The Roosters and Rabbitohs promised fireworks in their elimination final clash, and they sure didn’t disappoint as the latter won 30-14 in one of the games of the year.
The biggest inter-club grudge match in the NRL lived up to the hype as no less than three players were sin-binned in a wild first half at Allianz Stadium. Four more were marched in the second to make it an NRL-record seven in one game.
The first was Tricolours firebrand Victor Radley, who engaged in a scuffle with South Sydney back Taane Milne.
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Play continue after their scuffle but suddenly referee Ashley Klein blew a halt to the game, and called Radley over to sin-bin him, explaining the Bunker had noticed a “punch”.
Tensions boil after third sin-bin
Replays showed Radley had pushed his fist into the back of Milne’s head as they wrestled, an act league great Andrew Johns could not believe warranted a binning.
“No!” Johns says on Nine’s coverage.
“No, no, no. Do they understand what’s at stake here?
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“Look at Victor. He is filthy.”
The stakes are simple – lose and your season is over, win and you live to fight another week.
“Outside State of Origin III this year, nothing has compared to this game, what’s happened (in) the first 40 minutes: the drama, the sin-bins, the collisions, the HIAs,” Brad Fittler said on Nine’s coverage.
“It is just on.”
Two binned as Roosters, Rabbitohs clash
Tensions did not simmer down after the Radley binning. In fact they boiled over further.
South Sydney lost Tom Burgess and then Milne to the sin-bin in separate incidents for different high tackles.
After Milne collected Joseph Suaalii high, Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves stormed in to get in the face of referee Klein, and yelled something inaudible to the broadcast.
He had to be pulled away by Radley, who was back on the field at this stage.
To cape it all off Latrell Mitchell copped three high shots, before scoring a try to silence the Roosters fans temporarily.
“If you’re not enjoying this, you need to check yourself for a pulse,” Nine commentator Mathew Thompson said.
“This is as good as rugby league gets.”
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