It was another draw for the Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg, finishing a fiery contest in a 30-all draw with the North Sydney Bears.
Round 3 of the competition saw the boys in the Cardinal and Myrtle take on the North Sydney Bears on a beautiful morning at the Rabbitohs’ spiritual home, the Metricon High Performance Centre at Redfern Oval.
The Rabbitohs got off to an explosive start, with two early tries from hooker Josh Cook in the 2nd and 5th minutes of the game. Both efforts came from close range out of dummy half.
The first try saw Cook barge over through three North Sydney defenders, while he fended off one defender and pushed past another for the second. Both tries were converted by halfback Blake Taaffe, giving the Rabbitohs an early 12-0 lead.
The game then settled into a bit of an arm wrestle, with the Bears trying to force their way back into the game. The Rabbitohs managed to score again in the 22nd minute through back rower Malia Aluni-Chanfoon off a grubber kick on the last tackle.
A series of penalties and errors by the Rabbitohs saw the Bears good field position late in the half, with Braeden Stewart-Thomas and Lennox Whittaker both nabbing tries in the 25th and 31st minutes respectively. Norths’ five-eighth Connor Garetty converted the second try, as the Rabbitohs took an 18-10 lead into the break.
The Bears started the second half strongly, scoring after just 6 minutes through back-rower Mason McCarthy who ran a great hole on the left to stroll over the line untouched.
The game took a spiteful turn in the 44th minute as a high shot by the Rabbitohs sparked an all-in brawl. Fortunately, no one was sent from the field and the game was allowed to continue.
A penalty for the high shot saw Norths take possession for several sets in a row, breaking through the Rabbitoh’s defence in the 46th minute through replacement hooker Jackson Rohwed who scooted over from dummy half to score. The subsequent conversion from Garetty saw Norths take the lead for the first time in the game 20-18.
The ensuing kick-off saw Norths dragged into touch, with a second all-in brawl erupting immediately after. Brock Gardner for Souths and Robert Afu for Norths were sent from the field for 10 minutes, reducing the game to 12 on 12.
The Rabbitohs capitalized on the extra space with a try to left winger Nick Mougios in the 53rd minute. Taaffe converted from the sideline to put Souths back in the lead 24-20.
This was followed by another Souths try, with Mougios breaking into the backfield before unloading to number 19 who scored untouched under the posts. Once again Taaffe converted the try and the Rabbitohs had a healthy 10 point lead over their opponents.
Norths hit back quickly as the two sin-binned players return to the field, with Lennox Whittaker crashing over on the left for his second try of the day. Garetty failed to convert, which left his side trailing by 30-24.
But the Bears got back in the final minute after a penalty, with a right side sweep seeing them score in the corner, with a sideline conversion on the bell giving the sides a 30-all draw.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 (Josh Cook 2, Maila Aluni-Chanfoon, Nick Mougios, Kane Allan tries; Blake Taaffe 5 goals)
North Sydney Bears 30 (Braeden Stewart-Thomas 2, Lennox Whittaker 2, Mason McCarthy, Jackson Rohweder tries; Connor Garetty 3 goals)