The South Sydney Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg side have been defeated 28-16 in an error-riddled contest against the Newcastle Knights at the Metricon High-Performance Centre at Redfern Oval.
In a losing side, centre Nick Mougios was busy in attack and defence, shutting down a number of raids and scoring a try, while halfback Lachlan Ilias stood tall scoring himself and adding plenty of spark to the side with the ball in hand.
It was a positive start for Ben Rogers' men, who weathered the early attacking onslaught from the Knights to go close to scoring through Ky Rodwell, only for the prop forward to be held up.
But an error following a wayward Newcastle kick went out on the full, it was Newcastle who scored first under the posts after a weight of possession.
A slew of penalties, including one for a late hit on five-eighth Brad Zampech, gave the home side a chance to strike back, but were unable to bypass the Newcastle defence.
But it was the Knights who would convert their opportunities, with a penalty in the ruck putting them in the Rabbitohs' half, seeing them score in the corner after a left-hand shift.
But the Cardinal and Myrtle got on the board seemingly out of nowhere, as a break on the right saw centre Nick Mougios burst through to put young halfback Lachlan Ilias over for his first try of the season.
A number of elementary errors would cruel the Rabbitohs, and it was the Knights who took full advantage, scoring in the corner once again.
And their opponents landed another blow with a try just minutes before the break, giving the Rabbitohs a fourteen-point mountain to climb in the second half.
Unfortunately the Red and Green left off where they started, with an error in the first set back giving the Knights possession in their red zone.
Not to be deterred, Nick Mougios looked to inspire his size, crashing into his opposite centre with a perfectly timed hit on last tackle to prevent any further damage.
Playing a more positive brand of football, the Rabbitohs looked to score their second as a deft kick into the backfield opened an opportunity, only for the bounce of the ball forcing an error.
On the Knights' next set, it was the forwards' turn to muscle up, bundling them into touch and gaining possession just 20 metres from the line. But again, the Red and Green failed to convert their chances, dropping the ball with the try line begging.
With their opponents looking to build their lead, the Rabbitohs continued to absorb wave after wave of defence, and were rewarded as second rower Matt French took a loose pass to streak 40 metres downfield. On the next set, it was Mougios who athletically hurdled over the line to score a spectacular four-pointer.
But the joy was short-lived, with the Knights regathering a short kick-off to catch the Cardinal and Myrtle napping to extend their lead with a try under the posts.
Not to be deterred, the Rabbitohs continued to question the Knights' defence, with halfback Lachlan Ilias showing good footwork to get through the line. After a penalty on the 19-year-old for a spear tackle gave the side much-needed territory, his halves partner Brad Zampech sliced over to give the side a glimmer of hope with just over ten minutes remaining.
Zampech nearly went over again regathering from a kick on last tackle, only for the five-eighth to be held up in a telling tale of the tape.
Newcastle Knights 28 (Toby Marks 2, Ben Talty 2 Daniel Ticehurst, tries; Cameron Davies 3 goals; Cameron Davies penalty goal)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 (Lachlan Ilias, Nick Mougios, Brad Zampech tries; Lachlan Ilias 2 goals)