The Rabbitohs’ Under 20s side has fought out a spirited 22 all draw at Allianz Stadium in their final game for season 2015 with Damon Goolagong grabbing a hat-trick.
It was the Rabbitohs who looked liveliest in the early stages of proceedings, with the side showing plenty of confidence by throwing the ball wide deep in their own half. Josh Ellison would make a 60 metre dash on the back of the adventurous movement – the young-gun being taken down millimetres before the line but earning a penalty thanks to a high tackle.
Another penalty followed mere seconds later, gifting yet more possession to the Rabbitohs inside the Roosters’ red-zone. But Troy Finch’s men were unable to capitalise with points.
The positive signs continued after just eight minutes when Eli Levido kicked a booming forty-twenty kick to regain possession. Joe Gardiner would open the scoring off the back of the play by powering over next to the posts. Jordie Hedges added the extras to make it 6-0.
The Roosters responded through winger, Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, who took a ball unmarked near the side-line to touch down. Latrell Mitchell converted from the sideline to equalise.
From the kick-off though, the Roosters were unable to control the ball, allowing Souths another opportunity to post points. Despite some sustained pressure, the Roosters defence held strong.
Grant Garvey then took advantage of a gap in the Rabbitohs’ defence by scooting the ball from dummy-half to score. Mitchell made no mistake with the conversion attempt to take the lead at 12-6.
Lightning struck twice for the Roosters when Zachary Nicholls dropped the ball from the kick-off immediately following the try to give Souths possession. The Roosters would ultimately survive the onslaught.
The Roosters extended their lead when winger, Charlie Taylor, crossed in the corner to make it 16-6 with 12 minutes in the opening half remaining.
But the Rabbitohs would have the final say of the half when Damon Goolagong tip-toed down the side-line to plant the ball down for a four-pointer despite the better efforts of the Roosters. Hedges made no mistake adding the extras to make it 16-12 going into the sheds.
It took nearly half of the second half for more points to be scored and they would come through Goolagong, who touched down for his second to momentarily equalise out wide. Hedges converted from out wide to take the lead for the Rabbitohs at 18-16.
Before long, Goolagong was in for his third in similar fashion to his last effort to extend the red and green lead to 22-16 with 19 minutes remaining.
Mitchell hit back for the Roosters with a converted try of his own though with 70 minutes gone to make the score 22 apiece – a score-line that would keep until full-time.
Rabbitohs 22 (Joe Gardiner, Damon Goolagong 3, tries; Jordie Hedges 3 goals)
Roosters 22 (Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Grant Garvey, Charlie Taylor, Latrell Mitchell, tries; Latrell Mitchell 3 goals)