South Sydney’s NYC (under 20s) team have grinded out a 32-24 win over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles tonight at Brookvale Oval.
In a match that saw the lead change on a number of occasions, the Rabbitohs defied a blinding start by the Sea Eagles to emerge victorious.
Against the run of play, the Sea Eagles grabbed the first points of the game when winger, Mitch Thomas, crossed 10 metres from the posts to give the home side a four-point lead.
But the winger was only just getting started – Thomas grabbing two tries in quick succession to make the score 12-0.
After the Thomas onslaught, the Rabbitohs would finally cross the stripe when some brilliant drawing and passing from Tom Perrin resulted in Tevita Cottrell racing over to claw back. Chad O’Donnell converted from short range to make it 12-6.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the half, Manly replacement John Walker spun out of a number of Rabbitohs tackles to extend their lead. Hutana Coffin kicked his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 18-6.
Sustained pressure from the Rabbitohs in the latter stages of the clash resulted in Perrin hitting the ball at speed close to the line to score a try of his own right behind the posts – O’Donnell added the extras to make it 18-12 going into the break.
On the resumption. The Rabbitohs went on the offensive deep inside Manly’s own half with late inclusion, Tarquinn Alatipi, crossing out wide. O’Donnell’s conversion levelled it all up at Brookvale at 18 apiece.
The Sea Eagles would retake control of the game mere moments later when fullback Jayden El-Jalkh swan-dived his way into the in-goal to claim four points for his team. Coffin added the extras to make it 24-18.
Riley Yates would hit back for the Rabbitohs with 15 minutes in the match remaining – the winger touching down millimetres inside the sideline before Chad O’Donnell kicked the conversion to again equalise proceedings at 24 apiece.
Liam Coleman would eventually break the dead-lock when he made a break from the 40 metre line – the halfback streaking away to plant the ball down and re-take the lead for the men in Red and Green. O’Donnell continued his fine form with the boot to make it 30-24.
O’Donnell would then seize the opportunity to kick his team two points further ahead on the back of a penalty to take the final score to 32-24 in Souths’ favour.
Rabbitohs 32 (Tevita Cottrell, Tom Perrin, Tarquinn Alatipi, Riley Yates, Liam Coleman, tries; Chad O’Donnell, 6 goals)
Sea Eagles 24 (Mitch Thomas 3, John Walker, Jayden El-Jalkh, tries; Hutana Coffin 2, goals)