Eels and Rabbits share 16-all draw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels and Rabbits share 16-all draw

By Ian McCullough 22/05/2009 11:47:57 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney and Parramatta have played a 16-16 draw in a thrilling NRL encounter at a rainswept ANZ Stadium.

The draw consolidates Souths top eight spot, but the game ended in controversy when referee Brett Suttor called time as Souths tried to feed a scrum with seconds on the clock.

Suttor had called time off with nine seconds remaining but restarted the clock with Rabbitohs halfback Craig Wing too far away from the scrum to feed the ball before the hooter sounded.

Defeat would have been harsh on an injury-hit Parramatta however, after the Eels dominated the second half and the extra period.

But the visitors were left ruing an off-day from Luke Burt who missed two conversion attempts, and a dolly of a field goal three minutes from the end of golden point.

The Eels played superbly with man-of-the-match Jarryd Hayne in particularly magnificent form to all-but rubber stamp his place in the NSW Origin squad to be announced on Monday.

Hayne scored two tries, set up a third and almost won the game for his side with a field goal that bounced off the crossbar.

First-half tries from Michael Crocker and Nathan Merritt had given Souths a 10-0 advantage within the first 15 minutes.

Queensland Origin hopeful Crocker reacted quickest to a spiralling Wing kick that had been knocked backwards by Fetuli Talanoa after just two minutes before Merritt intercepted a Hayne pass to score despite the best efforts of the Eels fullback, Hayne nearly running the Souths winger down on the line.

But the Eels custodian made up for his error on 26 minutes when he burrowed over from close range after Luke Capewell was penalised for a knock-on just in front of his own goal line.

The Eels came flying out of the blocks after the break with Eric Grothe rolling over just after the restart after brilliant work from Hayne, but the Eels' joy was short lived when Capewell extended Souths' lead after he weaved his way past a flat-footed Nathan Hindmarsh to score after 51 minutes.

Craig Wing's kick made the score 16-8 but any hopes Souths had of lying down were scuppered when Hayne barged past five Souths players to score which Burt converted before slotting a penalty to tie the scores.

Souths coach Jason Taylor admitted his side were lucky to get away with a point from the game.

"If you look at the stats from the overall game we will take a point - they had umpteen attempts at a field goal, we didn't have any ... but there is a real positive in that from the 20-minute mark we were outplayed but we got a point out of it," Taylor said.

He was also philosophical about the decision of the referee to call time with his side in good field goal position after Shannan McPherson lifted his head from the scrum.

"The game is fast and they (referees) are not always going to get it right," he said.

"Maybe in 10 years' time they will get it right and ... I've got my stuff to worry about and I am not going to waste time worrying about what the referees have got going on."

Eels coach Daniel Anderson said the decision to call time was the correct one and said he was delighted with the performance of his injury-hit side.

"We have had some disappointing performances this year and this was probably the best our best performance of the year - we worked hard for each other ... I asked for some character to be shown and that is what they did," he said.

"I was watching and I was hoping one of their front rowers or locks would pop his head out of the scrum because that is the ruling, you have to stay packed and as soon as you break that pack down's shape you call time ... it was the correct ruling and one for us."

Anderson was also full of praise for Hayne who almost won the game with a field goal that hit the bar in golden point.

"He has played very well for a while now and he was the instigator for most, if not all of our points, passing, running, he was unfortunate that his wobbly old field goal hit the crossbar," he said.

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