Rabbitohs send Roosters packing amid sin-bin drama to keep finals campaign alive

Seven sin-bins, two costly concussions and one brutal battle marked the latest chapter in the NRL’s oldest feud between South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters.

The Rabbitohs won the elimination final 30-14 in front of a crowd of 39, 816 spectators at the Sydney Stadium, ending the Roosters’ 2022 hopes in one of the most chaotic games in recent memory.

The Roosters’ cause was not helped when they lost James Tedesco and Angus Crichton to first-half concussions and were deprived of winger Daniel Tupou for the second half.

At one point they had just 13 fit bodies when Siosiua Taukeiaho went off for a second-half head injury assessment for which he was later cleared.

Roosters lock Victor Radley was sin-binned in each half — the first for punching after the intervention of the bunker and the second for running in and causing a melee.

Teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also got sent for 10 minutes on the sideline by referee Ashley Klein in the second half after he slammed Tom Burgess’s head into the ground with his forearm.

The seven sin-bins was a record for the NRL era, with the Rabbitohs also losing Burgess and Tevita Tatola.

Taane Milne, like Radley, was sin-binned in both halves.

The Rabbitohs’ sin-binned trio would all be considered fortunate to play next Saturday when they take on Cronulla at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Tedesco was sent for an assessment in the 18th minute after he got collected by a thundering high shot from Burgess, who doubled down 60 seconds later and got sent after he hit Matt Lodge in similar fashion.

Milne followed him off shortly after when he contacted Tedesco’s replacement at fullback — Joseph Suaalii — flush across the jaw.

Tedesco received clearance to return by the doctor until he showed concussion symptoms and was ruled out.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player holds the ball as he is tackled by two South Sydney opponents.
Roosters captain James Tedesco (centre) failed an HIA in the first half.(AAP: Mark Evans)

With Burgess and Milne off, the Rabbitohs spent nine minutes down to 11 players in the first half but managed to keep the Roosters at bay and even scored through Latrell Mitchell.

The relentless booing of Mitchell for the second week in a row was relegated to a footnote in an explosive opening 40 minutes but the fullback was assured and kicked five goals from as many attempts.

He converted Alex Johnston’s opener before first-half tries to Crichton and Tupou to give the Rabbitohs a 12-8 half-time lead.

With the Roosters without their two try scorers and Tedesco in the second half, Johnston crossed for his second of the match soon after the break.

Waerea-Hargreaves was sin-binned for his hit on Burgess with Jai Arrow extending the Rabbitohs’ advantage after diving on a Cody Walker grubber kick in the 54th minute.

Nat Butcher hit back for the Roosters before Tatola and Radley were marched for forming a melee.

Centre Isaiah Taas made sure of victory when he weaved his way over the line to keep the Rabbitohs’ finals hopes alive.


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