‘Decimated’ Roosters cop record flogging

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Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston was the star of tonight’s match after bagging five tries and moving into the top spot on the try-scorers leaderboard.

With the home and away season done and dusted for both teams, the Roosters will remain in the top four, while tonight’s result for the Rabbitohs secures them a home final having finished in the sixth spot on the NRL ladder.

Should the Parramatta Eels take care of the Wests Tigers on Saturday night, the Roosters would face minor premiers the Penrith Panthers in week one of the finals series.

Gould said Roosters coach Trent Robinson now faces a « major repair job » to get his side ready for a Penrith side who have lost just one game in season 2020.

« I can’t imagine being faced with that challenge of being blown off the park and getting ready to face Penrith.

Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said the result was « disappointing » with his side allowing the game to be played on South Sydney’s terms.

« We didn’t have any flow to our defence and our system broke down through the middle.

« They were dictating to us the whole game. We will address it as soon as possible. »

Rugby league greats Phil Gould and Andrew Johns have blasted the NRL Bunker for disallowing a try to South Sydney centre Campbell Graham.

Graham during the first half appeared to bag a certain try when he crashed over the line after busting his way through two Roosters defenders.

The play was sent to the NRL Bunker for a further review to confirm whether Graham had grounded the ball.

Despite replays showing what looked to be a favourable grounding for the South Sydney centre, the bunker ruled Graham lost control of the ball as he attempted to plant it down.

The decision against Graham didn’t sit well with Gould who criticised the bunker for always looking to « overrule » scoring plays.

After conceding the first try of the night in just the 3rd minute, the Rabbitohs would respond with tries to Cody Walker (13) and Alex Johnston (17) to take control of the game.

« This is where I’m starting to doubt the Roosters, » Former NSW Origin coach Phil Gould told Nine

NRL legend Brad Fittler has warned that the Rabbitohs may be in a dangerous frame of mind so close to the finals.

South Sydney are set to face the Sydney Roosters in a cross-town rivalry match tonight, in the final regular season round of the year.

The Roosters welcome back senior players Boyd Cordner from concussion and Jake Friend, in what should be a huge boost for the Tri-Colours.

But the Rabbitohs meanwhile are coming off a shock loss to the second-last on the ladder Bulldogs last week, which their coach Wayne Bennett admitted may be an attitude issue.

« Talking about attitude this time of year… it’s a lot harder to turn that around than something that’s tactical, » Fittler told Nine pre-game.

However in more welcome news for Souths fans, Fittler said the wet and wild weather in Sydney on Friday afternoon could work in the Rabbitohs’ favour.

« The conditions are a bit slippery so that favours [Souths half] Adam Reynolds and his kicking game, » Fittler said.

The Gold Coast Titans have absolutely embarrassed the Newcastle Knights ahead of finals football in a stunning 36-6 thrashing.

It will be a massive hit to the confidence of the Knights who would have hoped to put on a decent display in the final round of the regular season but now face a shocking first round finals exit off the back of the dismantling on Friday night.

On the flip side, it’s all looking up for the Titans who end their season off the back of five straight wins to claim ninth on the NRL ladder, the highest-placed finish of any of the Queensland franchises.

Fullback AJ Brimson had the highlight of the night when he went the full-field in a spectacular breakaway for one of the solo tries of the ages.

Meanwhile, questions will be asked of star pairing Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga who went missing in a shocking second-half shellacking.

Newcastle will now run the risk of relinquishing their crucial home semi final should the Rabbitohs emerge victorious over the Roosters later tonight.

Coach Adam O’Brien will have his work cut out for him with just a week to turn his side’s fortunes around.

The Titans flyer has gone the full-field in a spectacular breakaway for one of the solo tries of the ages!

It’s sure to be the highlight of what has fast become a spectacular night and back-end of the season for this resurgent Titans outfit.

Knights enforcer Jacob Saifiti has been placed on report for a crusher-style tackle in what could be a huge blow for Newcastle ahead of finals footy.

Saifti was cited late in the first half against the Titans when he came down awkwardly on the back of Young Tonumaipea’s neck.

While the impact was unintentionally it was more than enough to see the forward placed on report. It will remain to be seen what verdict will be handed down by the match review committee, but with finals looming, the loss of such a big name could prove crucial for the Knights.

Mitch Rein with the show and go, as he ducks under for a sneaky for pointer out of dummy half!

Titans playmaker Ash Taylor has set-up and finished a spectacular team-try to put the Knights on the back foot early.

Despite still having a home semi-final to play for, it was the Titans who shot off the blocks first on Friday night as Taylor changed the pace of the game with a beautiful flat pass out to the left edge.

That sparked a break-neck foray down the left flank which saw three Titans players link up before finding Taylor inside to cap off the move he first started.

« That left side of theirs has been lethal this season, that’s a nice rugby league try, » Queensland great Corey Parker said in commentary. « Classic rugby league at it’s best. »

Of the Titans’ 58 tries this season, 28 of them have come directly from the left edge.

« They give the ball a bit of air, they lit it sing and they score first, » added Fox Sports caller Dan Ginnane.

The Newcastle Knights will have « the game of the round » on their hands as they scrap against a resurgent Titans outfit to secure an all-important home semi-final.

A win in the last round of the regular season will see the Knights lockdown sixth-place, out reach of South Sydney who are nipping at their heels one-point behind in seventh.

It will be a major psychological advantage for the Novascotians who will relish the opportunity to play in front of a 50 per cent capacity crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium in the Hunter.

« The Titans are playing with tremendous spirit, aiming for five in a row, » Knights legend Andrew Johns said. « But I’m going to go the knights up there, this will be a really tough game.

« They win this one, they get a home semi which will be against South Sydney and they’ll have 50% capacity crowd which will be massive. »

« Bradman best back and Brian Kelly, so they will be on the opposite sides of the footy field, Edrick Lee back also. »

Source: https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/live-results-titans-knights-rabbitohs-roosters-start-time-scores-news-2020-round-20/f5674053-4904-4998-b307-a9f243d70fa1

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