The Rabbitohs NYC squad have registered the second win of their 2017 campaign with a 18-0 win over the Wests Tigers.
Round 10 of the National Youth Competition got underway at ANZ Stadium with the 15th placed Rabbitohs clashing with the 14th placed Tigers, the Rabbitohs kicking off in cloudy but dry conditions.
The Rabbitohs were shaky in the opening stanza but much like ANZ Stadium’s winter rye grass under their European-imported grow lighting system; they grew into the match. After repelling a threatening Tigers movement in the 7th minute, they managed to push their way up field to pressure the opposition line.
Dean Hawkins would claim first blood for the young Rabbitohs in the 11th minute with the halfback crashing through the Wests Tigers defensive line after receiving a nice inside pass from a teammate. He converted his own effort to push the Rabbitohs to a 6-0 lead.
Although missing a large portion of their forward pack due to injury, the young Rabbitohs managed to build plenty of forward momentum and exploited a disjointed Tigers defensive line to get the upper hand early on.
The Rabbitohs would almost see the line again through Sam Johnston who pounced on a Tigers dropped ball in the 23rd minute near their try line but was held up.
The Tigers defended admirably but mistake-riddled play would keep them pinned behind their 30m line - the young Rabbitohs several times packing a scrum deep in Tigers territory. Compounding issues for the Tigers; fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen would go down in the 26th minute with what looked like a pulled hamstring after making a break on the left edge.
Darting from dummy half in the 28th minute, five-eighth Harry Leddy would almost extend the lead for the Rabbitohs but would be held up after a good scramble from the Tigers. It was a frustrating period for the Rabbitohs as they failed to convert their many chances.
The Rabbitohs persistence would finally pay off in the 30th minute with captain and centre Campbell Graham taking on several Tigers defenders to crash over the tryline on the right edge.
Dean Hawkins would grab another two points for the Rabbitohs just before the half time whistle, kicking a penalty goal to push his team to a 14-0 lead as they head into the sheds.
Looking to overturn make some points back quickly, the Tigers fired out of the gates in the second half putting the Rabbitohs on the back foot immediately.
However, the Rabbitohs withstood the barrage and extended their lead in the 51st minute as Campbell Graham snuck over the right edge to grab his second for the night. Hawkins kicked short from a difficult angle. Souths led 18-0 after 52 minutes.
The Rabbitohs held onto the match comfortably, defending well against the West Tigers. Unfortunately, debutant Jalen Reweti picked up a knock in the 65th minute and had to be assisted from the field.
The Tigers provided little threat but came close in the 73rd minute through utility Ben Seufale. It would prove the only bit of excitement of the closing sets.
Souths 18 (Hawkins, Graham 2 tries; Hawkins 2 goals; Hawkins penalty goal)