Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg fight out thrilling draw with Sharks

The South Sydney Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg side have fought out a 20-all draw against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in a thrilling top-four clash at Pointsbet Stadium.

In an error riddled-contest, the Rabbitohs held a 16-point lead before being run down by the reigning premiers in a gripping match, with a Nick Mougios try a minute from fulltime locking the scores. 

Early miscommunication saw the outside backs fail to defuse a kick, which saw Cronulla earn possession as a touch of the ball saw the Red and Green hand it back through a dropout. 

The Rabbitohs would survive the early onslaught as both sides traded errors, with back-to-back penalties from the home side giving the Red and Green enough to see Jaxson Paulo take a short ball from the ruck and crash over for the first try.

With the sideline conversion unsuccessful, it was the Rabbitohs who led after 11 minutes.

And they would gain further ascendency as an error in the play the ball from the Sharks allowed them to start 40 metres out from the tryline, but an obstruction call saw Cronulla get the penalty. 

A couple of misdemeanours in the ruck from the Sharks saw the Red and Green on the attack, electing not to take the two points on offer, with a barnstorming Matt French almost going over only to be held up under the posts.

But his second row partner Tallis Angianga soon crashed over in a similar style, this time making sure to get the ball down and doubling the side's lead. Lachlan Ilias also made up for his failed attempt at goal, giving the Rabbitohs a 10-nil lead with just under ten to go in the first half.

The Rabbitohs made a late charge for a third try as the clock wound down, with a Lachlan Ilias spiral seeing the Sharks cough up possession near the line, but the home side would hold on to keep the scores at 10-nil at the break.

The second stanza began in the best possible fashion for the Red and Green, scoring within a minute through halfback Dean Hawkins, who backed up a beautiful set play up the middle which caught the Sharks napping. With Ilias' conversion, the Rabbitohs suddenly found themselves 16-nil up against the reigning Jersey Flegg premiers.

An error from the next set however then welcomed the Sharks back in, with a number of offloads splitting the defence and seeing Franklin Pele crash over under the posts. With the conversion successful, it was back to a ten-point game. 

The home side continued their momentum forcing a dropout, with the Sharks looking to cross through their second-rower Jack Boyling before fullback James Tautaiolefua cut him down with a beautiful legs tackle.

An obstruction on the next play saw the Rabbitohs with the ball in hand and after Angianga terrorised the opposition defence with his deceptive running, this time it was the Red and Green who would give away their own obstruction penalty.

And Cronulla would them pay as James Russell burrowed through from dummy-half, with the conversion narrowing the lead to just four points with twenty to go.

A controversial knock-on call in the ruck went against the Rabbitohs just ten metres from the tryline, and with an additional penalty, the Sharks would cross in the corner, with the missed conversion leaving the scores level. 

Both sides would then trade seven tackle sets but it was the Sharks who would score off a miraculous try after a kick saw the ball land just before the dead ball line, with the home side swooping to score their fourth try. 

The Red and Green weren't done just yet, however, with a Hawkins bomb forcing an error just ten metres from the line with just over two minutes remaining.

With the scrum set, the ball went wide to see captain Mougios get the ball down and give his side a chance to win the game with a sideline conversion to be kicked.

Ten metres from touch and 22 metres out, the conversion from Lachlan Ilias went agonisingly wide, leaving the scores 20-all at fulltime. 

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 (Jaxson Paulo, Tallis Angianga, Nick Mougios tries; Lachlan Ilias 2 goals)

def

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 20 (Franklin Pele, James Russell, Lorenzo Mulitalo, Josh Delaiola tries; Jonaiah Lualua 2 goals)

 

 

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