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The South Sydney Rabbitohs have finished the first day of Auckland Nines competition with mixed results at Eden Park.

The red and greens began their campaign with an impressive win over the St George Illawarra Dragons by 23-4 in a match that showed a wide variety of the Rabbitohs’ arsenal. But it wasn’t all fair sailing, with the side going down to the Storm by 18-12 in their second match of the day.

There was however enough in the two performances to be proud of. In total, John Sutton set up three tries with the boot, while Dylan Walker and Luke Keary showed plenty of promise with both players proving to be among the most dangerous in the competition with their speed and aggressive attack.

With only one match remaining in the pool stage of the tournament, the only team standing in the way of a finals berth for the Rabbitohs, are the undefeated Penrith Panthers.


Standings after day one:





Team 1

Team 1

Team 1

Team 1

Warriors 4

Roosters 2

Sharks 2

Storm 2

Team 2

Team 2

Team 2

Team 2

Raiders 0

Eels 4

Knights 2

Panthers 4

Team 3

Team 3

Team 3

Team 3

Sea Eagles 2

Broncos 2

Tigers 2

Rabbitohs 2

Team 4

Team 4

Team 4

Team 4


2014 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines Match Summaries


Game 1: Cronulla Sharks 15 d Newcastle 12

A last minute try to full-back Nathan Gardner secured Cronulla Sharks a 15-12 victory over Newcastle Knights in the opening match.

With both teams finding their feet in the frantic pace of nine-minutes a side, the Sharks took a 7-6 lead into half-time.

An offload from Paul Gallen saw Todd Carney score for an 11-6 lead before a crossfield kick by Jarred Mullen landed into the arms of centre Joseph Leilua to score to leave the knights trailing 11-10. Mullen converted to give Newcastle a 12-11 lead.

The Sharks regained the lead in the final minute when the ball shifted left and despite a right hand knockdown attempt by the Knights, Gardner juggled the ball to score for the 15-12 scoreline.

Cronulla Sharks 15 (Sam Tagataese (bonus), Todd Carney, Nathan Gardner tries; Daniel Holdsworth goal) d

Newcastle 12 (Tyrone Roberts, Joseph Leilua tries; Jarred Mullen 2 goals).


Game 2: Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers

A first blitz laid the foundation for the Gold Coast Titans’ 22-7 win over the Wests Tigers.

Three tries in nine minutes to Kevin Gordon, Paul Carter and David Mead saw the Titans lead 12-0 at half-time.

Wests Tigers full-back James Tedesco showed blistering pace to score a bonus try under the posts to get his side back to 12-7 before Siuatonga Likiliki and Kalifa Faifai crossed for the Titans to secure victory.

The Titans breathed a sigh of relief when forward David Taylor only suffered a corked right knee after falling to the ground in the second half.

Gold Coast Titans 22 (Kevin Gordon, Paul Carter, David Mead, Siuatonga Likiliki, Kalifa Faifai Loa tries; Kelly goal) d Wests Tigers 7 (James Tedesco (bonus) try, Pat Richards goal).


Game 3: Eels 18 d Roosters 11

Parramatta winger Semi Radradra scored three tries in the Eels’ 18-11 win over Sydney Roosters.

Radradra scored two in the first half in a match that marked the return to the rugby league field for the Nines tournament only of league legend Brad Fittler.

Half-backs Chris Sandow (Eels) and Mitchell Pearce (Roosters) were both dominant.

Eels 18 (Semi Radradra 3 tries; Vai Toutai tries, Sandow goal) d Sydney Roosters 11 (Mitchell Pearce, Daniel Tupo tries; Pearce goal)


Game 4: Brisbane 20 d Canterbury 4

The match saw the first appearance of former Bulldogs full-back Ben Barba in a Brisbane jersey. He felt his first touch too in a heavy hit by Michael Ennis.

The Bulldogs opened the scroring when five-eighth Moses Mybe scored in the left corner for a 4-0 lead. Brisbane spread the ball left after Sam Thaiday had to run backwards to take a pass before centre Dale Copley scored for a 4-all scoreline at half-time.

