Two late tries to the Rabbitohs was enough to bring the men in red and green back from the brink in a chilly Canberra tonight (Monday) – the Rabbitohs coming away with a 22-18 victory in the nation’s capital.
The Rabbitohs missed two opportunities to post first points in the match on the back of repeat sets on the Raiders line. But it was Canberra who open the point-scoring account for the evening when centre Ricky Garard finished off a break to streak the remaining 20 metres to give the home-side an early four-point lead.
A penalty to the Rabbitohs 10 minutes later allowed them to march up-field before fullback Jordie Hedges grabbed a four-pointer of his own adjacent to the sticks. Wallace Tangiiti converted to give Souths a 6-4 lead.
But the Raiders hit back immediately through back-rower Scott Doyle. A second missed conversion attempt from the try-scorer left the Raiders leading 8-6.
Souths wouldn’t be outdone though, with the side playing hot potato close to the green machine’s line. The adventurous play resulted in centre John Olive racing over out wide to reclaim the lead at 10-8 to take the teams to the sheds.
On the resumption, Garard grabbed his second of the night when he crashed over from dummy half, with Scott Doyle’s conversion making it 14-10 in the home-side’s favour.
It wasn’t long before winger Lachlan Hurst would extend Canberra’s lead when he raced over in the corner to make it 18-10 with just over 20 minutes in the match remaining.
But two tries in quick succession to Tom Hughes and Captain Cameron McInnes brought the red and green’s back from the brink with six minutes in the match remaining. Conversions to Tangiiti and Makoare-Boyce made it 22-18 to round out the match.
Rabbitohs 22 (Jordie Hedges, John Olive, Tom Hughes, Cameron McInnes, tries; Wallace Tangiiti 2, Devon Makoare-Boyce 1 goals)
Raiders 18 (Ricky Garard 2, Scott Doyle, Lachlan Hurst, tries; Scott Doyle 1 goals)