The South Sydney Rabbitohs have endured a second-half comeback to defeat the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 32 points to 22 during Magic Weekend at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Match Highlights: Sharks v Rabbitohs
Still missing a number of key players, including Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Murray, the Rabbitohs jumped to a 20 point lead in the first half & looked in control - but the Sharks mounted a strong comeback in the second forty bringing the game to within 4 points with 6 minutes to play - before Cody Walker managed to cross for the match-winner off a superb Junior Tatola offload.
The Rabbitohs were able to turn the screws early by earning a repeat set of 6 with a neat little kick by Benji Marshall before the five-eight put Keaton Koloamatangi through a gap on the ensuing set for the first points of the match.
Benji was at the centre of things again in the 19th minute when he threw a two-man cutout pass finding Alex Johnston, who did a good job to reel the ball in from above his head and put the ball down in the corner.
Late offload from Tatola hands Walker a double
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Souths in the first half though, having to endure a stint down to 12 men after Jadyn Su'A was sent for the 10th sin bin of the weekend when he made contact with Aaron Woods's head. Even without the backrower, it was the Rabbitohs who were able to make an extra man once again down the left edge, with Dane Gagai breaking out of a Josh Dugan tackle & putting Cody Walker away for his 7th try of the year, bringing the scores to 20 points to nil.
The Sharks were able to use the advantage with Su'A in the bin, and Jack Williams was the first Shark who crossed the line, but Cody Walker showed some great strength in defence to hold the ball up & save the score. William Kennedy crossed a few minutes later for the opening points for the Sharks side to bring the halftime scores to 20 points to 6.
Match: Sharks v Rabbitohs
Round 10 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The second half belonged mostly to the Sharks, they came out of the blocks with intent and started by building pressure, earning two repeat sets to start the half, but the Rabbitohs defence held firm and the match settled into an arm wrestle with the scores remaining unchanged for almost 20 minutes. Adam Woods broke the deadlock when he crossed next to the post after a Chad Townsend kick fell awkwardly in the middle of the park, bringing the scores to within 8 points, and when Matt Moylan put Briton Nikora over in the 66th minute the comeback was well & truly on.
The Rabbitohs managed to ice the game though when Cody Walker crossed next to the posts after Junior Tatola managed to squeeze an offload away with multiple Sharks players draped over him.
Jai Arrow (finally) crossed for his first points as a Rabbitohs in the dying minutes of the game, and ex Rabbitoh Mawene Hiroti crossed for a score that was purely mathematical and at the end of 80 minutes, the Rabbitohs were back in the winners column with their 8th win of the season.