The South Sydney Rabbitohs have fought back to defeat the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles by 28-14 in the NYC at the Sydney Cricket Ground tonight (Friday).
With much of the game being a stalemate, the Rabbitohs showed great composure to come away with the two competition points, despite the side having two players sin-binned in separate incidents.
The Rabbitohs were the first to get on the board inside the first five minutes when winger Elliot Gorman took a cross-field kick on the chest to plant the ball down out wide. Fullback, Devon Makoare-Boyce narrowly missed the conversion, leaving the score at 4-0.
Despite some solid attack from the Sea Eagles, the Rabbitohs marched straight back up the other side of the field, and by the 11th minute, Jack Gosiewski powered his way over the stripe for Souths’ second try of the evening to bring it to 8-0.
The Sea Eagles hit straight back though winger, Latrell Schaumkel, who reached out just metres from the line to score a foot inside the touch-line. The sideline conversion attempt was waved away by the linesmen, leaving the score at 8-4.
Late Manly inclusion, Tom Trbojevic, made his presence felt when he also managed to cross for the Sea Eagles in the corner to level the scores up at eight points apiece with 15 minutes in the first half remaining.
Both sides struggled to gain an advantage as the first half wound down, but the teams would ultimately go to the sheds at eight apiece.
The stalemate continued well into the second half, and despite Manly having all the ascendency early, the Rabbitohs’ goal-line defence held strong – repelling wave after wave of maroon and white attack.
But the game was just about to blow up, with one player per team being sent to the sin-bin for throwing punches following an innocuous tackle on a Rabbitoh. Zane Musgrove left the pitch for the red and green’s, but far from deterring the home-side, the sin-binning sparked the Rabbitohs into action by putting pressure on the Manly line.
Despite the positive work from the Rabbitohs, it was Manly who would score next, with five-eighth Will Pearsall scoring under the sticks. Luke Garner converted to make it 14-8 in the Sea Eagles’ favour.
Makoare-Boyce wouldn’t have it though, with the nippy fullback coming up with a sneaky try next to the posts to bring the scores to 14 apiece with Wallace Tangiiti’s conversion.
The fight-back continued when Gosiewski grabbed his second of the night, right in front of the building Rabbitohs faithful in the Clive Churchill Grandstand to break the deadlock. Tangiiti converted to make it 20-14 with 10 minutes in the match remaining.
The Rabbitohs again pressed the Manly line and thanks to a massive Aaron Booth dummy at the ruck, allowed the hooker to dive over for a brilliant try from dummy-half. Tangiiti made no mistake with the conversion to make it 26-14 with four minutes left.
A late scuffle saw a player from each side sent to the sin-bin, with Sam Manuleleua going to the bench for the Rabbitohs, but the penalty would ultimately go to the red and greens. Wallace Tangiiti kicked a penalty goal to bring the final score to an impressive 28-14.
Rabbitohs 28 (Elliot Gorman, Jack Gosiewski 2, Devon Makoare-Boyce, Aaron Booth, tries; Wallace Tangiiti 3 goals)
Sea Eagles 14 (Latrell Schaumkel, Tom Trbojevic, Will Pearsall, tries; Luke Garner 1 goal)