The South Sydney Rabbitohs Womens Premiership side have lost their round one season-opener to Saints 18-4 away, after a courageous fightback led by Indigenous All Stars representative, Nakia Davis-Welsh was all too late in the end.
The game started to-and-fro until Saints gave away a penalty which gifted Souths the first attacking set of the game, within the first few minutes; but an obstruction play denied them from opening the scoring.
A period of ill-discipline from South Sydney saw them give away back-to-back penalties which presented Saints with an opportunity to crack the visitors' line.
Brilliant scrambling defence from the Rabbitohs held off the Saints attack but cheap turnovers kept them in good field position until the hosts eventually crossed through Centre, Shanai Allison.
The try was converted by Five-Eighth, Ashlee Harrison giving them the perfect start at 6-0.
South Sydney Second-Rower, Ellie Johnston was a stand-out in her first ever game for the Club, picking up where she left off with brilliant trial form.
Johnston made a break up-field which put the Rabbitohs back on the attack but Saints showed grit in their defence to hold them out.
Again, ill-discipline marched Saints back up-field off the back of a penalty until they failed to find touch which was a turning point in the game.
The momentum swung when penalties crept into Saints' game and Sarah Field showed poise with her game management, putting back-to-back sets together for South Sydney.
It was a fairly even end to the first half until Saints put three sets-of-six together and looked likely to cross over, but defence was the cornerstone of South Sydney's half which kept the score at 6-0 at the break.
The Rabbitohs came out of the half time chat looking fresh, bringing out more harnessed-aggression in defence. Saints started scrappy on the other hand which saw Souths dominate field position in the first 10 minutes upon resumption.
To the host's credit, they showed up in defence and made it extremely difficult for the Rabbitohs to crack their line.
Against the run-of-play Saints scored their second through Fullback Rikeya Horne, who showed a brilliant turn of speed to out-pace her opponent. The successful conversion attempt, took the score to 12-0 in the 61st minute.
Back-to-back tries from Saints, this time up the middle of the ruck, extended their lead to three converted tries until Nakia Davis-Welsh managed to post the first points for South Sydney by diving on a grubber in the in-goal. The conversion attempt was waved-away by Rihanna Sutherland which left the final score at 18-4 to Saints.
Match: Saints v Rabbitohs
Round 1 -
Venue: St Marys Leagues Stadium, Sydney