The South Sydney Rabbitohs have snatched victory from St George Illawarra’s grasp in the NYC, defeating the Dragons by 20-18.
In a match played over four 20 minute quarters and with 60 players used between both sides, Ben Gardiner’s Rabbitohs put up a brave fight against a Dragons outfit that used two different teams in the first and second half of the match.
Just five minutes in to play, the Rabbitohs had managed to march themselves right into Dragons territory and centre, Haimona Hiroti punctuated the movement by grabbing the first try of the afternoon out wide. Aaron Booth narrowly missed the conversion, leaving the score at 4-0.
The Rabbitohs continued to attack down the Dragons’ flanks and came up with a result on the opposite side through winger Josh Ellison, who took a well-timed cut-out pass to bag a four-pointer to make it 8-0.
One minute before quarter time, Rabbitohs forward Tulsa Saumamao steamed onto a short-ball before proceeding to carry three Dragons defenders over the line with him to score right next to the posts. Booth grabbed his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 14-0 at the first break.
Straight after the break, it was the Dragons’ turn to take control, with the side’s first points coming through late inclusion, Zac Young, who raced down the touch-line to grab a four pointer.
Jack Kavanagh then narrowed the gap even more when he crashed over, with five eighth Paora Kemp adding the extras to make the half-time score 14-10.
The second stanza started poorly for the Rabbitohs as the Dragons injected a completely new and fresh line-up into the match. Winger, William Tom, completed a series of Dragons draw and passes to score eight metres in from touch to lock the game up at 14 apiece.
The Saints revival continued just before three-quarter time when Danile Stojanovski scored to give the Dragons the lead for the first time in the match at 18-14.
With the clock winding down, the Rabbitohs rallied and Damon Goolagong came up with the all-important equaliser ten metres in from touch. Jordie Hedges calmly slotted the conversion to steal victory by 20-18.
Rabbitohs 20 (Haimona Hiroti, Josh Ellison, Tulsa Saumamao, Damon Goolagong, tries; Aaron Booth 1, Jordie Hedges 1 goals)
Dragons 18 (Zac Young, Jack Kavanagh, William Tom, Danile Stojanovski tries; Paora Kemp 1 goals)