It was another exciting weekend for our Harold Matthews and SG Ball Representative sides this weekend against arch-rivals the 'Sydney' Roosters in Round 6.
The Harold Matthews side continued their strong form with a 26-6 victory over the Roosters, earning their sixth consecutive win and remaining undefeated this season.
Despite being without a number of first-string players, the Rabbitohs showed they had no troubles with their new-look side, with a right-hand switch saw winger Christian Smirnotis slide over for a try four minutes in.
The early dominance turned into a deficit as a number of penalties allowed the Roosters to strike back a few sets later, but with each question the tricolours asked in attack, the Cardinal and Myrtle’s defence had an answer for, continually forcing errors through solid defence.
And through those errors, the Rabbitohs took advantage through centre Faresa Palu stepping through the defence to crash over, resulting in a heated exchange between the two teams. The conversion from Naati Teaupa then brought the advantage to four points.
But that was just the beginning as Rabbitohs quickly got into gear, with hooker Ratu Vesikula making a break up the middle and finding Dranza Hawe-De-Thierry on his outside.
On the next set, Vesikula was the recipient of his strong work, backing up an inside pass and juggling the ball over his head before regathering it to score next to the posts just on the stroke of half time.
The second half kicked-off with the heavens opening up, which saw the Red and Green force an error on the first set of the stanza.
Defence then became the focal point of the match, with a slew of penalties and errors turning the contest into an arm wrestle.
The Red and Green struck first in the second stanza, with winger Mitchell Reeve scoring a near identical try to the team’s first of the day, with a left-side sweep seeing him dive in the corner.
The try seemed to boost the side’s ascendency, nearly scoring again through Luca Ace-Nasteski leaping high to score, only for an offside call to go against him.
But that didn’t deter the talented centre, who combined with his winger Smirnotis for an incredible 80-metre bust before being the ball was swung across-field which saw Reeve bagged his double to seal the result.
The Harold Matts side now sit in second position, and will now enjoy a well-deserved rest with a bye next week before taking on the Newcastle Knights in a top-of-the-table clash in Round 8 at Redfern Oval.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 26 (Mitchell Reeve 2, Christian Smirnotis, Faresa Palu, Ratu Vesikula tries; Naati Teaupa 3 goals)
Sydney Roosters 6 (Joshua Wong try; Connor Mcmullen goal)
It was another tough loss for the SG Ball side against the Roosters, who failed to recover from an early 16-nil deficit, who were defeated 30-20.
And it was another undesired start for the side as a penalty in the first set resulting in their opponents striking out wide to score the first try of the match.
More ill-discipline allowed the Roosters further territory, which saw them strike twice more just minutes later
A kick out on the full and back-to-back penalties gave the Cardinal and Myrtle ample opportunity to get their first try, with captain Peter Mamouzelos going over from close range with a crafty four-pointer. With halfback Brad Zampech’s goal, the margin dropped to ten after 25 minutes.
Errors and penalties continued to mar the two sides throughout the first half, with neither allowed to gain any momentum. But a break from the Roosters and a fortunate kick saw them score just before the break.
Despite an enterprising start to the second half, the Rabbitohs were once again their own worst enemies, giving away numerous penalties to in the openings minutes.
But once the side began to click into gear they were rewarded as a deft kick from Zampech forcing a drop-out. From the ensuing set, a left-hand sweep saw winger Daylen Meredith score in the corner, with the two sides showing no signs of their rivalry wavering as they came together in a small melee.
The momentum for the Rabbitohs then continued to grow as they gained the ascendency, and a great piece of play saw them strike back through Logan Aldridge, who swooped onto a Mamouzelos offload to score under the posts.
As the confidence of the Red and Green grew, so did the frustration of their opponents, with plenty of penalties and errors allowing the Rabbitohs to strike back - and they did so as the no.7 and no.9 combined to see Meredith score his second. Zampech’s missed conversion saw the scores level at 20-all.
A knock-on in the play the ball then allowed the Roosters territory in the Rabbitohs’ half, who went over on the edge in an unconventional passage of play.
Handling errors continued to cruel the side in the last quarter of the match, and their opponents sealed the deal with two quick tries just minutes from fulltime in a cruel end to the game.
The SG Ball side will travel down to Melbourne next week to take on the Victoria Thunderbolts (Melbourne Storm under 18s) in Round 7 of the season.
Sydney Roosters 30 (Moala Graham-Taufa, Michael Coleman, Lathan Hutchison-Walters, Lani Graham-Taufa, Ronald Volkman, Faima Matila tries; Lathan Hutchison-Walters 3 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 (Daylen Meredith 2, Peter Mamouzelos, Logan Aldridge tries; Brad Zampech 2 goals)