The Rabbitohs NYC side has gone down to the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium by 22-8 this evening after leading going into the second half.
Souths looked well in control for much of the early portion of the game, but the Panthers came out a renewed outfit in the second half to keep the Rabbitohs scoreless for the remainder of the match.
Ill-discipline put the Panthers under pressure inside the first five minutes of play, with the Rabbitohs benefitting from three consecutive penalties deep in the Panthers’ half. On the final occasion, Jordie Hedges took the opportunity to kick his side two points ahead from 20 metres out to make it 2-0.
By the 15 minute mark, Devon Makoare-Boyce turned defence into attack for the Rabbitohs when he took a kick into the in-goal before streaking some 102 metres to score the first try of the night – the Rabbitohs fullback showing scintillating pace to reach the try-line untouched. Hedges added the extras from out wide to make it 8-0.
Penrith looked to reply mere minutes later, but a grubber-kick ricocheted off an offside Panther rendering Moses Leotea’s grounding a no try.
But the home-side made no mistake when a cut-out pass to Logan Geyer saw the late inclusion steam into a widening gap to slam the ball down. The conversion attempt was waved away, leaving the score at 8-4 with the Rabbitohs ahead going into the break.
It took nine minutes following the break for points to be scored and they would come from the Panthers, with lock-forward Tyrone May breaking through the Rabbitohs defensive line to score. Dylan Edwards converted from short-range for Penrith to take the lead by two points at 10-8.
Penrith made it a one-two punch when replacement Cowen Epere hit the ball up hard before overpowering the defence to plant the ball down under the sticks. Edwards added the extras to make it 16-8.
Souths missed two opportunities down the left hand side to post more points during the course of the second stanza as the side looked to claw back to the lead.
With 30 seconds left in the match, the Panthers attacked the Rabbitohs line and came up with a final four-pointer through hooker, Sione Katoa, with Edwards again adding the extras to make the final score 22-8.
Panthers 22 (Logan Geyer, Tyrone May, Cowen Epere, Sione Katoa, tries; Dylan Edwards 3 goals)
Rabbitohs 8 (Devon Makoare-Boyce, tries; Jordie Hedges 2 goals)