The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Gold Coast Titans in a golden-point thriller in Perth by 29-28.
But the game wasn’t without controversy. With the game levelled up at 28 apiece and the teams well into the second period of extra time, Adam Reynolds was disallowed a field-goal on the grounds of the Titans defence being obstructed.
The disallowed field-goal would set up an opportunity for Gold Coast’s Ash Taylor to slot a field-goal himself mere moments later in the 87th minute, ending the game and providing the visitors with the two competition points.
A comedy of errors from both teams would get the first half underway, with both teams taking time to warm up and centre themselves. But it would be the Titans who would capitalise first when Ryan James went over next to the posts.
Not long afterwards, Ash Taylor strode over for a try of his own to make it a 12-0 score-line leading into half-time.
Souths came out firing on the resumption, with the side making good metres with the ball in hand, but a 40/20 from Taylor just five minutes into the stanza would put the visitors back on the attack, setting up a try for Tyrone Roberts, whose show and go resulted in him going in right under the posts.
The try would spark the Rabbitohs into action, and with the side marching themselves up-field thanks to a decisive run from Cody Walker, Bryson Goodwin would reap the benefits when he crossed in front of his home-crowd courtesy of a Luke Keary short-ball. Reynolds converted to narrow the gap.
The deficit would become eight points moments later when Dane Nielsen crossed in the 53rd minute, but an error from Sam Burgess early in the ensuing tackle count invited the Titans to attack and Ryan James crashed over for his second try three tackles later.
Walker was at it again soon afterwards though when he pounced on a loose ball and breezed past three Titans defenders to score, closely followed by debutant Siosifa Talakai crossing for a try of his own with his very first try in first grade.
But the Titans weren’t done. Josh Hoffman would score out wide to make it 28-22 with just two minutes remaining. Cameron McInnes had other ideas though.
With the match fast slipping away, the Rabbitohs hooker finished off some brilliant hot potato footy to eventually slide over to bring the home side within two points of the Titans – Reynolds’ pressure conversion sending the game to golden point.
However it was not to be for the men in Red and Green, with Taylor taking the final points of the game with his field goal.
Titans 29 (Ryan James 2, Ashley Taylor, Tyrone Roberts, Josh Hoffman tries; Roberts 3, Taylor goals, Taylor field goal)
Rabbitohs 28 (Bryson Goodwin, Dane Nielsen, Cody Walker, Siosifa Talakai, Cameron McInnes tries; Adam Reynolds 4 goals)