The Rabbitohs secure their 10th win of the season with a 24 - 10 victory over the Newcastle Knights. Alex Johnston once again starred for the Rabbitohs, coming away with his seventh career hat-trick and second in just two games.
A new look line up took the field for the Rabbitohs on Saturday night as Origin stars Damien Cook, Cameron Murray, Jai Arrow and Dane Gagai were rested.
This presented the opportunity for South Sydney Junior Peter Mamouzelos to make his NRL debut in the 30th minute.
Prior to kick-off, Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett had this to say on Fox League about Mamouzelos; “He’s one of those guys with a lot of natural gifts. He’s pretty smart, has got good footwork, good speed and tremendous work ethic. That’s pretty important when you’re playing hooker.”
Mamouzelos, who recently re-signed with the Rabbitohs until at least the end of the 2024 season, proved himself more than capable of playing in the top grade. In the second half, he was given the opportunity to start as hooker and finished the game with 21 tackles.
Latrell Mitchell and Jaydn Su'A both backed up after their Origin performances earlier in the week. With Latrell Mitchell putting on another masterclass running for 194 metres and Su'A coming away with his second try of the season.
The Rabbitohs opened up the scoring early with Alex Johnston crossing the line in the 2nd minute after an early mistake from Tex Hoy. It was the Rabbitohs deadly left side attack, with their quick hands and precision passing which left Johnston, one of the games best finishers, in the prime position to clean up the points.
Johnston scores as Rabbitohs left edge gets going early
The Knights, who were coming off the back of their biggest loss of the season, had a lot to prove in the first half, dominating possession with 56% of the ball. They were finally able to break through the Rabbitohs defensive line in the 22nd minute with NRL rookie, Dominic Young, crossing the line in the corner. Jake Clifford was unable to convert from the sideline.
It wasn't long however, until the Rabbitohs left edge stuck once again in the 31st minute with Cody Walker throwing a cut out pass to Johnston who crossed the line for his second of the night.
The usual suspects combine to hit back for Rabbitohs
The Knights fired back just a couple minutes later, with Kurt Mann winning the chase to the ball after a pinpoint kick from Clifford just before half time making it a two point ball game as the teams headed to the sheds.
Both teams came out firing in the second half, however it was the Rabbitohs who drew first blood. In the 46th minute, Johnston showed off his incredible acrobatic skills when he went over for his second hat-trick in just two games after another bullet pass from Walker. This makes it the seventh hat-trick of Johnston’s career - a huge achievement for the young winger.
The Knights suffered a huge blow with star, Bradman Best, having to be escorted from the field early in the second half with a suspected leg injury. He was unable to return for the duration of the game.
Su'A shows footskills to beat Hoy
In the 59th minute, Jaydn Su’A with a brilliant bit of heads up play, was able to secure his second try of the season. Su’A followed through after he managed to get a boot to the ball in an exceptional display of skill.
At the end of the 80 minutes, a depleted Rabbitohs ran away with their 10th win of the season, claiming victory over the Knights 24 -10.