Rabbitohs VS Storm (Part III): It’s Kickoff Time!

"Beneath the Burrow..."

“Beneath the Burrow…”

Round 27 2013:  Bunnies VS Storm

Round 27 2013: Bunnies VS Storm

With the sweet strains of Glory Glory still echoing throughout ANZ Stadium, it was time for the Bunnies to avenge last night’s loss, as well as snap a lengthy losing streak against Melbourne.  The moment of time was about to reckon with the opening kickoff from the Storm.

The opening kick flew across the field, cutting through the air, and landed into the arms of Jeff Lima.  Within 7 seconds, Lima was tackled at the 15 m line (1st tackle).  Then, Luke Burgess gets taken down at  the 20 m line (2nd tackle).  Jeff Lima then gets tackled at the 28 m line (3rd tackle).  Then, Sam Burgess heads for midfield, but gets taken down at the 40 m line (4th tackle).  A punted ball then soared overhead and into the arms of Melbourne’s fullback, Billy Slater.

At 1:10 seconds, Souths get called on an illegal shoulder tackle.  With that penalty awarded to Melbourne, the Storm restarted the play at the 45 m line.  It didn’t take long for Souths to shake off that penalty and retake control.  But the repossession would be short-lived; at 3:21 seconds, a dropped ball by the Bunnies (error) gave way to a scrum, giving the ball back to Melbourne.

Fortunately, what goes around comes around, and the Storm dropped the ball just 10 meters from the try line; a scrum for Souths would soon follow.  I managed to catch some great shots of both Billy Slater of the Storm and Rabbitohs captain, John Sutton exchanging tackles in a great melee.  The first close call of the game  happened at 6:16 seconds: just before 6th tackle, the Storm run the ball up field, and a high kick towards the end zone is intercepted by Rabbitohs wing, Nathan Merritt.  Whew!

After catching my breath from that catch, the Bunnies began what I like to think was their first big offensive surge.  A short-lived moment, however, when Sutton was brought down inside the 45 m line on 5th tackle.  A quick pass off to Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds resulted in a punt towards the Storm.  At 7:00 minutes into the game, Billy Slater catches the ball and begins another offensive run.  10 seconds later, a pass to Storm wing Justin O’Neil resulted in a dropped ball at the 20 m line.  An error for Melbourne, but a big turnaround for us Bunnies!  Reynolds scoops up the dropped ball, and makes a pass towards Rabbitohs wing, Dylan Farrell.  At 7:19 seconds, the red and green faithful exploded into a frenzy when Farrell carried the ball from inside the 20 m line and into the try line!  Bunnies take a 4-0 lead over the Storm!  In less than 20 seconds, we went from a punted ball on 5th tackle, to scooping up a ball from an error on the Storm, to a try!  Moments later, Adam Reynolds converts the ball for an additional two points; Bunnies extend the lead to 6-0.

A Band of Bunnies: Celebrating a TRY!

A Band of Bunnies: Celebrating a TRY!

After that, I was able to relax for a bit, and go right back to singing along with The Burrow!  For the next few minutes, I was splitting my time between singing, drinking, talking with my friend, Bill, and signaling for Reggie to come towards our bay.  Meanwhile, back on the field, the Bunnies were doing everything they could to harness that momentum from that try.  At 11:15 seconds, Dylan Farrell makes his first error when he dropped the ball at the 30 m line.  The Storm regained control, and made a hell of march towards the try line.  A punted ball on 5th tackle at 12:11 seconds landed in the hands of John Sutton; a line-dropout would follow.

For the next 10 minutes, I watched in awe as the Burgess Brothers and Dylan Farrell took center stage as they juggled the ball back and forth, ducking and dodging the Storm at every meter.  If they couldn’t make it past the 50 m line, I was hoping that they were at least wearing down Melbourne’s defense; I figured they were to tire them out now, and in the second half, Melbourne would come out a little sluggish from being banged up.  At least I hoped.  One thing was for sure: George Burgess (interchange) running through the defense with those huge legs was certainly a sight to behold!

