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Rabbitohs keep Sharks off scoreboard

May 27, 2014 12:10:05 UK

South Sydney Rabbitohs picked up their third win in four games as they beat NRL bottom side Cronulla Sharks 18-0.

The Rabbitohs climbed into the top eight on the ladder as they managed their first shut-out of a rival team since 1999.

Cronulla’s hopes of boosting their fight against the wooden spoon were hit by the absence of seven of their best, including Origin stars Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis.

The Sharks lost another three players before and during the match, giving them an even tougher challenge against Michael Maguire’s side.

The home side lost David Fifita during warm up, Siosaia Vave suffered a knee injury and Ricky Leutele was another casualty.

Sam Burgess, whose 175 run metres was second only to brother George on the night, gave the visitors the lead on 21 minutes with a try and Adam Reynolds added the first of his three goals.

The Rabbitohs made sure of the win with two tries in a six-minute period around the hour mark, with Kirisome Auva’a and Cameron McIness going over.

Maguire said: “We knew it was going to be a tough old game. They made it hard for themselves at times. I think we didn’t complete five sets in a row there and we had to fight hard on our line.

“But they are working really hard for each other and we know we need to be better than that from an attacking point of view but our defence held us up strong.”

Sharks coach Peter Sharp felt his side were trying hard, but added: “We just weren’t good enough tonight and we are terribly busted as well. And in conjunction with that we can’t buy a trick off the ref so it just goes hand in hand.”

South Sydney are 6.50 to win the NRL grand final.

The Rabbitohs are 1.70 to finish in the top four.

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