The Rabbitohs NYC (under 20s) side has gone down to the Wests Tigers by 40-14 at ANZ Stadium this evening in Round 14 of the competition.
In a match that saw the Tigers dominate the majority of proceedings, Rabbitohs SG Ball graduate Mawene Hiroti grabbed a try-scoring double in aid of the men in Red and Green.
It took just four minutes for the Tigers to assert their authority, with some creativity in centre-field resulting in a try to front-rower Mark McCormack right under the posts. Roman Ioelu added the extras with ease to take an early six-point lead.
Late inclusion, Ioelu, would be the next to score half-way through the opening stanza, when the winger got outside the final Rabbitohs defender out-wide to plant the ball down a foot in from touch to make it 10-0 in favour of the Tigers – and the dominance would continue.
Mere sets after the Ioelu try, the Tigers were at it again when they sent back-rower Jakob Giles over 15 metres in from touch to advance Wests’ lead. Ioelu made no mistake with the routine conversion attempt to send the score out to 16-0 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Things would go from bad to worse for the men in Red and Green when Toa Mata'afa finished off an incredible passage of play that went through a number of sets of hands before the winger planted to the ball down in the far corner. Ioelu again added the extras to make it 22-0 with just under 10 minutes in the half remaining.
With their backs to the wall, the men in Red and Green pulled out all the attacking stops to eventually grab a try through Hiroti, who defied some desperate Tigers defence to cross the line. Hiroti would miss the opportunity to convert his own try from the touch-line, leaving the score at 22-4 with five minutes in the half remaining – and that was plenty of time for Souths to post more points.
With the aid of a number of two penalties close to the line, replacement forward Joshua Saunders eventually found himself crossing the line before Hiroti converted to take the half-time score to 22-10.
On the resumption, Ioelu grabbed his second of the evening when he raced down the sideline before adding the extras to make it 28-10. Fullback, Ryan Papenhuyzen, then scored one of his own to take the score to 34-10 with Ioelu’s conversion.
Wests’ scoresheet continued to grow with Mata'afa also grabbing his second with 18 minutes in the match remaining – Ioelu’s conversion taking the score to 40-10.
Thirteen minutes from full-time, Hiroti got one back for the Rabbitohs when he also crossed for his second of the night to narrow the gap to 40-14.
Tigers 40 (Mark McCormack, Roman Ioelu 2, Jakob Giles, Toa Mata'afa 2, Ryan Papenhuyzen, tries; Roman Ioelu 6 goals)
Rabbitohs 14 (Mawene Hiroti 2, Joshua Saunders, tries; Mawene Hiroti 1 goals)