The South Sydney Rabbitohs been defeated 20-12 by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium tonight (Monday night), despite a valiant second-half showing.
Despite struggling in the opening half of football, the Rabbitohs were impressive in the second period of the match dominating in attack and providing a solid defensive performance.
The Sea Eagles would find their feet early as Daly Cherry-Evans linked with his halves partner, Jamie Lyon who ran a perfect line to slice through the Rabbitohs defence and open the scoring for the visitors in the 4th minute of the game. Lyon converted his own try to provide his side with an early 6-0 lead.
With both sides struggling to capitalise on their attacking opportunities after first blood had been drawn, the Sea Eagles would be the next on the scoreboard, opting to take the two points off the back of a penalty to extend their advantage beyond a converted try at 8-0.
An error from the Rabbitohs deep within their own territory would see the northern beaches side add to the home sides woes, with a slick backline movement resulting in a four-pointer to Jorge Taufau in the 24th minute. Lyon was unable to add the extras from the sideline, leaving the difference at two converted tries.
The Sea Eagles dominance in attack would continue, as the away side continued to bombard the Rabbitohs try-line. The Red and Greens defence would eventually succumb to the sustained pressure as Daly Cherry-Evans put Jamie Buhrer through a hole before the back-rower linked up with Tom Trbojevic who strolled over for a four-pointer. Once again, the Manly skipper had no issues with the conversion, setting up an 18-0 score line.
Having been deprived of attacking opportunity for the majority of the half, the Rabbitohs found themselves in prime attacking territory in the final minutes of the opening period, but were unable to provide the finishing touches required to open their account, as the Sea Eagles went into the break with an 18 point buffer.
On resumption, the Rabbitohs would be first to strike through Adam Reynolds, with the halfback running the ball and dummying, slipping through the Sea Eagles defensive line to score. Reynolds converted his own try, keeping his side in the game at 18-6.
It wasn’t long before Reynolds was in the thick of the action once more, with the playmaker sending Cody Walker over off the back of a well-placed grubber kick. No mistake was made with the conversion, with the Rabbitohs finding themselves within a converted try of drawing level.
The Rabbitohs looked to have scored their third try of the evening shortly after, as Joe Burgess found himself in space on the wing before taking on the defence to place the ball over the line. After being referred to the bunker, the try was overruled as it was deemed that the English international had knocked-on whilst attempting to ground the ball.
Once again, the Sea Eagles would opt to take the two points on offer after receiving a penalty deep within the Rabbitohs half. The away sides opening points in the second half pushed their lead past a converted try and would prove to be the final points of the game.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20 (Jamie Lyon, Jorge Taufau, Tom Trbojevic tries; Jamie Lyon 4 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 (Adam Reynolds, Cody Walker tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)