South Sydney’s Auckland Nines campaign kicked-off with an 11-4 victory against the Penrith Panthers on Day 1 of the competition at Eden Park.
The Rabbitohs fielded a well-balanced and talented outfit, yet it was Penrith that opened the scoring, courtesy of a well-placed kick from Isaac John to Tupou Sopoaga, who crashed over in the early stages.
Despite the positive start from the Panthers, it would be the only points that they would score in the match, as the Rabbitohs went on to control the remainder of proceedings.
Adam Reynolds took charge straight after Penrith’s try, when he put his boot to good use – grubbering between the legs of a Panthers player before Jason Clark collected it to score a try in the bonus zone to put the Rabbitohs ahead. Reynolds converted from right in front to make it 7-4.
Shortly after, it was Isaac Luke’s turn to make inroads in attack. Darting from dummy half, Luke was securing easy metres deep inside the Panthers half on consecutive tackles. Chris McQueen eventually benefited from the swift offensive movement with a four-pointer. Luke missed the conversion from out wide to take the teams into the sheds at 11-4.
The second half of the game resulted in no points being scored by either team, despite attacking opportunities being created by both sides. The 11-4 win providing the Rabbitohs with momentum leading into their encounter with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Stay tuned to Rabbitohs.com.au for the Club’s 2016 Auckland Nines team announcement.