The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC side has gone down to the Parramatta Eels 28-26 in a an arm-wrestle at Parramatta this evening despite a late surge from Souths.
While the men in red and green never led the match, the Rabbitohs pestered the Eels throughout the night, continually reminding them of the dangers the Rabbitohs could pose, and never was that more evident than in the last minute of the match, when centre John Olive gave his side the opportunity to draw the match when he went in for a final try. But the Rabbitohs were unable to convert the try, leaving the final difference at two points.
After just 11 minutes, the Eels grabbed first points when Nathan Davis crossed the stripe to open proceedings. The conversion was waved away leaving the score at 4-0.
Souths were next to score in a big way when a 90 metre intercept eventually saw Josh Ellison grab the Rabbitohs’ first try of the afternoon to level it all up at four apiece.
But two quick tries to the Parramatta side through Atini Gafa and Bevan French saw the blue and golds take control of the clash as the opening stanza wound down.
Right on half-time, Irae Simone hit back for the red and greens when he busted through the defence out wide before crossing the line. Hedges was on song with the boot, taking the score 16-10 at half-time.
On the resumption, French grabbed his second of the afternoon after a slick mid-field movement that saw the five-eighth race over before Davis again added the extras.
But the teams continued to go tit for tat, when Tulsa Saumamo responded for the Rabbitohs after a strong run saw the back-rower power his way over the blue and gold line. Hedges converted to bring the score to 22-16.
The Rabbitohs slowly began to turn the game in their favour with repeated raids on the Eels line. It eventually paid dividends when Eden Syme took a ball on the burst on the 10 metre line before powering over, despite the better efforts of the Parra defence. Hedges made no mistake from short range to level the scores up at 22-22.
Parity didn’t last long though, with Parramatta’s Nathan Davis racing over for his second of the evening on the back of a quick shift out the blue and gold backs. Davis converted his own try from the touch-line to make it 28-22 before John Olive grabbed one final consolation try for the Rabbitohs.
Eels 28 (Nathan Davis 2, Atini Gafa, Bevan French 2, tries; Nathan Davis 4 goals)
Rabbitohs 26 (Josh Ellison, Irae Simone, Tulsa Saumamao, Eden Syme, John Olive, tries; Jordie Hedges 3 goals)