The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC team have gone down 30-28 in a thriller against the West Tigers at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday).
Two points would prove to be the margin in the clash which saw both side play some enterprising football throughout the affair.
It would be the Tigers that would open the scoring in slippery conditions with Siaosi Nasilai barging over from close range. Hosea Leuea converted the front rower’s try to extend the lead for the away side.
Despite both sides finding themselves in attacking positions on a number of occasions, neither would have any success during the middle period of the opening stanza due to issues created by the wet surface as well as ill-discipline.
The Rabbitohs would find themselves on the scoreboard late in the half with Mawene Hiroti providing support up the middle and crossing under the uprights. Adam Doueihi secured the additional points to level the scores at six apiece.
The Tigers would bounce back minutes later as Toa Mata’afa crossed out wide to regain the lead for his side. Once again, Hosea Leuea would add the extras for the visitors leaving the score at 12-6 heading into the break.
On resumption, the Rabbitohs came out firing with Cruz Topai-Aveai finding the line from close range in the opening minutes of the half. Adam Doueihi would ensure the home side drew level once more, adding the additional two points.
With momentum in their favour, the home side would continue to bombard the Tigers try line early in the half, however it would be the away side that would be the next to score as Toa Mata’afa claimed his second try of the evening. The extras were added by Leuea as the margin extended to six points.
It wouldn’t be long before the Tigers extended their lead further as Daniel Peck found the line. No issues were encountered with the kick as a two converted tries lead was established.
The Rabbitohs would keep themselves in the game as Henry-Siriah Fuimaono muscled his way over the line to reduce the deficit for his side. Adam Doueihi’s perfect record with the boot continued as the five-eighth slotted the conversion.
As the Rabbitohs fought their way back into the game, some blistering speed from Liam Pakau would provide the Tigers with room to breathe late in the half. Leuea managed to add the extras and keep the margin at twelve points.
With ten minutes remaining on the clock, Rangi-Paoa Boyce crashed over in the corner to keep the Red and Greens in the contest. The impressive evening of goal kicking would be extended as Doueihi converted.
However, the Rabbitohs were not done yet, as Rangi-Paoa Boyce bagged himself a double in the dying seconds of the match to keep to game alive. With his side down by two points, Adam Doueihi was unable to kick the sideline conversion.
Wests Tigers 30 (Toa Mata’afa 2, Siaosi Nasilai, Daniel Peck, Liam Pakau tries; Hosea Leuea 5 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 (Rangi-Paoa Boyce 2, Mawene Hiroti, Cruz Topai-Aveai, Henry-Siriah Fuimaono tries; Adam Douehi 4 goals)