Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: Inu unleashed again

Krisnan Inu celebrates another score. Photo / Getty Images
Krisnan Inu celebrates another score. Photo / Getty Images

If the 1980s television show Ripley's Believe It Or Not was still running on New Zealand screens, Krisnan Inu would be dominating the entire episode tonight.

The maverick winger, in his second game for the Bulldogs, came up with the first field goal of his career - from nearly 40 metres - in the 76th minute to win this game. Earlier he had scored a try, and converted all three tries, including one from the sideline.

A David Stagg try - with an juggling assist from Inu - sealed the match near the hooter. After being down 12-0 after 25 minutes, the Bulldogs scored three converted tries in a blistering 10-minute spell before halftime.

This was always going to be one of the games of the round. The Bulldogs had recovered after a mini-slump of only two wins in seven games earlier this year while Souths had been the form team of late, with four consecutive wins. It was an entertaining, hard-fought game with many sub-plots but Inu will steal the headlines.

As reported in the Australian media yesterday, the Bulldogs are apparently paying just A$50,000 ($64,000) for Inu's services for the remainder of the year. So far they are getting value for money. While he didn't over-exert himself with hit-ups, the 25-year-old showed good awareness to stop a certain Souths try midway through the first half.

He looks relaxed and confident, perhaps relieved to be away from the constant microscope and (self inflicted) misery at Mt Smart.

Souths completely dominated the first quarter, with early tries to Justin Hunt (3rd minute) and rampaging second rower David Taylor (his eighth try in 11 games) 12 minutes later. To Des Hasler's obvious frustration, the Bulldogs couldn't win a trick; they were unconvincing on attack, gave away a surfeit of penalties and had no territory. They finally got some momentum after a controversial penalty following a minor dust-up in Souths territory. In their first set in the Rabbitohs' red zone, they scored - Inu sliding over in the 28th minute after Ben Barba created an overlap.

Inu then produced a majestic sideline conversion and three minutes later they scored again through Jonathan Wright after clever work from Josh Reynolds. After Barba showed wonderful reflexes to score, the Bulldogs suddenly had the lead.

In the second half Souths got back in the game through Dylan Farrell, who produced an astonishing one-handed slapped touchdown from a Reynolds grubber after 53 minutes. But they couldn't drag back the Dogs.

Rabbitohs 18 (J. Hunt, D. Taylor, D. Farrell tries, A. Reynolds 3 goals), Bulldogs 23 (K. Inu, J. Wright, B. Barba, D. Stagg tries, Inu 3 goals, 1 dropped goal). Halftime: 12-12.

THE WESTS TIGERS began the season as favourites and are finally starting to play like it.

They easily accounted for a disappointing Canberra Raiders side to extend their winning streak to six games and have cemented themselves in the middle of the top eight.

Benji Marshall and New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah controlled the game well.

Raiders 0, Tigers 40 (C. Sironen, R. Farah, B. Murdoch-Masila, B. Ryan, C. Lawrence, M. Utai, L. Fulton tries, B. Marshall 6 goals). Halftime: 20-0.

- Herald on Sunday

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