The South Sydney Rabbitohs have been overcome 34-18 by a dominant Wests Tigers outfit in difficult conditions at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday) to commence their 2017 season.
Heading into the clash without Adam Reynolds and losing Greg Inglis and Hymel Hunt during the match, South Sydney struggled to fire against a dominant Tigers outfit that controlled the vast majority of the match.
The Rabbitohs would be first on the scoreboard courtesy of Bryson Goodwin, as the veteran outside back provided the finishing touches to a slick shift to the left in the 5th minute. Assuming the kicking duties in place of the injured Adam Reynolds, Goodwin was unable to convert his try, leaving the margin at four points.
After a strong start to the match, the home side were dealt a significant blow as skipper Greg Inglis struggled with what appeared to be a knee injury, causing the skipper to shift from fullback to the right wing as Alex Johnston moved to the back.
Soon after, the Tigers would open their account as Ava Seumanufagai capitalised on an enterprising run from debutant Moses Suli to crash over next to the uprights. Mitchell Moses converted the try to give the Tigers the lead in the 20th minute.
The Tigers would double their evening tally as James Tedesco showcased his ability to break tackles, ducking and weaving close to the line before lunging over for a four pointer. Moses added the extras once again to extend his sides lead to eight points.
Once again, the Tigers would breach the home sides defence as Tedesco linked with Chris Lawrence who muscled his way over despite some desperate defence from Alex Johnson. Gifted with a simple kick, Moses had no issues providing the additional two points.
Despite struggling with injury, Greg Inglis would score the final points of the first half as Cody Walker provided a pinpoint kick to the stalwart who had open pastures ahead of him. Goodwin couldn’t add the extras as the difference remained at ten points.
On resumption, the Tigers took full advantage of some lacklustre defence from the Rabbitohs as they travelled the length of the field to score through Mitchell Moses in the 42nd minute. Continuing on from his flawless first half with the boot, Moses added another two points to the lead.
The dominance of the visitors would be on display shortly after as Luke Brooks found the line off the back of some flamboyant football from his outside backs. Mitchell Moses was precise with the boot to extend the lead just shy of four converted tries.
With their tails up, the Tigers continued to find themselves in strong attacking position and it didn’t take long for the away side to make the most of their opportunities as Moses Suli crossed for his first try at the top level. Moses would register his first miss of the evening as his sideline conversion was waved away.
Having struggled for the duration of the second stanza, the Rabbitohs were finally back among the points in the 67th minute as Bryson Goodwin bagged his second of the night. Unlike his previous attempts, Goodwin was successful from the sideline with the boot leaving the score at 34-14.
Goodwin’s night would not prove to be done there, as the elder statesman of the Rabbitohs claimed his third try with an acrobatic finish in the left-hand corner. This would prove to be the final points of the game as the conversion attempt was off target.
Wests Tigers 34 (James Tedesco, Ava Seumanufagai, Chris Lawrence, Mitchell Moses, Luke Brooks, Moses Suli tries; Mitchell Moses 5 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 (Bryson Goodwin 3, Greg Inglis tries; Bryson Goodiwn 1 goal)