The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Wests Tigers by 30-14 tonight in Friday Night Football this evening at ANZ Stadium.
Playing in his 50th first grade game, Alex Johnston grabbed himself a try-scoring double while also setting up a second for Kirisome Auva’a.
An early penalty to the Tigers on Souths’ own line invited Wests to have first crack, and after multiple repeat sets, Joshua Addo-Carr came within metres of scoring, only to drop the ball with the line wide open.
The Tigers again looked likely to score as the half-way mark of the opening stanza approached, with the side again coming within an inch of scoring through Mitchell Moses only for the five-eighth to knock on.
But Moses made no mistake just two minutes later when he crossed out wide to open the scoring for the evening courtesy of a vicious burst of acceleration close to the line to make it six nil. But the Tigers were only getting started.
From the very next kick-off, the Tigers took advantage of some slow Rabbitohs defence to slice straight through on the first tackle before racing the length of the field through Tim Simona to score. Moses converted to make it 10-0.
With the Tigers looking well in control, the Rabbitohs turned the tables owing to a defensive error from the black and golds, with winger Alex Johnston finishing off a movement to finally cross for Souths’ first try of the evening out wide to make it 10-4.
With the first half coming to a close, a Rabbitohs line drop-out set up what would be Wests’ third try of the evening, with the side showing immense ball-handling skills to keep it alive long enough to land in the hands in David Nofoaluma who scored to make it 14-4. The try would send the teams to the sheds with the Tigers leading by 10 points.
The Rabbitohs would be next to score, and it would again be Johnston – the Souths Junior’s effort briefly being sent to The Bunker for examination before being awarded to take the scores to 14-8.
But the Tigers would hit back almost immediately when Chris Lawrence hit a short-ball at speed close to the line to score, before Kevin Naqaima also added his name to the score-sheet with a try of his own courtesy of some hard-running to make it 22-8.
Just two minutes later, Robbie Farah sliced through the Rabbitohs defence to streak some 50 metres to score right next to the posts. Moses added the extras to make it 28-8.
But Alex Johnston would again make his mark on the game for the Rabbitohs when an Adam Reynolds kick into the corner-post went over the touch-line, only for the Indigenous All Star and Test player to bat the ball back into the field of play for Auva’a to score. Reynolds converted from the touch-line to make it 28-14.
A final penalty-goal to the Tigers would take the final score out to 30-14.
Tigers 28 (Mitchell Moses, Tim Simona, David Nofoaluma, Chris Lawrence, Kevin Naiqama, Robbie Farah, tries; Mitchell Moses 2, Tim Simona 1 goals)
Rabbitohs 14 (Alex Johnston 2, Kirisome Auva’a, tries; Adam Reynolds 1 goals)