The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have bounced back from last week’s defeat to Mounties to record a 36-24 win over the ladder leading South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
The Bulldogs win pushes them to outright second place on 27 points and one behind the Rabbitohs with two games left before the finals series begins.
Jayden Okunbor scored a second half double, while 19-year old Jake Averillo scored his second try in as many weeks to lead the Bulldogs to victory.
Averillo on his rise through the junior ranks
Connelly Leumelu opened the scoring for the Dogs when he crossed in the fourth minute and Brandon Wakeham converted.
Wakeham added a penalty goal in the 10th minute to give Canterbury an 8-nil lead, before the Rabbitohs hit back with tries in the 15th and 18th minute to lead 10-8 after the opening 20 minutes.
The first placed Bunnies added a third try when Billy Britain crossed and Dean Hawkins converted to extend their lead to eight.
Morgan Harper and Matt Doorey both grabbed four pointers in the final ten minutes of the half, while South Sydney converted a penalty just before the half-time siren to lead 18-16 at the break.
Okunbor: Our intensity won us the game
Following the break, Connor Tracey extended the home sides lead when he scored in the 46th minute to take the score to 24-16 with just over half an hour left in the game.
Tracey’s try would be the last time the Rabbitohs added to the score sheet as Canterbury scored three tries in 20 minutes.
Winger Okunbor scored in the 51st and 57th minutes, while Averillo capped an impressive performance with an 80-metre solo try late in the second half and help the Bulldogs to their 12th win of the season.
Wakeham converted two of the tries and added a penalty goal just before full-time to finish the night with six conversions and a personal tally of 12 points.
Canterbury head to Ringrose Park next Saturday, August 24 to face Wentworthville as they continue to push for a top four finish.