The Rabbitohs’ NYC side has gone down to the visiting North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium this evening (Monday) by 38-24 in a see-sawing affair.
The Rabbitohs went on the attack immediately when they surprised the Cowboys with a short kick-off that was retrieved on the 30 metre line. The visitors scrambled to diffuse the raid and managed to do so when a penalty was given to the red and greens for an obstruction.
Mere minutes later, Aaron Booth broke the line before drawing the fullback and sending Liam Coleman over for a well-orchestrated four-pointer. Jordie Hedges converted to give the home side an early six-nil lead.
The dummy-halves were making an impression with next points coming though Cowboys rake, Brandon Smith from close-range. Coan Hess converted from right next to the sticks before the Cows went in again shortly afterwards through front-rower, Viliame Kikau. Hess made no mistake from a similar position to his first to take the lead at 12-6.
Cowboys late inclusion, Sam Smith, was next to add his name to the score-card when he tip-toed his way down the touch-line before diving over to extend North Queensland’s lead at 16-16.
The Rabbitohs hit back when Haimona Hiroti turned the Cowboys’ defence inside out before crossing out wide. Hedges nailed the conversion to narrow the gap at 16-12.
Just before half-time, Cowboys fullback Yamba Bowie took a beautifully timed ball to race through to make it 20-12 going into the sheds.
On the resumption, Rabbitohs forward Dominic Timoteo – playing in just his second game for the Club – crashed over for a four-pointer to narrow the gap with Hedges’ conversion.
But the Cowboys would have none of it, hitting back almost immediately through five-eighth Ty Carucci. Hess converted to make it 26-18.
The match continued to see-saw, and the spark would again come from dummy-half – Aaron Booth picking up a try of his own after setting one up in the first half. Hedges added the extras to make it 21-6. But Sam Smith would grab his second of the night moments later when the winger crashed over out wide to make it 30-24.
North Queensland continued to apply pressure to the red and greens with wave after wave of attack eventually resulting in winger Gideon Mosby grabbing a try out wide completely unmarked to make it 34-24.
With five minutes remaining, Yamba Bowie grabbed his second of the match to seal victory for the visitors with the score reading 38-24.
Cowboys 38 (Brandon Smith, Viliame Kikau, Sam Smith 2, Yamba Bowie 2, Ty Carucci, Gideon Mosby, tries; Coan Hess 3 goals)
Rabbitohs 24 (Liam Coleman, Haimona Hiroti, Dominic Timoteo, Aaron Booth tries; Jordie Hedges 4 goals)