At 19:29 seconds, Souths get a penalty awarded to them; the Storm were called on a tackle interference.  A bit of confusion then gave way to the Bunnies beginning a new play from inside Melbourne’s 30 m line.  Rabbitohs front row man, Sam Burgess, makes a great run for the line, but gets tackled inside the 10 m line.  Sam Burgess then handed it off to Rabbitohs second row man, Ben Te’o, who gets taken down inside the 5 m line.  Te’o hands it off to Rabbitohs hooker, Isaac Luke, who gets taken down a few meters shy of the line.  Just when it looked like we’d relinquish control, the referees award us a penalty: the Storm get called on an illegal tackling hold.  Since the Bunnies were really close to the line, Reynolds gets called on to kick a field goal.  Predictably, Reynolds easily converted the kick and gave us Bunnies an 8-0 lead!

Bunnies on Defense

Bunnies on Defense

In fact, right after Reynolds first penalty goal kick, things only got better.  At 24:44 seconds, right after Rabbitohs fullback, Greg Inglis got tackled 10 m from the try line, Souths were awarded another penalty for an illegal tackle by Melbourne (this was the 5th penalty in 5 minutes for the Rabbitohs).  At 25:02 seconds, Sam Burgess gets tackled 3 m from the try line, then he handed it off to Rabbitohs lock, Jeff Lima.  Lima carried the ball across the line and gave the Bunnies a 12-0 lead!  Reynolds followed up with another successful conversion, giving the Bunnies a 14-0 lead.

Afterwards, us Bunnies were treated to a smattering of penalties, most of which were on the backs of the Storm; scrums, differential penalties, and illegal tackles were a few to say the least.  All it did was give the Rabbitohs more of an advantage.  But it wasn’t all rosy for the Rabbitohs; at 28:50 seconds, the Rabbitohs committed an illegal tackle (a rough tackle around the neck).  30 minutes into the first half gave us Bunnies the biggest scare of the game when the Storm began their biggest rush towards the try line.  A punted kick from within our 40 m line put the Storm on the offense as they headed towards the line.  At 30:47 seconds, Justin O’Neil looked like he would score a try, but was denied just a meter shy of line.  Whew!  As if that weren’t nerve-wracking enough, a punted kick on 5th tackle from the Storm looked like a bonafide try, but Dylan Farrell heroically caught the punted ball inside the end zone, resulting in a line dropout.  Again, whew!  This event would be repeated again, only this time, Bryson Goodwin would catch the ball, but no line dropout this time.

Relax, Bunnies.  The Storm were the ones who were denied a try!

Relax, Bunnies. The Storm were the ones who were denied a try!

For the last few minutes of the first half, the Rabbitohs looked like they had their back against the wall and that they may have lost a bit of their mojo from earlier in the half.  First, Souths get accused of holding down a player for too long during a tackle.  Then, Reynolds gets accused of an illegal hold on a Storm player.  And finally, as if O’Neil’s near try wasn’t torture enough for us red and green bunnies, at 36:46 seconds, the Rabbitohs successfully deny the Storm a try just a meter shy of the line, courtesy of Te’o.  I almost fainted in my seat, but Bill graciously held my beer so it would land on my butt!  For one last hurrah, captain John Sutton attempt a drop goal kick, but misses the goal posts, denying us an extra one point.  And just before the halftime siren sounded, Storm captain, Cameron Smith was awarded a penalty kick from a Souths player holding a Storm player.  Luckily, Smith misses the kick, and the Storm remain scoreless.

HALFTIME  

Rabbitohs:  14  Storm:  0

TO BE CONTINUED…

Coming up next, the exciting conclusion of one of the best games of footy I have ever seen.

 

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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One Response to Rabbitohs VS Storm (Part III): It’s Kickoff Time!

  1. Pingback: Rabbitohs VS Storm (Part IV): Botany Road | Traveling With Jared

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