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SG Ball and Harold Matts end the season on a high

It was another successful week for our pathways sides, with all but the NSW Cup side getting a positive result.

Both the SG Ball and Harold Matts sides concluded their seasons with massive results and will look to carry on the momentum into next season.

It was a tough loss for the NSW Cup side, as a late comeback was not enough to overcome a strong opening lead against the Dragons.

NSW Cup

The Rabbitohs NSW Cup side has fallen to an experienced Dragons outfit for the second time in six weeks.

It was a bitter ending to the game for the Rabbitohs, as a late 22-point surge still wasn’t enough to swing the result in its favour.

Entering the break down 18-0, the NRL-experience of the Dragons looked to be too much to handle as they extended their lead in the second-half.

However in a resurgent final period of the game, the Rabbitohs took it to the Dragons and pushed its defence beyond its limits.

Jack Gosiewski got the visitors ahead by 12 points in the opening twenty minutes, after the back-rower secured a quickfire double.

Within minutes, Jonathon Reuben extended the Dragons lead to 18 as they continued to pounce on some errors.

Although it was a fairly even first-half, penalties and errors began to plague the Souths defence as they were left on the back-foot on several occasions.

Isaiah Tass got Souths on the board in the opening minutes of the second-half, as the hosts surged from the half-time break.

However, the Dragons quickly answered back and restored its 18 point lead through Daniel Alvaro.

It didn’t take much longer for St George to continue the scoring as Alexander Lobb crashed over on the wing.

It was all one-way traffic from here as the Rabbitohs began to seize the momentum and dominated the final half hour of play.

Trent Peoples found the line in the 58th minute, shortly before Josiah Karapani had a try moments later, giving Souths a much needed lifeline.

Peoples wasted little time attacking the line again and was rewarded in the 64th minute as he secured an impressive double.

As the tide began to swing in favour of the Rabbitohs, the errors and penalties began to come back to haunt them, as the final ten minutes were highlighted by these mistakes.

Maila Chan-Foon managed to bag a try in the final seconds, which would only be a consolation as the Rabbitohs narrowly went down.

Individually, it was a monster showing from Shaquai Mitchell in the pack, getting through over 200 metres in just 18 carries, which was monumental for the Rabbitohs go forward.

Along with his notable try, Tass also ran for over 200 metres giving Souths plenty of momentum coming out of its line.

Along with a double, Trent Peoples impressed in his return from injury, showing no signs of backing down and putting in a notable display in the back-row.

The Rabbitohs now prepare for a blockbuster Good Friday clash with the Newtown Jets on Friday afternoon at Accor Stadium.

Harold Matthews Cup

The Rabbitohs’ Harold Matts side has ended its season on a high, with a dramatic last-second equaliser giving them a draw against the Central Coast Roosters.

In a back and forth encounter, the sides traded blows in search of ending its season on a win.

Although the posts denied a famous win, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game for the Rabbitohs.

Lancelot Tovio had the Rabbitohs off to a dream start with a try in the 2nd minute, shortly before Riley Watson-Miletic levelled the score for the hosts minutes later.

After the rapid start, the sides began to find their footing in the game, going set for set in search of regaining the lead.

Matthew Humphries had the hosts in the lead in the 20th minute, before Zack Visconti doubled the advantage, as the Roosters entered the break with a two-try lead.

Braethan Bilich continued his exceptional form with a try in the 39th minute, as the Rabbitohs began to rebuild some momentum in the second-half.

However, the back and forth continued as both sides struggled to hold the other out, as Jackson Pennell reasserted the rooster two-try buffer minutes later.

Skipper Daniel Wright got South Sydney back within six-point as he crashed over in 50th minute.

With a massive amount of pressure building on both ends, the Roosters cracked the visitors defence again, when Jake Elliott found the line with five minutes remaining.

With the game hanging in the balance, Lennox Risati stepped up and got a sensational try on the buzzer to level the game.

Daniel Wright heartbreakingly hit the post with his kick, as the Rabbitohs were denied a storied win.

Risati’s try in the final play of the game only highlighted what was another spectacular outing, playing the whole game in the front-row, Risati got through a mountain of work and will be a player to keep an eye on next season.

Daniel Lua had an exceptional day in his 60 minutes at lock, under plenty of pressure from the Roosters attack, he held out and lifted his side in defence.

Braethan Billic capped off a spectacular season with another impressive display, the fullback has been one of the most consistent players of the season and proved why on the day.

The Rabbitohs finish off the Harold Matts season with 2 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses.

It has been an impressive improvement from the last couple of seasons, as they look to build for an even better season in 2023.

SG Ball Cup

A tough road trip to Victoria awaited the Rabbitohs SG Ball side in its final game of the season.

Three major injuries throughout the match meant the Rabbitohs were reduced to just one-bench player for the majority of the game.

After trailing by eight points at the half, Souths fought back hard and capped off its season with a well-earned win.

Suliasi Prescott found himself with a quickfire double in the opening 15 minutes, as the Thunderbolts pounced on some early-pressure.

Thomas Fletcher opened the scoring for the visitors, shortly before Zayvian Langkilde-Fale resorted the Thunderbolts two-try buffer.

Mitchell Reeve ensured the hosts went into the half-time break on a positive note, with his try in the final minutes of the half.

However, Souths hard work was undone when Suliasi Prescott got himself a hat trick in the opening minutes of the second.

Down by just eight-points, the Rabbitohs came out with a point to prove after this try, with Tyrone Munro re-opening Souths account in the 46th minute.

Daniel Matakaiongo crossed over eight minutes later, as the Rabbitohs began to put some serious pressure on the Thunderbolts defence.

In the final minutes of the game, the Rabbitohs persistence paid off as Keanu Wright-Dunrobin crossed over the final try of the game – giving the Rabbitohs a much deserved win.

It was a very impressive team effort to fight from behind and to handle the challenges presented to them travelling throughout the day.

The Rabbitohs conclude its SG Ball campaign with three wins, one draw and four losses, with plenty of positives to take for next season.

There is a few players that will move up to the Jersey Flegg side for the remainder of the season, as they look to build on some impressive seasons.

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership

The Rabbitohs NSW Women’s side wrapped up its pre-season with another successful outing in the Hunter.

Travelling up north to face the Knights is never an easy task, however, the girls got an impressive victory, as they conclude their pre-season with two consecutive wins.

An 18-8 victory ensured the Rabbitohs enter their preparation for the regular season undefeated.

It will be a big season for the girls with a handful of players from the Tarsha Gale cup linking up with the NSW Premiership side ahead of the 2022 season.

Head of Pathways, Joe O’Callagahn was proud of the efforts shown from the SG Ball and Harold Matts side in their final games of the season.

“It was a really impressive team effort [from the SG Ball side], after the injuries they just got on with it and filled into the positions and continued to play well,” he said.

“It was a good end to the season and now a handful of players will move up to our Jersey Flegg side, we really look forward to seeing how they will progress.”

“At halftime, the boys [NSW Cup side] could of drifted out of the game and let the Dragons get away with the result,” he said.

“However they came out in the second half and showed plenty of resilience to fight back.”

“The boys are lacking a bit of consistency and if they can hold on better defensively in the first half, the results will begin to improve.”

The postponed Jersey Flegg Cup game against the Dragons will be replayed at a later date in the season.

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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