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Rabbitohs go down in golden point at Shark Park

A golden point field goal by Nicho Hynes has handed the Sharks a 21-20 win over the Rabbitohs in an epic contest at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.

After Latrell Mitchell and Matt Moylan missed five field goal shots between them it was Hynes who delivered in the 87th minute.

With Siosifa Talakai running rampant and Ronaldo Mulitalo scoring one of the tries of the season the Sharks recovered from 8-0 down early to register their 13th win of the season.

The Rabbitohs opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Cameron McInnes was penalised for an infringement in the play the ball and Latrell Mitchell piloted the kick for a 2-0 lead.

In the 12th minute it was Alex Johnston crossing for his 22nd try of the season to take Souths out to an 8-0 lead before Connor Tracey hit back for the home side in the 20th minute.

Johnston into all-time top 10 try-scorers

A dropped ball by Souths winger Jaxson Paulo in the 27th minute handed the Sharks a chance to hit the lead but Aiden Tolman made a mistake in the play the ball to let the Rabbitohs off the hook.

With the Sharks mounting a raid in the 32nd minute Wade Graham was caught high by Thomas Burgess and the ensuing penalty goal to Nicho Hynes locked it up at 8-8.

Three minutes before the break the Sharks had the lead when Ronaldo Mulitalo soared through the night sky to bring down a Nicho Hynes bomb for his 13th try of the season. Hynes' conversion made it 14-8.

The Rabbitohs flew out of the blocks in the second half when a perfectly placed grubber by Cody Walker was fumbled by Tracey and Mitchell pounced on the scraps to make it 14-14.

Latrell just where he needs to be

A huge moment in the game with 15 minutes to play when McInnes looked to have given the home side the lead but replays showed the ball had come away from his grasp as he attempted to get it down.

Andrew Fifita then stood tall for the Sharks as he carried four defenders across the line to score, evoking memories of his famous 2016 grand final try. Hynes converted for a 20-14 lead.

With time running out for the Bunnies it was Keaon Koloamatangi coming up with a steal on Siosifa Talakai to hand his side one last chance and Tevita Tatola powered over next to the posts to make it 20-18 and Mitchell converted to set up a grandstand finish.

Koloamatangi comes up with a huge strip

The game went to golden point and a dropped ball by Fifita in Cronulla's first set gave Mitchell a shot to win the match but he sprayed the ball well wide.

Matt Moylan then had a field goal shot for the Sharks but the kick was charged down and the Bunnies worked their way down for Mitchell to have another crack from 40 metres out which he missed again.

Another miss by Moylan sent the game to a second period of extra-time and a storming run by Burgess handed Mitchell a third shot at victory but he again sent it wide.

More drama in the 87th minute when Burgess was sent off for a high shot on Mulitalo and the Sharks came down the field and Hynes iced the win for the Sharks.

Match Highlights: Sharks v Rabbitohs

Match Snapshot

  • The Sharks lost their captain's challenge in just the third minute when they contested a knock-on call and were unsuccessful.
  • Souths winger Alex Johnston moved into the top 10 all-time on the premiership tryscoring list with his first four-pointer. Johnston has 158 tries for his career, equal with Josh Morris and just one behind Hazem El Masri. Atop the list is Ken Irvine wth 212.
  • Daniel Suluka-Fifita started a game for the first time in his career and came up with 67 metres from seven runs in a 17-minute stint before making way for Thomas Burgess.
  • Rabbitohs interchange forward Thomas Burgess was placed on report in the 32nd minute for a high tackle on Wade Graham, who was sent for a HIA which he passed.
  • The Rabbitohs lost their captain's challenge in the 33rd minute when they challenged an escort call on Cody Walker and came up empty.
  • Thomas Burgess left the field for a HIA in the 51st minute after he clashed heads with Teig Wilton.
  • Siosifa Talakai was immense in attack for the Sharks with 217 metres from 21 runs.
  • Andrew Fifita's second-half try was his first since round 8, 2020 against the Gold Coast. The front-rower left the field shortly after for a HIA which he passed and was able to return for golden point.
  • Keaon Koloamatangi continued his strong season for Souths with 161 metres from 19 runs.
  • Thomas Burgess was sent off in the 87th minute for a high tackle on Ronaldo Mulitalo.

Play of the Game

Ronaldo Mulitalo produced an unbelievable leap to snare a Nicho Hynes bomb and touch down in the shadows of half-time to give Cronulla the lead for the first time. The try was Mulitalo's 13th in 12 games at PointsBet Stadium and showcased the freakish athletic skills that have made him a cult hero with the Sharks faithful. In 57 career games the 22-year-old has already racked up 40 tries and there's many more to come.

NRL Press Conference: Sharks v Rabbitohs - Round 20, 2022

What's Next

The Sharks are at home again in Round 21 for a local derby against the Dragons. They'll be hoping for a repeat of Round 3 in Wollongong where they ran in six tries in a 36-12 win. They then face Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs and Knights in the final month of the regular season.

The Rabbitohs are taking their home game against the Warriors to Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday before facing the Eels (a), Panthers (h), Cowboys (h) and Roosters (a) in their last four games.

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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