Brisbane hit the lead when hooker Andrew McCullogh darted out from half for an 8-4 lead. It soon became 12-4 lead when half-back Ben Hunt found some tired Bulldogs defenders on the left side.

Barba finished off the scoring with a try in the right corner in the final seconds.

Brisbane 20 (Dale Copley, Andrew McCullough, Ben Hunt, Stewart Mills, Ben Barba tries) d Canterbury  4 (Moses Mybe try).


Game 5: Warriors 25 d Canberra 14

The double act of Sam Tomkins and Shaun Johnson electrified the Eden Park crowd in the Warriors’ 25-14 win over Canberra.

Englishman Tomkins was spectacular in his first appearance for the Warriors whilst the magical skills of the elusive Johnson was certainly on show.

Johnson finished off a superb spectular try three minutes before half-time when he stepped and jinked his way over the line in the bonus point zone after a superb long cut out pass from Tomkins.

The Warriors scored one of the best tries of the tournament when Suaia Matagi finished off a magical team play to dive over in the corner.

Warriors 25 (Glenn Fisiiahi, Shaun Johnson (bonus)  Suaia Matagi, Solomone Kata, Johnson 4 goals) d Canberra 14 (Mitch Cornish, Andrew Heffernan tries, Jarrad Kennedy Glenn Buttriss goal)


Game 6: Manly 17 v Cowboys 8

A spectacular one handed corner post try to Kyle Feldt was not enough to give the Cowboys victory against Manly.

Feldt showed amazing ability to plant the ball down with one hand in what will rate as one of the best tries of the tournament.

A bonus try under the post to Cheyse Blair secured victory for Manly in the second half after earlier tries to David Williams and Peta Hiku.

Manly 17 (David Williams, Kyle Feldt, Cheyse Blair (bonus) tries, Daly Cherry-Evans goal) d Cowboys 8 (Kyle Feldt, Curtis Rona tries).


Game 7: Penrith 14 d Melbourne 11

Penrith recorded a hard fought win over Melbourne Storm.

Tries to Etonia Nabuli, Josh Mansour and Isaah Yeo secured the victory for the Panthers. Will Chambers scored the lone try for the Storm.

Full-back Will Chambers gave Melbourne some hope late in the game with a try in the corner before Penrith secured victory with a try to Isaah Yeo after a short side play by Jamie Soward.

Cameron Munster scored a bonus try under the posts in the final minute but it was a little too late.

Penrith 14 (Etonia Nabuli, Josh Mansour, Jamie Soward tries, Matt Moylan goal) d Melbourne 11 (Will Chambers, Cameron Munster (bonus), Sisa Waqa goal).


Game 8: Souths 23 d Dragons 4

South Sydney’s backline enjoyed plenty of open space in their 23-4 win over St George-Illawarra.

Chris McQueen leapt high to score off a John Sutton crossfield kick while former Wests Tigers players Lote Tuqiri and Joel Reddy scored tries for their new club.

St George-Illawarra full-back Josh Dugan was twice denied a try and was dangerous in attack.

Souths 23 (Alex Johnston, Chris McQueen, Lote Tuqiri, Joel Reddy (bonus), Luke Keary tries, Joel Reddy goal) d St George-Illawarra  4 (Brett Morris try).


Game 9: Wests Tigers 21 d Cronulla 15

A standout performance by full-back James Tedesco inspired Wests Tigers to a 21-15 win over Cronulla Sharks.

Tedesco saved two tries and scored one in a match that featured the first sin bin of the tournament after Sharks full-back Nathan Gardner was penalised for knocking the ball down from an offside position to leave his team one man short. Wests Tigers capitalised immediately when prop Aaron Woods scored.

Wests Tigers 21 (Aaron Woods, Pat Richards, Marika Koroibete, James Tedesco (bonus), Pat Richards 2 goals) d Cronulla (Sosaia Feki, Sam Tagataese (bonus), Ricky Leutele tries; Todd Carney goal).


