Flash back Friday: Preliminary Final 2012
Take a walk down memory lane and re-live the thumping the Bulldogs gave the Rabbitohs in 2012 Preliminary Final.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs booked their place in the 2012 NRL Grand Final with a dominant 32-8 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
The Rabbitohs pressured the Bulldogs line for long periods in the opening half but the defensive wall put up by Canterbury-Bankstown saw them score just the one try, before the minor premiers ran away with the game in the second half.
The Bulldogs got off to the perfect start, going 100m in their opening set before getting a penalty for a high hit by Michael Crocker on Kris Keating as he kicked the ball. From the ensuing set Krisnan Inu opened the scoring, fighting his way over in the corner after some good lead-up work by Josh Reynolds to give him some space and open up a 4-0 lead after three minutes.
Despite being in complete control, the game changed on back-to-back penalties to the Rabbitohs, which saw them march downfield and get on the board themselves through Issac Luke, the hooker diving over from dummy half after opening up a hole, and putting Souths in front 6-4.
An Adam Reynolds penalty goal in the 23rd minute pushed that lead to 8-4 however they were dealt a blow not long after when Reynolds was forced from the field with a hamstring injury.
The Bulldogs immediately turned the game around when Inu again found some space and popped a great ball for Reynolds. He dummied inside to Ben Barba but was forced into touch just short of the line by Greg Inglis.
The Bulldogs would finally get back in front in the 36th minute through Sam Perrett, who had a Reynolds kick land on his chest, but after Inu’s initial conversion attempt was waved away Canterbury-Bankstown received a penalty directly in front for a Sam Burgess knee on Perrett as he scored the try.
The second conversion was successful, putting the Bulldogs in front 10-8, but they struck again before the break.
Jonathan Wright was the try-scorer this time, planting down a Barba grubber ten seconds before the half time siren to increase the lead to 16-8.
After a tough start to the second half where both teams weren’t giving anything away, the Bulldogs extended their lead in the 55th minute through Perrett again.
After a Josh Morris break the ball was spread to the left where Greg Eastwood through a cut-out to the winger who tip-toed down the sideline and planted the ball down for a 20-8 lead.
The match was all but sealed in the 59th minute, with Eastwood heavily involved again as he broke through three tacklers before drawing Inglis and passing inside to Frank Pritchard, who got clear of the cover and scored next to the posts for a 26-8 lead.
With the result secured the Bulldogs clamped down on the Rabbitohs in the final quarter of the game, forcing errors while remaining to threaten in attack, before Eastwood picked up a loose ball and ran 45m to score next to the posts, securing a 32-8 win.
The win means the Bulldogs progress to the NRL Grand Final next Sunday at ANZ Stadium where they will meet the Melbourne Storm, while the South Sydney Rabbitohs are eliminated from the competition.