Jersey Flegg Rabbitohs outclassed by Tigers in fiery clash

The South Sydney Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg side has had their three-match winning streak halted after being defeated 38-24 by the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in their Round 16 clash.

The match started horrendously for the visiting Rabbitohs, with winger Kane Allan's afternoon over just after a couple of minutes after being taken high while collecting a bomb.

But his teammates would soon look to inspire each other after their teammate was forced from the field, with the right-side defencing working as a unit to send their opponents into touch a few sets later.

And that nearly did the trick, with a grubber kick going just too far for centre Nick Mougios, who's celebrations were cut short as the referee deemed the ball to be put into touch before he could put it down.

Next, it would be a Tigers player receiving treatment, and when a penalty was called after the stoppage due to a late hit, the Rabbitohs then gave away an inexcusable offside penalty, which resulted in the first try of the match going to the home side.

Not to be deterred, the Red and Green would give the perfect reply, with halfback and former Tiger Lachlan Ilias swooping on a pass to intercept the ball and run 30 metres to level the scores.

The contest would continue to seesaw, this time with the Tigers hitting out wide to return serve and take back the lead - and they nearly went over again a few minutes later with an attacking kick from the wing being reeled in by Ilias.

A linebreak late in the first half by James Tautaiolefua saw South Sydney back in control, with an ensuing penalty seeing both sides come together in a classic flare-up.

But it would ultimately be a lost opportunity for the Rabbitohs, with a forward pass to second rower Matt French right on the line handing over possession.

Not willing to lie down without a fight, the closing stages of the first stanza saw the Red and Green right on the attack, but the bounce of the ball continued to cruel the side. 

But with just minutes remaining before the break, the home side would pounce on an intercept of their own, with a kick this time being regathered just before getting to touch. 

Despite a tough end to the first half, the Rabbitohs were immediately back in the contest after Matthew French crashed over to score, and with Taaffe's conversion, the Red and Green closed the deficit to six. 

The Tigers would be quick to reply, however, firstly forcing an error to gain possession on halfway, then taking a Rabbitoh into touch, which eventually saw them scoring under the posts to bring back their twelve-point lead with ten gone in the second half.

Wests would make it two tries in as many minutes as a one-on-one strip against Tautaiolefua saw them with the ball just ten metres from the line, with a penalty try given after the referee deemed the Rabbitohs to have taken out a player with a clear chance to score from a grubber kick.

A dropped ball from Taaffe then saw the Tigers streak away, scoring on their next set out wide to continue their lead. 

Ilias looked to get his side back in the contest again, this time regathering a ricocheted kick, which eventually saw Josh Cook dive over to score, giving the side a glimmer of hope with just under fifteen minutes remaining.

A penalty for a high shot on Cook, followed by a knock on gave South Sydney another chance to reply, but a cruel bounce from a kick from the hooker saw Ilias drop the ball over the line.

With five minutes to go, Ilias would bag his double with a sidestep fooling the opposition defence, and with the ensuing kick-off going out on the full, it was now or never for the daring young Rabbitohs.

But in a moment that summed up the match, a looping pass found its way into the first row of the grandstand, ending all hope of a comeback. 

 

Wests Tigers 38 (Bennett Wheelhouse, Henry Lealuga-Puhotau, Rajko Jankovic, Mavoni Tuifua, Zac Cini tries; Ben Stevanovic 5 goals; Ben Stevanovic penalty goal) 

def

South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 (Lachlan Ilias 2, Matthew French tries; Blake Taaffe 4 goals)

 

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