Josh Reynolds of the Bulldogs is tackled by Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs.
Josh Reynolds of the Bulldogs is tackled by Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs. DEAN LEWINS

Josh Reynolds stars as Bulldogs put Rabbitohs to the sword

"IF I'm the Canterbury Bulldogs, the first player I am re-signing is Josh Reynolds and probably the second is Frawley, a genuine halfback."

Brett Kimmorley knows a good half when he sees one and in Reynolds and Matt Frawley he clearly sees a bright future for the Bulldogs.

Commentating for Fox Sports as the Dogs came from behind to beat the Rabbitohs 24-9, Kimmorley said what everyone who watched the game was thinking - that feisty five-eighth Reynolds is back to his very best and it's no coincidence that his form resurgence started when Frawley was promoted to first grade.

Reynolds was in everything the Bulldogs did well in the Good Friday blockbuster, scoring his side's first try just minutes after Frawley was injected into the game off the bench midway through the first half - a substitution that triggered a reshuffle of the spine, with Michael Lichaa taken off and Moses Mbye shifted to hooker.

Up until that point Canterbury's attack had been pedestrian, with Frawley's fellow interchange player Sam Kasiano the only player to trouble Souths' defensive line and the Rabbitohs on top.

Frawley's first notable impact on the game was a beautifully weighted cross-kick that young winger Marcelo Montoya plucked out of the air before dropping it over the line.

In the 73rd minute, the halfback repeated the play and this time he got the desired result, with Montoya again climbing highest to bat the ball back into the arms of Aiden Tolman, whose pass put Josh Morris over in the corner.

That try put the game to bed but in between those two exquisite kicks from Frawley it was Reynolds who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.

With his side trailing 9-8 at half-time, it was Reynolds who stated his side's intent, smashing Rabbitohs fullback Alex Johnston off a high bouncing Frawley kick at the end of the Bulldogs' first set of the second half.

Then in the 54th minute it was once again a huge defensive effort from the five-eighth that inspired his teammates to lift, with Reynolds chasing down Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds, pulling him down inches short of the try line.

 

The Bulldogs celebrate Joshua Jackson's try.
The Bulldogs celebrate Joshua Jackson's try. DEAN LEWINS

At that point the Rabbitohs were edging the contest but when Sam Burgess limped up the tunnel five minutes later, the Bulldogs took a stranglehold of the game.

That man again Reynolds was behind the play that finally snatched the lead for his side for the first time in the match when his angled run stretched the Rabbitohs' defence to breaking point and he put young centre Brenko Lee through a hole.

Lee still had plenty of work to do but his beautiful inside ball around a defender gave Josh Jackson a saloon passage to the try line and the Origin back-rower crashed over.

It was the straw that broke the camel's back and when the Bulldogs charged downfield again off the kick off and Kerrod Holland scored in the corner the game was as good as over.

After injecting new life into Canterbury's attack, it was fitting that a well measured kick from Frawley put an exclamation mark on the victory as Morris plunged over in the corner seven minutes before full-time.

News Corp Australia


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