A poor defensive second half has saw the South Sydney Rabbitohs downed by the Brisbane Broncos 36-20 at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

An early raid and territory from Brisbane netted an incredible try-saver from Cody Walker to deny Kotoni Staggs as the visitors sounded out a warning.

They immediately responded, marching downfield on the back of a penalty and the left side again coming to the fore, with Walker combining with Blake Taaffe to put Alex Johnston into space before he stepped inside to open the scoring through six minutes.

Alex Johnston try 5th minute

A fumble from the ensuing set gave the Broncos prime field position, and on the back of a set restart were able to tie the scores at 6-all through Staggs.

The extraordinary start to the game continued when Martin Taupau was sent to the sin bin for lifting his knees from the kick-off, giving the Rabbitohs an advantage for the next 10 minutes and an 8-6 lead after Taaffe slotted the shot at penalty goal.

Souths couldn’t take any further advantage, and the Broncos made them pay, with Selwyn Cobbo seeing open space to give them their first lead in the 24th minute.

Tensions flared between the two sides throughout the middle stages of the first half, before the Rabbitohs had the dream finish, As the siren sounded, an inside ball from Damien Cook to Campbell Graham saw the star centre crash over and give them a 14-12 advantage at the break.

Campbell Graham try 40th minute

In similar fashion to the opening half, Brisbane had a golden opportunity to post first points four minutes into the half, only for Johnston to deny a flying Reece Walsh by putting him over the sideline.

It didn’t take long for Walsh to have his try, giving the Broncos the lead through 51 minutes after splitting the defence with ease.

The task became harder when the deficit was stretched to 24-14 after Xavier Willison barged his way over from close range with 22 minutes remaining.

Another mistake deep in their own territory proved costly as the Broncos added another try and Staggs bagged his second to set an almost impossible challenge, trailing by 16 with 17 minutes to play.

Isaiah Tass try 68th minute

A late shot from Jesse Arthars saw him sent to the sin bin, and the numbers came up trumps on the next set with Walker putting Isaiah Tass over to give them a hope at 30-20 to set up an intriguing final 10 minutes.

The comeback hopes were dashed soon after however, as Adam Reynolds crossed to seal the game.

Match snapshot

Play of the Game

With just seconds remaining in the first half, Damien Cook turned Campbell Graham under him to break the line, score and give the Rabbitohs a 14-12 lead and vital momentum heading into the break after a couple of near chances.

What's Next?

The South Sydney Rabbitohs continue their road trip around Australia with a visit to Scully Park in Tamworth to take on the Wests Tigers in round 22 action, with a win needed to keep hopes of making the top four alive.

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