Both the Jersey Flegg and Canterbury Cup Rabbitohs sides had their first taste of footy in 2020 when they took on Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and the Victorian Thunderbolts at HE Laybutt Sporting Complex yesterday.
The Jersey Flegg Rabbitohs played two trial games and were convincing winners in both - firstly against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and the second against the Victorian Thunderbolts.
Despite the Canterbury Cup Rabbitohs leading 8-0 early on, they went down in the dying moments to Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, playing just the one trial match.
Trial Game One: South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-4 Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
The Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg was dominant in the first trial against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles yesterday starting off with two quick-fire tries within the first 10 minutes.
The first four-pointer went to winger Jack Frasca and was then followed shortly after by new Rabbitohs recruit, CJ Mundine who cleaned up a bouncing ball on the last to then pin his ears back for the corner.
While both tries ended on the edges, Rabbitohs' dummy-half, Peter Mamouzelos kept directing his forwards through the middle third of the field, eventually finding success with two tries off short balls close to the line.
This took the South Sydney lead to 16-0 at half time.
Shortly after the break, Premiership-winning back-rower, Tallis Angianga pulled off an almighty hit, which dislodged the ball from the Sea Eagles' possession, gifting the Rabbitohs a chance at more points. They did precisely that off the scrum-play, extending their lead to 20-0.
Despite the scoreline, the Sea Eagles continued to fight, managing to cross for a try of their own off second-phase footy.
On the set after points however, they let the ball bounce dead from the kick-off and Mamouzelos iced the game with a try close to the line after the markers nodded off. This left the final score at 28-4
Trial Game Two: South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-4 Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
The start of the second game against the Victorian Thunderbolts had an entirely different feel to the first.
Both teams were stuck into each other from the opening whistle, entering the arm wrestle for the first period until the visitors opened the scoring courtesy of a 'crash' ball five out from the try line.
The Rabbitohs hit back in similar style through a pin-point cut-out pass from Hooker, Ben Lloyd found a forward miss-match, which levelled the scores at four-apiece.
Peter Mamouzelos managed to take hold of the game again, this time from halfback after putting a brilliantly-weighted chip kick through to a flying, Chaise Robinson who gave South Sydney the lead at half time.
Ben Lloyd broke the game apart out of dummy-half, slicing the Thunderbolt pack from thirty out then out-pacing the Fullback to score under the posts. At 12-4 to the Rabbitohs, Tom Latu helped extend the lead further when he managed to put his winger away in the corner after making a 70-metre break.
Lloyd picked up his double shortly after due to some flimsy defence, which took the final score to 20-4 South Sydney.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-20 Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Despite falling in the last few minutes to the Sea Eagles, the Rabbitohs will be fairly pleased with their first hit-out of 2020.
The Rabbitohs got off to a great start when Fullback, James Tautaiolefua ran out the back of a block-play to set up winger, Dylan O'Connor for a try in the left corner, opening the score at 4-0.
Only a few sets later, Kane Allan showed his athleticism in the opposite corner to put the ball down after a long ball from Halfback, Brad Speechley, found the winger with room to move.
Allan's try extended Souths' lead to 8-0.
The Sea Eagles would be next to score through Hooker, Joseph Tramontana, who picked the overlap down the short-side, to then dummy and slide over.
The hosts extended their lead shortly after - capitalising on a 'six-again' call to square up proceedings at eight-apiece.
Despite this, a former Jersey Flegg combination in James Tautaiolefua, Nic Mougios and Moung Dut saw the speedy winger break away from his opposing edge-defender to plant the ball in the right corner.
Just as it felt like the momentum had shifted back towards the Rabbitohs' way, Sea Eagles winger, Sam Manuleleua crashed over from a simple scrum-play shift.
Again the back-and-forth continued when Nic Mougious crossed for a try of his own, bringing the score to 16-all with only 10 minutes remaining.
Despite the fight-back, the Sea Eagles crossed again through Manuleleua and managed to close out the game with only a few minutes remaining.
Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership
The Rabbitohs Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership side took on Cabramatta at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium in their first trial match under the watch of Head Coach Dean Widders, which resulted in a resounding 54 points to four victory.
Returning Australian international Nakia Davis-Welsh was one of the team’s top performers, alongside Rikka Lamb, Crystal Overton, Sharnita Woodman and Ellie Johnston.
The women’s side will take on North Sydney this coming Saturday in the second of three pre-season trial matches.