Game 10: Newcastle 25 d Gold Coast 14

Newcastle centre Joseph Leilua scored a hat-trick of tries in the 25-14 win over the Gold Coast Titans.

Leilua proved a handful for the Titans out wide while Jeremy Smith crossed for a bonus try in the win.

Gold Coast centre Brad Tighe scored two bonus tries under the posts.

Newcastle 25 (Jeremy Smith (bonus),  Joseph Leilua (3), Jake Mamo tries, Tyrone Roberts, Jarrod Mullen goals) d Gold Coast Titans 14 (Brad Tighe 2 bonus tries, Albert Kelly 2 goals).


Game 11: Sydney Roosters 14 d Brisbane 7

The biggest cheer in this game came for league legend Brad Fittler.

Fittler took an intercept pass to race 60 metres to score under the posts for a bonus point to the delight of the crowd and the 43-year-old.

Another bonus try to Mitchell Pearce proved the difference in the end.

Sydney Roosters 14 (Brad Fittler (bonus), Mitchell Pearce (bonus), Siosiua Taukeiaho 2 goals)

d Brisbane 7 (Corey Parker try,  Andrew McCullough goal).

Game 12: Eels 23 d Bulldogs 6

Parramatta recorded their second straight win with a convincing 23-6 win over the Bulldogs.

The Eels had too much speed and skill out wide with Semi Radradra registering his fourth try in tw games after a hat-trick in his previous match.

The Bulldogs have lost both of their matches.

Parramatta 23 (Manu Mau, Corey Norman, Vai Toutai (bonus), Peni Terepo,  Semi Radradra tries; Toutai goal) d Bulldogs 6 (Sam Perrett try, Drury Low goal)


Game 13: Warriors 27 d Manly 4

The Warriors kept the home country supporters happy with a 25-4 victory over Manly.

A tight first half saw the Warriors lead 6-4 at the break before four second half tries saw the locals storm home. Sam Tomkins, although quieter than his first match, showed his class with a sidestepping run to set up a try for Shaun Johnson.

Warriors 27 (Solomone Kata, Dominique Peyroux, David Fusitua, Shaun Johnson (bonus), Tuimoala Lolohea tries, Johnson 3 goals) d Manly 4 (James Hasson).


Game 14: Nth Qld Cowboys 24 d Canberra 0

North Queensland were the first team to keep a side scoreless with a 24-0 win over Canberra.

The match featured the first penalty try of the tournament after Cowboys forward Gavin Cooper was tackled from behind in-goal in trying to score. The try was awarded in the bonus zone.

Nth Qld Cowboys 24 (Gavin Cooper (penalty bonus try), Ray Thompson, Kane Linnett, Javid Bowen (bonus), Kyle Feldt 3 goals) d Canberra 0.


Game 15: Storm 18 v Rabbitohs 12

Melbourne recorded their first win with an 18-12 victory over South Sydney.

Full-back Will Chambers scored two tries in the win, including a bonus zone try.

It was one of the upset wins of the tournament, giving Souths recorded a comfortable first match win over St George-Illawarra.

Melbourne Storm 18 (Will Chambers (2, one bonus), Mahe Fonua tries, Sisa Waqa 2 goals) d South Sydney 12 (Nathan Merritt, Joel Reddy, Beau Champion tries).


Game 16: Penrith 23 d St George-Illawarra 8

George Jennings and Etonia Nabuli scored two tries each in Penrith’s 23-8 win over St George-Illawarra.

St George-Illawarra winger Brett Morris scored a freakish try when he flew through the air over the top of Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward to catch the ball as he was falling to the ground.

Soward enjoyed the win against his former team-mates.

Penrith 23 (George Jennings 2), Etonia Nabuli (2, one in bonus zone);  Jamie Soward 2 goals, Matt Moylan goal) d St George-Illawarra 8 (Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale tries).

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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