Canterbury Cup side's winning streak broken by Blacktown

The South Sydney Rabbitohs Canterbury Cup side have been defeated 30-22 by the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium. 

The Rabbitohs just fell short, nearly overcoming a 24-10 half-time deficit to close the gap to two points in the final ten minutes, but Blacktown took home the two points after scoring a try on fulltime. 

It was a far from the desired start for the Red and Green, with Blacktown crossing over just two minutes to prop Andy Saunders, giving them a 6-nil lead early on.

A shift on the left-hand side from Blacktown nearly saw them double their lead, but luckily for the Rabbitohs, the final pass went to ground. 

The next couple of minutes saw each team looking to get a result from one another, with the Rabbitohs getting their first opportunity to strike after a penalty on halfway gave them territory. But the Red and Green were unable to score with a number of wayward passes preventing any progress.

Ill-discipline from Blacktown gave further territory to the home side, and eventually, it was fullback Corey Allan who swooped on the left-hand side, dummying his way to the line. The sideline conversion from Mawene Hiroti was unsuccessful, with the scores at 6-4 after 12 minutes.

The fortunes of the Rabbitohs continued as more ill-discipline from Blacktown saw the ensuing kick-off going out on the full, with the Red and Green starting on the 20 metres line after the kick for touch. 

This time it was the right-side who would produce the points, with quick hands seeing Leigh Higgins touch down in the corner. Another sideline attempt from Hiroti saw the Steeden hit the left upright and bounce in, giving the Rabbitohs the lead for the first time in the match.  

But Blacktown Workers would hit back soon after as a left-side break saw Abbas Miski cross over. Miski would convert his own try to give Blacktown the lead with a quarter of the match gone.

South Sydney nearly struck back through a try of their own, as an attacking grubber kick from Allan was dropped by centre Jacob Gagan, who was simultaneously tackled as the ball was lost. 

Despite sitting last on the competition ladder, the Sea Eagles put in a determined effort at the back end of the first half, scoring two further tries to give them an unlikely 22-10 lead. 

With the Rabbitohs giving their opponents a number of penalties in the final minutes of the first half, including one in the final seconds, saw the away side take a fourteen-point lead going to the break. 

A penalty in the first two minutes in the second half gave the Red and Green much needed ascendency, and while it looked like Hiroti would go over in the corner,  the flying Kiwi was called into touch after stepping over the sideline in his attempt to score. 

Just as they looked to be gaining momentum, the Rabbitohs invited the Sea Eagles to return serve, but a knock-on from the in-goal from Blacktown gave the home side a much needed seven-tackle set.

Another break from Blacktown saw winger Tevita Funa nearly go over again, only for the heroics of Hiroti to bat a bouncing grubber back, giving his side possession and saving a certain four-pointer.

A half-break from Connor Tracey set up the side for another opportunity to score, with a Blake Taaffe grubber being fumbled by Miski. Taaffe threw another roll of the dice with a second grubber, but this time it was thwarted by the Sea Eagles. 

And Blacktown would make the Rabbitohs pay, with a kick nearly resulting in a 40/20 being recovered by Corey Allan, only for the fullback to go into touch upon catching the ball.

Not to be deterred however, the Rabbitohs scored two quick-fire tries with Higgins bagging his double and Taaffe crossing the line to close the gap to just six points with just over fifteen minutes left.

A break from Josh Cook had the ANZ Stadium crowd cheering for the third try in five minutes, but the young hooker was unable to hold onto the ball after colliding with the incoming defence.

The Red and Green's momentum would continue as a halfway penalty in the ruck gave the side further territory, which allowed centre Levi Dodd to shifty from the right to the left side of the field, and an around the corner offload from Jack Johns saw Gagan put Hiroti over in the corner. 

The winger's conversion was unsuccessful, with the side trailing by two with ten left in the match.

In a tense final few moments of the match, both sides traded errors in their attacking half, with Blacktown's offloading troubling the Rabbitohs but also forcing errors.

An attacking kick from Kane Elgey two minutes from fulltime forced a dropout, with a strip penalty on the next set giving them further possession, with Blacktown scoring on the bell after a wayward offload was picked up by Alfred Smalley. 

 

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 30 (Andy Saunders, Abbas Miski, Zach Dockar-Clay, Tevita Funa, Alfred Smalley tries; Kane Elgey 4 goals; Kane Elgey penalty goal)

def

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (Leigh Higgins 2, Corey Allan, Blake Taaffe, Mawene Hiroti tries; Mawene Hiroti goal)

 

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