The Rabbitohs NYC side has gone down to the Penrith Panthers this afternoon at ANZ Stadium by 34-10.
The Rabbitohs proved defensively solid in the opening 10 minutes of proceedings, surviving an early Panthers onslaught on the back of series of penalty’s to the visitors in quick succession.
By the 13th minute, Souths were defying the first-placed Panthers when a short-side attacking play saw winger Devon Makoare-Boyce slide over in the corner to take the lead. Eli Levido converted from the touch-line to give the home-side a six-point lead.
With 17 minutes in the first half remaining, Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards pounced on a kick into the in-goal to score. Nathan Cleary’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the Rabbitohs leading 6-4.
But the Panthers would atone almost immediately, with Kade Ellis taking advantage of a disjointed Rabbitohs defensive line from close range to score to make it 8-4 in Penrith’s favour.
Just two minutes from half-time, Corey Harawira-Naera crossed for the Panthers to extend the lead to 12-6 – Nathan Cleary again missing the conversion to take the teams into the sheds.
After the break, the Panthers got on the front foot within six minutes when replacement forward, Thomson Tuigimala raced through a gap in the red and green defence to score next to the sticks. Cleary kicked his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 18-6.
Despite the string of Panthers tries, the Rabbitohs were unperturbed, going straight back on the attack in search of points.
They would come in the form of Josh Ellison streaking down the touch-line in pursuit of a grubber-kick in-goal to make it 18-10.
But while the resurgence proved vital on the scoreboard, on-field, the Rabbitohs would endure a set-back when Tevita Cotrell was sin-binned with 24 minutes in the match remaining – the man down proving costly immediately.
The Panthers marched up-field with gusto from the ensuing set, with Edwards ultimately grabbing his second of the afternoon as a result just millimetres inside touch. Cleary’s afternoon with the boot improved to kick his team a further two points ahead to 24-10.
Fuimanu Enese and Jarome Luai then grabbed a try apiece in quick succession for the Panthers to extend the lead further
Panthers 34 (Dylan Edwards 2, Kade Ellis, Thomson Tuigimala, Corey Harawira-Naera, Fuimanu Enese. Jarome Enesi, tries; Nathan Cleary 3 goals)
Rabbitohs 10 (Devon Makoare-Boyce, Josh Ellison, tries; Eli Levido 1 goal)