The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC (Under 20s) side have downed the North Queensland Cowboys by 34-18 in Townsville tonight in a controlled performance in humid conditions.
Five tries to the men in Red and Green, plus seven tries to Siosifa Talakai was enough to hand victory to the visitors, getting the road-trip north of the border off to a flying start for the Club.
The Cowboys were in with just a few minutes in the match gone, with centre, Bacho Salam racing some 40 metres off the back off a break in centre-field to make it 4-0 in favour of the home side early.
Souths would be unperturbed though – the side marching up-field and grinding out some patient attacking raids that would eventually result in Tom Perrin slicing through the Cowboys defence to open Souths’ account. Centre, Siosifa Talakai converted to take the lead 6-4.
The Rabbitohs would take advantage of the ascendency by getting back within striking distance to mount yet another raid on the North Queensland line. It would be Maia Sands who would benefit – the dummy-half scooting from dummy-half before overpowering the better efforts of the Cowboys defence to plant the ball down. Talakai added the extras to make it 12-4.
Two penalties within kicking distance for the Rabbitohs centre would then result in a further four points for the men in Red and Green, taking the score out to 16-4 in a matter of minutes.
The Rabbitohs were showing great composure despite the muggy conditions, resulting in them piling yet more pressure on the home side – pressure that would result in Jamel Hunt bursting through the defence close to the line to score a brilliant try next t the posts. Talakai made no mistake with the boot to make it 22-4.
North Queensland would hit back with three minutes in the first half remaining with an unconverted try to Marcus Jensen – the try taking the teams to the break with Souths leading 22-8.
On the resumption, the Rabbitohs overcame a blunder from the kick-off to hit back and score through a barnstorming David Wright – the winger bumping off Cowboys defenders to score a strong try in the corner. Talakai missed his first goal of the night, leaving the score at 26-8.
The Cowboys would go in again though, with a second try to Jensen plus a conversion to Cody Grills closing the gap to 26-14 with 26 minutes in the match remaining.
A penalty-goal to Talakai though would extend the buffer for Souths – the Rabbitohs leading 28-14 with 16 minutes in the match remaining. Joe Besgrove would then build upon the lead with a try that would then be converted by Talakai to take the score to 34-14 with five minutes remaining.
A final try to the Cowboys through Cooper Bambling brought the final score to 34-18 to round out the match.
Rabbitohs 34 (Tom Perrin, Maia Sands, Jamel Hunt, David Wright, Joe Besgrove, tries; Siosifa Talakai 7 goals)
Cowboys 18 (Bacho Salam, Marcus Jensen 2, Cooper Bambling, tries; Cody Grills 1 goal)