It may be bye week for the Rabbitohs, but preparations are in full swing for the Club’s Round 13 return to Western Australia – the scene of so many recent classic matches – to take on the Gold Coast Titans.
Boasting everything from; come from behind wins, magic tries, shows of grit and determination, big hits and breathtaking aerial attacking raids, Perth has fast become one of the highlights of South Sydney’s NRL calendar and a Western Australian home away from home.
Look no further than the first time the Rabbitohs met the New Zealand Warriors at nib Stadium in season 2013 – a night that saw all of the above in addition to a then-ground record crowd of 20,221 watch the men in Red and Green down the New Zealanders by 30-13 in a thrilling match.
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Perth-product, Bryson Goodwin, only added to the occasion by scoring two tries to help lift his side to victory, much to the appreciation of the WA crowd.
The Warriors burst out of the blocks early with some strong charges from Konrad Hurrell and elusive running from Shaun Johnson. But the Rabbitohs managed to get on the front foot with a break from Sam Burgess close to the line.
Adam Reynolds took advantage of the break, chipping for the corner of Andrew Everingham to open the scoring in just the sixth minute. Reynolds converted for Souths to take an early 6-0 lead.
Warrior, Simon Mannering, took a perfectly timed pass from Shaun Johnson to even up the scores at six points apiece after 28 minutes, and just minutes later, Hurrell bumped off Bryson Goodwin to run in for a four-pointer of his own. Johnson added the extras before dropping a field goal to take the teams into the sheds with the Warriors leading 13-6 at half-time. Little did the Warriors know that that would be it for their evening’s ledger.
Unperturbed, the Rabbitohs went back on the attack after the break, with George Burgess and Issac Luke both denied from close range in the same set, before Adam Reynolds chipped for the line for John Sutton, who finally got the men in Red and Green back on the board. Reynolds added the extras to put Souths just a point behind.
After a torrid period of football, it was Perth-product Goodwin who finally stole the lead back for the Rabbitohs, with the Souths centre putting a well-weighted grubber-kick in for himself before regathering to score with 12 minutes remaining. Adam Reynolds made no mistake with the conversion for the home-side to lead 18-13.
But Goodwin wasn’t done – scooping up a Warriors loose ball before racing 65 metres to score with just under five minutes of play remaining.
One last try inside the final minute of play to Chris McQueen rounded off a hard fought win, finishing up at 30-13.
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