The South Sydney Rabbitohs Womens Premiership team fell short to Monaro at St Mary's Sports Stadium 14-4 today in week three of trials.
A strong start by the Rabbitohs saw them march up-field and into Monaro's red zone in the opening set of the game, only to be held up over the line courtesy of brilliant scrambling defence.
While Monaro held on, back-to-back penalties by the Rabbitohs relieved pressure for the hosts, which presented their first shot on South Sydney's line.
Similar to the defence Monaro displayed moments prior, the Rabbitohs were physical and an intercept saved the day for the Red and Green.
Both teams entered the arm wrestle and went set-for-set until a penalty to South Sydney put them in great attacking field position.
Back-rower, Ellie Johnston posted first points of the game while the conversion attempt was waved away, giving the Rabbitohs a 4-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Rabbitohs made a mistake from the kick-off which gave Monaro a chance at levelling the scores.
However, defence was the theme of the game and they managed to hold on.
This was the trend for the next two sets - Rabbitohs making a mistake on the second or third tackle but managing to find the energy to show desperation in their defence and repel Monaro's attacking onslaught.
Despite having chances on each other's line, a combination of poor ball security and great defence from both sides meant no further points would be posted in the half. This saw South Sydney maintain their 4-0 lead at the break.
The first set after the break continued the theme of the first half after an early mistake by the Rabbitohs gifted an attacking opportunity to Monaro.
While holding on, a failed touch attempt from a Souths penalty gave Monaro an opportunity to build more pressure.
The hosts finally cracked the Rabbitohs' line, posting their first points through a delicately-weighted grubber kick which was swooped upon by Monaro in an instant.
The conversion attempt was waved away but Monaro were able to level the scores at four-apiece.
The poor ball security continued for the Rabbitohs for the middle part of the second half, starving them of possession.
With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Monaro made the Rabbitohs pay through a try in the corner after electing to run the ball on last.
The shot at goal was waved away but Monaro had taken the lead for the first time in the game, 8-4.
Despite South Sydney clawing their way back into the fight, a lost ball in good field position turned over possession cheaply.
Monaro were able to confirm their victory after scoring another try under the posts with three minutes remaining.
The goal was converted which extended their lead and left the final score at 14-4.
Despite an error-riddled performance, South Sydney Coach Dean Widders would be proud of the defensive display and commitment shown by his girls but will be looking to improve with ball-in-hand.