Another captain’s knock from Latrell Mitchell has helped the South Sydney Rabbitohs escape Accor Stadium with a 36-28 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
The Rabbitohs were heavily under the pump with 20 minutes to play, down by six and struggling to put a set of six together after relentless pressure from the home side.
That was before a piece of brilliance from Latrell Mitchell turned the game on its head.
Latrell makes a statement
Kodi Nikorima darted out of dummy half, before offloading to Mitchell who beat four defenders on his way to an incredible 40m try to tie scores back up ahead of the final quarter of play.
Despite falling behind again, it set the tempo for South Sydney to lift over the concluding stages and come away with a crucial victory for their finals hopes.
At the beginning it was a hot start from the Rabbitohs, with a crafty piece of play from Lachlan Ilias getting things underway after just four minutes.
A neat little grubber from the halfback saw him chase up his own kick and slice through two defenders to score.
Ilias scores a special try
The Bulldogs hit back hard from that point on to take the lead with two tries out wide on the back of a couple of ordinary defensive plays.
But it was South Sydney who hit back hard in the 18th minute with a lovely backline play on the last tackle seeing Keaon Koloamatangi giving the ball back inside for Cody Walker to cross the line.
The exclamation part on a possession-dominant half came with another Alex Johnston try at Accor Stadium to send them into the sheds up 16-10.
The Rabbitohs had 53 percent of the ball at the half, with Tevita Tatola playing out the entire half to run for over 110m.
Errors started to creep in to start the second half, and the Bulldogs took full advantage of a fortuitous high contact call on Mitchell to tie the scores up heading into the final 30 minutes.
Canterbury continued to suffocate the visitors with continued possessions on their goal-line on the back of penalties and repeat sets, but South Sydney held solid in a crucial period of the game.
All of that good work in defence was undone from the other end of the field, as the Bulldogs spread the ball wide on their own line to go the best part of 90m down the field to retake the lead by six approaching the hour mark.
Despite Mitchell’s individual brilliance to again level the scores, the Bulldogs added another long-range try to put their noses in front.
Not ones to lie down, the magic duo of Walker and Mitchell combined inside the final 10 minutes to get them back on level pegging at 28-all, putting Tatola over for his second try in as many weeks.
Mitchell again involved after Walker runs on the last
That set up a grandstand finish, and it was South Sydney that finished strongest.
Mitchell was again in the thick of things, with his long cut-out ball to Johnston putting the Rabbitohs in front inside the final five minutes, before Isaiah Tass somehow stayed in the field of play after catching a kick, before launching a miracle offload to Johnston to cross for his third of the night.
The Rabbitohs remain in seventh after the success, with a blockbuster round 19 clash against Melbourne at Accor Stadium on Saturday night on the cards.