A determined Rabbitohs NYC outfit showed their true colours against the third-placed Broncos by downing the visitors 26-24 in an inspired victory that included one of the tries of the season at Allianz Stadium.
The victory will go a long way to helping the team lift themselves off the bottom of the Holden Cup ladder given other results and a win in Round 26.
The Broncos went in after just three minutes through Jayden Berrell after some desperate defence from the Rabbitohs on their own line yielded a knock-on, allowing the Broncos to go on the attack within the 10 metre zone. Berrell went in under the sticks with halfback Ash Taylor converting to make it 6-0.
But while the Broncos looked well in control in the first 10 minutes, a Rabbitoh revival saw Irae Simone apply pressure on the Broncos defence with the five-eighth hitting and spinning out of two tackles before overpowering the final line of Broncos defenders to score next to the posts. Jordie Hedges converted to equalise at six apiece.
Souths showed brilliant defence in the face of some determined Brisbane attack – the red and green outside backs scrambling to cover on a number of occasions.
However with the weight of possession falling squarely in the favour of the Broncos, it wasn’t long before Broncos centre, Jordan Drew, became the main beneficiary of a cross-field kick to score out wide. Taylor made no mistake with his conversion to re-take the lead for the visitors at 12-6.
The Broncos continued to impress with the ball in hand with some adventurous attack, eventually resulting in fullback, Joshua Bowen-Bowyer pouncing on a loose ball in the in-goal to score before Taylor added the extras to make it 18-6.
With two minutes left in the opening stanza, Broncos replacement Kalolo Saitaua crashed over from short range to extend his team’s lead to 24-6 with Taylor’s fourth conversion going into the sheds.
On the resumption, the Rabbitohs scored what is sure to be one of the tries of the season through Damon Goolagong that went through 10 sets of hands and included two kicks before the winger ran in to score. Hedges put the perfect exclamation point on the movement with a booming touch-line conversion to take the score to 24-12 in Brisbane’s favour.
The Rabbitohs revival continued with Siosifa Talakai bagging two strong tries in quick succession to get within four points of the Broncos at 24-20.
Souths threw everything they had at the Broncos defence in the dying minutes of the match as they looked for points, and they would come through hooker Aaron Booth, who ran from dummy-half and scored a crucial try to equalise. Hedges made no mistake with the conversion to re-take the lead for the Rabbitohs with less than three minutes left on the clock.
Rabbitohs 26 (Irae Simone, Damon Goolagong, Siosifa Talakai 2, Aaron Booth, tries; Jordie Hedges 3 goals)
Broncos 24 (Jayden Berrell, Jordan Drew, Joshua Bowen-Bowyer, Kalolo Saitaua tries; Ash Taylor 4 goals)