The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC (under 20s) side has gone down to the Newcastle Knights by 24-22 at ANZ Stadium tonight, despite a spirited second half from the men in red and green.
With 20 minutes gone in the first half, the Knights managed to get over the line first when lock-forward Luke Yates barged over adjacent to the posts in a show of strength. Brock Lamb added the extras to give Newcastle the lead.
Not long afterwards, a Rabbitohs error in-goal saw the Knights capitalise immediately when a kick in-goal wasn’t diffused by the red and greens. Knights winger Fuimamao Uta pounced on the pill to extend the lead. Lamb converted to make it 12-0.
Newcastle centre Jacob Gagai turned defence into attack when he extended the lead by racing 70 metres to score untouched next to the posts. Lamb made no mistake with his conversion attempt to make it 18-0 with six minutes in the half remaining.
With pressure mounting on the red and greens to respond, recent SG Ball graduate Gabe Hamlin delivered – the lock-forward hitting the ball at speed to score under the posts. Eli Levido added the extras from right in front to take the score at half-time to 18-6 in Newcastle’s favour.
On the resumption, the Rabbitohs came out with renewed vigour. With the red and greens attacking the Knights short-side with intent, Haimona Hiroti hit the ball at speed before racng 20 metres to score out wide.
But while the Rabbitohs were playing with renewed gusto, it was the Knights who would score next when front-rower Josh King broke through the South Sydney line to re-take control of the match. Lamb’s conversion made the score 24-10 with just under 18 minutes in the match remaining.
With the clock winding down, the men in red and green mounted another attack, and it would be replacement Joe Gardiner who would power over the line. Levido added the extras to make it an eight-point ball-game with seven minutes remaining.
Gardiner would cross in similar circumstances with just under a minute left in the game – Levido quickly converting to bring the Rabbitohs within two points of the Knights. Troy Finch’s side would throw the ball around with intent as they searched for more points, but the game would ultimately belong to the Knights by 24-22.
Knights 24 (Luke Yates, Fuimamao Uta, Jacob Gagai, Josh King, tries; Brock Lamb 4 goals)
Rabbitohs 22 (Gabe Hamlin, Haimona Hiroti, Joe Gardiner 2 , tries; Eli Levido 3 goals)