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Broncos claim opening round bragging rights in a thrilling back and forth affair

The 2022 season was off to a rocky start at Suncorp Stadium as the South Sydney Rabbitohs came up short against the Brisbane Broncos 11 points to 4. Errors haunted Souths as the men in red and green couldn’t hold off the Broncos in a thrilling opening encounter in Brisbane.

Before the match even kicked off coach Demetriou was forced to come up with a plan C at fullback, with Latrell Mitchell still sidelined until the next round. Blake Taaffe was expected to assume his natural role in the number one jersey before picking up an ankle injury at captain's run. Alex Johnson slipped from the wing into fullback and Josh Mansour came off the bench onto the wing.

As it happened

  • The Broncos started the game strongly with their middle forwards making inroads led by Payne Haas.
  • Alex Johnson wasted no time in getting involved at the back, leaping into the air close to the Rabbitohs line to defuse an attacking raid from the Broncos before weaving his way to the halfway line. 
  • Alex Johnson was in the mix early once again as the fill-in fullback and foiled some dangerous attack on the Broncos line. 
  • Souths did all they could to slow the game as the Broncos forged toward their first four-pointer. A high ball out to Selwyn Cobbo saw the winger ground the ball in the corner but Jaxson Paulo’s desperation in defence was enough to see the bunker call no try. 
  • Albert Kelly took matters into his own hands with an intercept and there was nothing the Rabbitohs could do when the halfback made a solo sprint to claim the opening try.
  • It didn’t take long for Souths to hit back… Johnson made no mistake under the high ball as Brisbane struggled to contain the Rabbitohs left edge. Cody Walker found the hands of Josh Mansour as he crashed over the corner post to give the Rabbitohs a lifeline nine minutes before the break.
  • Rabbitohs fans got a glimpse of Lachlan Ilias in action as the young halfback guided both sides of the field alongside Cody Walker in just his second NRL appearance. It was evident his confidence grew as the match progressed in front of a vocal Broncos faithful.
  • Both sides struggled to complete their sets as fatigue crept in, but the more souths controlled possession the more they threatened the Bronco's defence. Siliva Havili, Tom Burgess made their minutes off the bench count while Jai Arrow injected himself at every chance.
  • Taane Milne was able to stop Billy Walters but couldn’t get back into position in time as Corey Oates capitalised in the corner to see the Broncos extend their lead to 10-4. 
  • Milne was in the mix again, breathing a sigh of relief into Jason Demetriou as the winger saved another four pointer with 20 minutes to go.
  • Campbell Graham had fans on the edge of their seats as he fended off a number of Broncos in front of the posts. South Sydney survived another Broncos ambush when Mansour pulled Herbie Farnworth back on the edge of the line but time was ticking on the visitors.
  • A Kurt Capewell field goal four minutes from time made it 11-4 to give Brisbane opening round bragging rights.

Latrell Mitchell will be fit and firing next round when his suspension comes to an end and it’ll be a welcome relief when South Sydney take on the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in less than a weeks time.

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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