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Brooks' field goal sinks Rabbitohs as Tigers go back to back

A Luke Brooks field goal secured back-to-back wins for Wests Tigers after defeating South Sydney 23-22 in a thrilling clash at CommBank Stadium.

A week after Jackson Hastings secured the Tigers first win of the season with a last minute field goal to down Parramatta, his halves partner Brooks repeated the feat from 20-metres out in a set move by Michael Maguire's men.

It was a disciplined performance by the Tigers, who completed 45 of 47 sets of possession, and wore the Rabbitohs down, with Cameron Murray forced to make 66 tackles.

Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs

Souths were forced to play the second half with just 15 players after losing Hame Sele (HIA) and Jacob Host (shoulder), while Tigers fullback Daine Laurie (knee) failed to return after the break.

Match snapshot

The Tigers started where they left off in last Sunday's upset of the Eels and David Nofoaluma almost scored in just the eighth minute but Rabbitohs fullback Blake Taaffe manged to push the ball into touch just before the star winger could swoop on a Jackson Hastings grubber.

Nofoaluma made no mistake when he got his next try scoring opportunity in the set after the goal line drop out after Hastings linked with fullback Daine Laurie, who cut out centre Luke Garner with a long pass to his winger.

With Hame Sele out of the match after putting his head in the wrong place while attempting to tackle Zane Musgrove and centre Taane Milne sinbinned for a high shot after Laurie's pass to Nofoaluma, little was going the Rabbitohs' way.

However, they managed to score twice while a player short, as Alex Johnston and Cody Walker combined to turn the game on its head.

Walker hits back for the Bunnies

Walker scored in the 15th minute after Johnston forced his way over the tryline and was held up by five defenders but somehow managed to push the ball for the star five-eighth to pick up and stroll over for his side's first try.   
Walker hits back for the Bunnies

Walker then turned provider for Johnston when he fired a long pass across the face of stand-in centre Jacob Host to put last season's leading tryscorer over for his fifth try of the year.

Just as the game looked to be slipping from the grasp of the Tigers, Ken Maumalo scored in the 24th minute after Luke Brooks fired a long pass to centre Starford Toa to create space for the Kiwis winger.

Maumaolo had another chance to score in the 34th minute but he was unable to hang onto a Hastings' cross-field bomb after soaring above Lebanon international Josh Mansour and the teams went to the halftime break with the Tigers leading 12-10.

The Rabbitohs had a chance to regain the lead before the interval after a long range break by centre Campbell Graham but Ilias was stopped just short of the tryline by Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle after pushing off an attempted Daine Laurie tackle.

Graham repeated his efforts early in the second half and this time Souths were rewarded after Mansour pounced on a grubber by halfback Lachlan Ilias to score in the 48th minute.

Mansour rewarded for work in the middle

Nofoaluma drew the scores level at 16-16 midway through the second half when he scored from a scrum win and the conversion attempt by Hastings from the sideline just missed.

Brooks then put the Tigers ahead in the 67th minute when he picked up a loose ball put down by Graham and raced 70 metres to score and Hastings converted.

Rabbitohs forward Keaon Koloamatangi scored in the 71st minute after Toa put down a kick near his own line and fullback Blake Taaffe converted to again level the scores at 22-22.

Koloamatangi scores to ensure a grandstand finish

Hastings missed two shots at field goal and Jock Madden had an attempt charged down before Brooks landed the match winner from 30 metres out with just a minute on the clock.

Play of the game

The Rabbitohs appeared set to snatch the lead just before halftime when centre Campbell Graham burst into the clear and broke the tackle of Daine Laurie before sending halfback Lachlan Ilais racing towards the corner but Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle didn't give up the chase and made a try saving tackle just before the line. 

What's next 

Souths host Manly at Central Coast Stadium on Friday night, while Wests Tigers travel to Wollongong to take on St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium next Sunday.

Rabbitohs forward Hame Sele will need to pass the NRL's HIA protocols before being considered for selection after being forced from the field in the early exchanges against the Tigers, while Jacob Host also failed to finish the match after dislocating his shoulder.

NRL Press Conference: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs - Round 7, 2022

Centre Taane Milne was sinbinned for a high tackle on Daine Laurie, while interchange forward Liam Knight may also have judiciary concerns after being placed on report for a crusher tackle on James Tamou.

Tigers fullback Daine Laurie will undergo scans after suffering a knee injury that prevented him from returning after the halftime break, with the initial diagnosis being that he has suffered MCL damage. 

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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