The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Wests Tigers by 25-16 in round three of the Telstra Premiership at ANZ Stadium in front of 20,061 Members and supporters.
To watch the match wrap-up, please click here.
To watch Michael Maguire's post game reaction, please click here.
To watch the post match press conference, please click here.
The Rabbitohs lost Greg Inglis early In a brutal encounter plagued by poor ball-control ill-discipline, sin-binnings and a handful of players placed on report on both sides – the Rabbitohs struggling to find their rhythm against a Tigers outfit keen to make a statement.
With two minutes gone, the Rabbitohs got the first penalty to give them attacking position 31 metres out from the line – and it paid dividends immediately. A short pass from John Sutton to Ben Lowe opened up a gaping hole in the Tigers’ defence for Lowe to race the remaining 12 metres to open the scoring for the red and greens. Reynolds converted to make it 6-0 in Souths’ favour.
Pat Richards’ towering kick-off saw Greg Inglis have to race to get under the pill. With Inglis getting in low to make the catch, Tim Simona collected the Rabbitohs fullback high with a shoulder to the head. Inglis left the field causing a shift in positions. Kyle Turner came on as a replacement for his first grade debut while Nathan Merritt reverted to fullback.
Despite getting a penalty for the incident, it was the Tigers who looked to score through Keith Galloway. But the big prop lost control of the ball as he attempted to plant the ball down.
An awkward tackle on George Burgess saw big brother Sam take exception, a penalty going the way of the Tigers as a result – the fiery opening to the match continuing.
On the back of a number of repeat sets thanks to a string of penalty’s and drop balls on the Rabbitohs line, the Tigers’ Luke Brooks sent Bodene Thompson over from short-range to make it 6-4 in favour of Souths.
After a torrid mid-section of the half, Tim Simona was in for the Tigers after Braith Anasta hoisted a towering bomb. The kicks ensuing contest cast considerable doubt over the try, but video refs Jared Maxwell and Andrew Dunemann were happy to give the four-pointer. Pat Richards converted from the sideline to give the Tigers the lead 10-6.
Wests rode the momentum immediately when Pat Richards finished off a sleek backline movement to seemingly score out wide. The video ref disagreed, but the Tigers got a penalty as a result of Ben Lowe’s effort to stop the try was deemed to be too high. But Tim Simona made no mistake a minute later when he crossed for his second of the night on the back of the penalty. Anasta missed the conversion leaving the Tigers leading 14-6 to round out a brutal first half.
The second half started poorly for Souths with the Tigers’ Pat Richards taking advantage of the smallest of overlaps to score right on the touchline. The winger failed to convert his own try, leaving the scores at 18-6 mere minutes into the second half.
The Rabbitohs looked to score through Adam Reynolds, but the video referee called a knock on earlier in the play.
But the Tigers were in again shortly after through James Tedesco, who picked up a well-placed grubber kick from Luke Brooks to score. Pat Richards converted to extend the Tigers’ lead to 24-6 with 26 minutes remaining.
The Tigers’ Braith Anasta looked to seal the win early with 18 minutes left with a field goal to bring the score to 25-6.
With the match raining high tackles, a general caution from the referee warning; ‘next player’s off’ eventually resulted in Luke Burgess being sin-binned for just that.
A forty-twenty to Adam Reynolds briefly gave the Rabbitohs a look at the Tigers side of half-way, and Joel Reddy finally went over for the Rabbitohs in the corner with three minutes remaining. Reynolds missed the conversion leaving the score at 25-10.
Luke Brooks was also sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul after another Reynolds forty-twenty with Reddy again going through to score off the back of a well-timed Reynolds pass to make it 25-16.
Tigers 25 (Bodene Thompson, Tim Simona 2, Pat Richards, James Tedesco, tries; Pat Richards 2 goals; Braith Anasta 1 field goal)
Rabbitohs 16 (Ben Lowe tries Joel Reddy 2; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)