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Rabbitohs survive big scare to beat Warriors after first half blitz

A first half blitz from South Sydney lit up Magic Round to start day two but the side were forced to fend off a thrilling Warriors comeback to win 32-30 at Suncorp Stadium.

Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker was on fire early, putting aside some criticism earlier in the week around his own personal form to deliver three first half tries as the 2021 grand finalists racked up a 26-0 lead. 

However, their healthy advantage was narrowed in the second half as the Warriors got into a groove and dominated field position as the Rabbitohs began to lose control of the match.

Match Highlights: Warriors v Rabbitohs

A try to Jazz Tevaga in the 70th minute got the Warriors back to within 14 points with 10 minutes remaining before South Sydney were forced to defend with 12 for the final six minutes of the game after Damien Cook was sin-binned for a professional foul.

The Rabbitohs held on, however, to secure their fifth win of the season, in a mixed result for Jason Demetriou, who would be thrilled with the one half by not the other from his winning outfit.

For the Warriors, who were coming off a shell-shocked result against the Sharks last week, their first half fadeout cost them dearly but they'll take plenty away from their second term.

A try to Marcelo Montoya, his second of the afternoon, set up a grandstand finish with a minute remaining but a final 40-metre field goal attempt from Shaun Johnson barely got off the ground.

Match snapshot

  • South Sydney copped an early blow with Jacob Host leaving the field in the first set of the game after aggravating a shoulder injury.
  • A double to Taane Milne inside 13 minutes started the onslaught with the winger benefiting from two right side raids to send him over untouched.
    The Rabbitohs were next to benefit on the left edge with Alex Johnston strolling over via a Cody Walker pass.
  • A try to Blake Taaffe extended the visitors' lead before Damien Cook took advantage of a quick play the ball score the side's fifth.
  • South Sydney were denied a sixth try through Lachlan Ilias after the Bunnies halfback lost the ball in the greasy conditions.
  • The Warriors got on the board with three seconds left before half-time - Marcelo Montoya returning from a four-week ban by going over in the corner.
    Warriors leader Tohu Harris made a successful return from an ACL injury, churning out a solid 30 minutes in his first game since round 18, 2021.
  • Former Warrior Kodi Nikorima was injected onto the field in the 56th minute after making a mid-season move to the club last week. 
  • Rabbitohs forward Tevita Tatola was dominant in the middle with 189 metres for the match. His front-row partner Tom Burgess (147 metres) set a platform for the side throughout the contest. 

Cook can't be caught

Play of the game

The Cody Walker-Alex Johnston combination is one of the best in the game with the Rabbitohs five-eighth sending his winger over with a perfect cut-out pass in the opening half to help set up the win.

Walker waves wand and finds Johnston

What's next

South Sydney will remain on the road, travelling to Dubbo to host the Raiders at Apex Oval on Sunday.

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou will need to find a replacement for Jacob Host (shoulder) with Hame Sele a chance to return next week from a calf injury. 

The Warriors will turn their attention to a trip to Sydney for a clash against the Dragons, where they'll hope to have the likes of Euan Aitken back from a head knock. 

NRL Press Conference: Warriors v Rabbitohs - Round 10, 2022

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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