A resilient South Sydney NYC side has defeated a rampaging Warriors outfit 28-26 at the Rabbitohs’ spiritual home ground of Redfern Oval today (Saturday).
With only a missed sideline conversion after the full-time siren separating the two teams, it proved difficult for either side to establish dominance for any extended period of the match.
The Warriors started the game with an efficient yet aggressive mindset in attack, opening the scoring with a crisp backline movement that led to a try in the corner to winger Metia Lasati. The conversion attempt was waved away, giving the Warriors an early four point lead within four minutes.
It wasn’t long before Souths found themselves defending their own line again, consistently probed by a determined Warriors pack. Some fancy footwork and quick passing led to the Warriors second try to Nathaniel Roache right beside the posts with a conversion from Mason Limo extending the Warriors lead to 10 points in 15 minutes.
Early penalties and handling errors from Souths continued to give the Warriors possession within Souths territory, and they capitalised on their opportunities again with a try to Ken Maumalo. With another Limo conversion, the Warriors lead was 16 points after 20 minutes.
A Warriors knock-on off the kick-off presented Souths with their first genuine attacking chance of the afternoon, when a short ball to a barnstorming Cheyne Whitelaw gave Souths their first four pointer. Wallace Tangiiti was unable to convert, leaving the score at 16-4 after 23 minutes.
With the Warriors kicking out on the full, Souths were gifted possession within the Warriors half. Souths’ pressure proved too much with Wallace Tangiiti slipping through the Warriors defence for another Souths try. A conversion by Devon Makoare-Boyce cut the Warriors lead to 16-10 with ten minutes remaining in the half.
In the 38th minute Souths fullback Elliot Gorman produced an impressive solo effort to beat two Warriors defenders and score out wide. Although the conversion was missed, Souths had whittled the Warriors lead to four points going into the sheds at half time.
Souths didn’t take their foot off the accelerator when the second half began, forcing repeat sets on the Warriors line. A quick tap and short ball after a Warriors penalty led to a try for Souths’ PJ Los’e at the 48 minute mark. The conversion attempt was missed, however Souths now held the lead at 18-16.
The Warriors gave all they had in attack, but Souths’ strong defence continued leading to Warriors handling errors and penalties. Souths maintained their dominance with a try to Clayton Williams adjacent to the posts. Irae Simone converted to extend the Rabbitohs’ lead to 24-16 after 54 minutes.
With the match turning in their favour Souths attack opened up shortly afterwards with a beautiful Wallace Tangiiti chip finding Irae Simone in open space, scoring in the right corner. Although he missed converting his own try, Simone’s try further increased Souths lead to 28-16 with twenty minutes remaining.
While Souths looked comfortable, the Warriors proved determined with a 70 minute try to Sam Lisone. With Mason Limo converting, Souths lead was down to six points with ten minutes to go.
In a spirited final period, Souths' defence looked to be impenetrable, with the Warriors consistently forced backwards away from Souths’ line. Although Maumalo scored in the corner in the dying seconds of the match, the conversion they needed to tie the match went wide after the siren.
Rabbitohs 28 (Cheyne Whitelaw, Wallace Tangiiti, Elliot Gorman, PJ Los’e, Clayton Williams, Irae Simone tries; Irae Simone, Devon Makoare-Boyce goals)
Warriors 26 (Ken Maumalo 2, Metia Lisati, Sam Lisone, Nathaniel Roache tries; Limo 3 goals)