South Sydney have bowed out of the 2014 Auckland Nines tournament this afternoon after going down to host side, the New Zealand Warriors in a tight 17-16 affair.
In a tight opening two minutes, Dylan Walker tried to spark something by kicking in behind the Warriors’ line. The play nearly came off with Walker leading the chase, but he was unable to regather.
But it was the Warriors who drew first blood, with Glen Fisiiahi hitting the ball at speed to race over for a converted try.
The Warriors backed it up again with an easy try through Ngani Laumape who powered over in similar fashion to the Fisiiahi try to leave the score at 10-0 at half-time.
On the resumption, a simple kick in behind the line from John Sutton into the in-goal allowed Chris McQueen to go over for the side’s first try of the game thanks to the Warriors failing to diffuse.
The Warriors hit straight back however when Shaun Johnson split the Rabbitohs before racing to 30 metres to score a bonus zone try. Sam Tomkins converted to make it 17-4.
With match winding down, a grubber-kick from close range allowed Nathan Merritt to score. Koroisau converted and it was closely followed by a quick converted try to Dylan Walker.
But it wasn’t enough for the Rabbitohs – the game finishing at 17-16 in the Warriors’ favour with the home side progressing through to the semi-finals.
Warriors 17 (Glen Fisiiahi, Ngani Laumape, Shaun Johnson tries; Shaun Johnson, Sam Tomkins goals)
Rabbitohs 16 (Chris McQueen, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Walker tries; Apisai Koroisau, Dylan Walker goals)