - - [24-55] Int - 15 - Knight, Liam 41 28 - - - 1 11 - 98 1 2 - - 1 - - [24-61,75-80] Int - 16 - Cartwright, Jed 19 5 - - - - 2 - 34 2 - - - - - - [61-80] Int - 17 - Koloamatangi, Keaon 21 8 - - - - 8 - 86 - - - - - - - [31-52] 334 3 4 22 8 1860 16 13 18 4 6 7/7 - Completion Rate - 30/42 71% Opposition Offloads - 15 Effective 1st Tackles 0 min 14m KO 2 min 10m Pa Err SCR / Pa-6A / Reynolds kick 4 min 0m Pa Err SCR / Pa-6A P GOAL 5 min 15m Reynolds kick 7 min 8m Reynolds kick COF 9 min 89m Walker kick COF 7m / SS P(Graham) 59m / SS-6TG(Graham) 76m / SS-6A(DCook) 12 min 63m SS Err(Walker) SCR 16m / SS-6A(Reynolds) 16 min 10m Pa Err SCR / Reynolds kick COF 17 min 0m Pa Err SCR TRY 19 min 91m Reynolds kick COF 9m / SS-6A(Burgess) 33m SS-6TG(Murray) SCR 36m / SS-6TG(CAllan) SCR / (Pa TRY) 24 min 100m KO 15m / (Pa TRY) 26 min 15m KO 28 min 100m SS Err(CAllan) SCR (Pa TRY) 29 min 16m KO 31 min 55m Reynolds kick OOF 34 min 18m Pa Err SCR / Pa-6A / Reynolds kick 36 min 10m SS Err(Sironen) 38 min 0m Pa-6A / DCook kick CIG 40 min 15m SS Err(Knight) half time 40 min 26m Reynolds kick COF 42 min 18m Reynolds kick COF 44 min 0m Reynolds kick CIG 45 min 0m TRY 48 min 19m Walker kick 49 min 84m Reynolds kick 58m / SS-6A(Reynolds) 52 min 79m Pa Err SCR / Reynolds kick COF 39m SS P(Reynolds) 54 min 0m TRY 57 min 20m Pa-6A / SS Err(Walker) 58 min 94m Pa Err / SS Err(Burgess) SCR 48m / SS-6TG(CAllan) SS P(DCook) (Pa NO GOAL) 62 min 0m DCook kick TRY 64 min 10m Sh-KO Pa Err SCR P / SS Err(Johnston) 68 min 0m DCook kick CIG 69 min 29m SS Err(CAllan) SCR 70 min 0m Pa Err TRY 71 min 61m Sh-KO 73 min 93m Pa Err / SS Err(DGagai) 43m / SS-6TG(Reynolds) / (Pa TRY) 75 min 18m KO 77 min 10m Pa Err SCR / Reynolds kick 78 min 0m TRY 79 min 55m Sh-KO SS Err(Cartwright) Average effective 1st tackle location - 32.3m - for the whole match - 35.2m - 1st half - 29.9m - 2nd half Other First Grade Matches BYE (1) Penrith BYE (2) Melbourne 22-18 SCG (5v4) Canberra b Syd Rstrs
No one was charged out of the match.
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