The South Sydney Rabbitohs women's team undefeated run has come to an end going down to CRL Newcastle 24-4 at Morey Breen Oval.
With key players missing due to injury the Rabbitohs fielded a new formation of players, who showed incredible versatility and courage to adapt at a late stage.
Right from the outset Newcastle had something to prove running hard and direct but it was the Rabbitohs who got on the board first.
A big run from forward Kimbaley Kershaw set the Red and the Green up in good attacking position, allowing halfback Maddie Studdon to find Mary Taupau with a pinpoint kick the following tackle.
Studdon couldn't convert the conversion leaving the Rabbitohs with a 4-0 lead after 5 minutes.
However, Newcastle responded with intent, equalising through Hannah Southwell, who scored in the corner.
Halfback Melanie Howard was unsuccessful with her conversion from out wide making it 4-4 in the seventh minute of the match.
Newcastle would then amp up the pressure and were soon in again through centre Jayne Fressard, who was too strong and too powerful close to the line, extending her sides' lead out to 8-4.
The Rabbitohs tried their hearts out to get themselves back into the match but some poor errors in key moments let them down and they were soon punished for it.
Newcastle back-rower Caitlan Johnson barged over after a run from the car park to give Newcastle a 12-4 lead going into half-time.
Coming out in the second half the Rabbitohs started with a new intent lead by Studdon and forward Grace Uluiburuto.
However the Rabbitohs couldn't find the break they were after and Newcastle struck off the back of a couple of penalties.
Southwell went in for her second off the back of a sweeping backline move by Newcastle.
Howard nailed the conversion giving Newcastle a strong 18-4 lead.
The remained of the match turned into an arm wrestle as the Red and Green pushed Newcastle right to the death.
Despite continuously moving up the field through strong running, ball handling let the Red and Green down when they needed it most.
Newcastle would wrap up the match with a converted try from Howard, who dummied her way through the Rabbitohs line to score under the posts.
CRL Newcastle 24
Hannah Southwell 2, Melanie Howard, Jayne Fressard, Caitlan Johnson tries; Howard 2 goals
South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
Mary Taupau try