The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down 36-16 to the Sydney Roosters in the NYC (under 20s) this evening at ANZ Stadium, despite a gallant second-half fightback.
After the Rabbitohs scored first points, the Roosters hit back with a string of tries to go to the break leading 30-4. A rejuvenated Souths took the field in the second half to score the first two tries while holding the Roosters to just one, but it wouldn’t be enough to chase down the Tricolours.
It took just four minutes for the Rabbitohs to cross, with a slick back-line movement resulting in a fast-finishing Riley Yates streaking over in the corner to open the scoring at 4-0.
But the Roosters would hit back just two minutes later – signalling an immediate revival – when they got within striking distance for Connor Watson to dive over from short-range. The relatively simple conversion attempt was waved away, leaving the scores locked-up at four apiece inside the first 10 minutes of play.
Watson would grab a second try in exactly the same spot just minutes later off the back of a final-tackle kick that would ricochet off the Rabbitohs and back into the five-eighth’s hands. Jake Steadman this time made no mistake with the conversion to make the score 10-4.
With just over 16 minutes in the first half remaining and the Roosters attacking the right-hand flank, a number of second phases eventually led to Steadman racing over untouched from short range – setting up a third conversion attempt from an identical spot for the fullback. The conversion was good, making the score 16-4.
The right-hand-side onslaught continued when Reuben Porter extended the lead for the Chooks and not long afterwards, Joseph Manu did likewise to make it 24-4.
From the ensuing kick-off and with just one minute in the half remaining, Nat Butcher raced straight through the defence to score next to the posts. Steadman converted to take the half-time score to 30-4.
On the resumption, the Rabbitohs hardened their resolve and began the second half by scoring first points following a brilliant offload in the in-goal to Maia Sands who scored. Harry Leddy added the extras to make it 30-10.
The fightback continued when the Rabbitohs put a kick deep down-field that eventually ended up in the hands of Tom Perrin, who in turn planted the ball down to narrow the gap further. Leddy landed the sideline conversion in fine style to make it 30-16.
But the Roosters would fight back, with Connor Watson scoring his third try of the evening by overpowering the Rabbitohs defence close to the line. Steadman converted to make the final score 36-16.
Roosters 36 (Connor Watson 3, Jake Steadman, Reuben Porter, Joseph Manu, Nat Butcher, tries; Jake Steadman 4 goals)
Rabbitohs 16 (Riley Yates, Maia Sands, Tom Perrin, tries; Harry Leddy 2 goals)