The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Canberra Raiders in the final seconds of their first pool match at the 2017 Auckland Nines tournament, 15 points to 12, at Eden Park.
Poor ball handling and ill-discipline hampered the Rabbitohs’ performance, with the men in red and green turning over too much ball and giving the Raiders too many opportunities, including the final attacking raid which saw former Rabbitohs squad member Scott Sorensen score the match-winning try.
Rabbitohs captain Bryson Goodwin kicked off and it would only take three minutes for the Raiders to post the first points through a bonus try to Brent Naden. Paul Roache converted to give the Green Machine a seven-nil lead.
The Rabbitohs struck back four minutes later when Cody Walker scored a bonus try of his own following a series of controlled offloads and a pinpoint pass from Damien Cook. Walker converted his own try to level the scores at seven-all.
That’s the way the scores would remain at half time, with both teams’ poor ball handling hurting their attacking game.
Cook put the Rabbitohs on the front foot with a clever 40/20 kick in the 12th minute, giving his side fantastic field position.
Moments later, big Zane Musgrove bounded over for a bonus try, ducking under a high shot to score from close range.
The Rabbitohs kicked out on the full from the kick off, giving the Raiders a leg up as they went on to score a try through Englishman Jordan Turner, taking the score to 12-11 in favour of South Sydney.
The Raiders gave away a relieving penalty in the 16th minute only to see the Rabbitohs turn the ball over almost immediately.
Another South Sydney attacking chance was blown in the 17th minute which gave the Raiders one final set of five tackles to score, and score they did with Sorensen finding space as the siren was sounding, allowing the Raiders to steal the win 15 points to 12.
The Rabbitohs will need to improve their ball security and discipline before they take on the Sydney Roosters at 5pm AEDST today.
Canberra Raiders 15 (Brent Naden bonus try; Jordan Turner, Scott Sorensen tries; Paul Roache goal)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 (Cody Walker, Zane Musgrove bonus tries; Cody Walker goal)
In the first game in the Hunua Pool round robin, the North Queensland Cowboys defeated the Sydney Roosters 27 points to 15.