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South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: 6 things we learned

The Bunnies ran out 28-14 victors at the ANZ Stadium against the battling Bulldogs. Here, we take a look at what we learned across the full 80 minutes.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs did enough to see off a Bulldogs team that has struggled to score points all season, with Alex Johnston, Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds playing starring roles for the famous cardinal and myrtle green.

  1. 1 Cody Walker is a five-eighth

    He spent some time as the custodian at the back in the wake of losing Greg Inglis. He earned plenty of plaudits in the process but there's no doubt that Walker is predominantly a five-eighth.

    The kid has plenty of ability and a great temperament while his partnership with Adam Reynolds is coming together.

    With Inglis to come back in to the side next season, and the added headache of trying to move Johnston back to the wing after his sensational form at the back, Walker could be the perfect foil to Reynolds wearing the number six jersey in 2018.

  2. 2 It ain't working, Des

    Josh Reynolds at five-eighth, Chase Stanley at half-back, Moses Mbye at hooker and Matt Frawley coming off the bench.

    Say what you will about the Bulldogs spine and creative players in 2017 but the latest combination Des has thrown up has had no more success than any previous effort. They look equally out of their depth in trying to create any opportunities for their side, even against another side which has struggled defensively this season.

  3. 3 Where's the Burrow?

    I know it hasn't been a banner year for the famous old club, but how ugly was it seeing a near-empty Burrow wedged in on the far side of the ANZ Stadium?

    It's hard to blame the fans. Thursday night footy can be a pain and the ANZ Stadium isn't exactly smack-bang in the middle of Rabbitohs heartland. But it was a little disappointing to see such a low and quiet turn out on the back of a good win last week at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    The ground doesn't lend itself to creating a great atmosphere with anything less than a full house, but the fans in the Burrow could have had a chat with their friends three bays away tonight.

  4. 4 Cheers Spud!

    While the man himself may have been more famous for his fearless running style and his running confrontations with Paul Harragon, Mark Carroll may have forced his way onto Michael Maguire's Christmas card list with his inspiration to the Burgess twins.

    Spud criticised the pair for playing over their ideal weight earlier this week and he clearly hit a nerve with Tom and George putting on some of their best football of the year in a stinging rebuke of Carroll's barbs.

    The only downside from Maguire's perspective will be that Carroll didn't speak up at the start of the season.

  5. 5 Alex Johnston is a natural try-scorer

    Gee, Johnston loves a try or two doesn't he?

    He has been a try-scoring machine this season despite playing in a team who struggle to create scoring opportunities. 

    Johnston grabbed another brace against the Bulldogs to ensure he had breathing room in the race to be the leading try-scorer of the year.

    He scored five tries against the Panthers in one game earlier this year and has consistently found the line for much of the season. He remains a potent weapon from fullback.

  6. 6 Josh Reynolds in the dog house

    There are few more divisive figures in the game than Josh Reynolds. But to see a man who has bled blue and white in his years with the club limping off during the first half was a sad sight. 

    After suffering a calf strain, Reynolds had his head in his hands, sitting in the changing room as play continued. He looked desolate and inconsolable, leading many to fear the worst for his final few weeks with the club before linking up with the Wests Tigers for 2018.

    Things haven't been great with Reynolds as part of the attacking brains at the club. But imagine how rudderless and impotent they might look without one of their more experienced halves in the next few weeks, should his injury rule him out. 

    What were your highlights from the Bunnies 28-14 win over the Bulldogs? Let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Lang

Rugby League & Cricket editor at RealSport.

Daniel is a passionate advocate for the game of rugby league and the development of the sport across the world and, as such, writes with a zeal and determination to spread the gospel of the game.

A huge fan of cricket, football, NFL, Tennis and Supercar racing in Australia, Daniel can quickly find himself a casual fan of just about any sport after putting his mind to watching it.

Daniel is also one-half of the hugely successful podcast 'Panthers Weekly with Strawbs & Teach' where he talks all things Panthers Weekly while he also hosts the current affairs show 'the Strawbs Show' and the 'Summer of Cricket with Strawbs & Shnuu' as well as appearing on the Sydney FC covering 'Nothing But Blue Skies' podcast occasionally.

South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: 6 things we learned

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