It was a heartbreaking end to what was an entertaining and intense contest, so here are the Five Takeaways from Thursday night's encounter with the Penrith Panthers.

Mitchell Magic Sparks Near Comeback

Fullback Latrell Mitchell was in the spotlight ahead of this one, and he certainly played his part in a number of big moments throughout the contest.

First was his ball-and-all effort on a rampaging Luke Garner to deny the second rower from scoring Penrith's second try whilst over the line, with his determination enough to force an error at a crucial part of the match.

With minutes remaining Mitchell was at the forefront again, combining with Cody Walker to lay on a four-pointer for Alex Johnston, before he bamboozled the Panthers' defence to send Isaiah Tass in for another.

Needing to ice a sideline conversion to bring his side within six points heading into the final minute, TrellMit owned the moment by booting the Steeden between the posts.

Errors and Ill-Discipline Cruel Rabbitohs

It's one of the most painful things to bring up, but unfortunately, errors and penalties severely hampered the Rabbitohs throughout the contest, one that saw victory ultimately decided by a converted try.

With 13 errors and a 65% completion rate, the men from Redfern were unable to trouble the Panthers on the scoreboard until the final quarter of the match, with their courageous comeback coming short off the back of their ill-discipline.

In defence, the 7 penalties conceded also proved detrimental to the scoreline, with Penrith taking an important two-point advantage midway through the second half as a direct result.

While there were plenty of courageous efforts made throughout the match, it's no doubt something Head Coach Jason Demetriou will look at ahead of next week's Friday night blockbuster against arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters.

Gallant Effort From Forward Reinforcements

With Jai Arrow, Junior Tatola, Hame Sele, Jacob Host, Liam Knight and Siliva Havili all sidelined, the glut of the Rabbitohs' engine room was unavailable heading into the match.

But just as they had done the previous week against Cronulla, the forward reinforcements were gallant up against a forward pack brimming with State of Origin and International talent.

Shaquai Mitchell continued his rise to first grade by topping the Rabbitohs' running metres with 155 in just over 50 minutes on the field, while Michael Chee-Kam sparked the Rabbitohs to life with an offload directly leading to the side's first try.

Both Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Jed Cartwright made their first appearances for 2023, while 19-year-old Davvy Moale also put his hand up as he started the match up front.

Goal-Line Defence a Highlight

Despite the final score, the commitment and urgency from the South Sydney defence on the goal line is something the side can take great confidence from following a mixed performance.

Of course, Latrell Mitchell's aforementioned effort on Luke Garner stacked up as one of the plays of the game, keeping the scoreline to just four points throughout the majority of the first half.

With just 46% of possession, the Rabbitohs continually found themselves defending their line and forcing their opponents to go wide in order to score, with the Panthers' second coming off a dubious 'offload'.

With minutes remaining, a last-gasp effort from Lachlan Ilias on Liam Martin denied the second rower from crashing over, with that kind of determination which will only see the side improve as the season goes on.

Milestone Men Make Statements

Two appearance milestones were made against the Panthers, with Latrell Mitchell playing game 50 in the Red and Green and veteran front rower Thomas Burgess joining a Club legend on a special record.

Mitchell had his hand in both the side's tries as his freakish ability saw the Rabbitohs fall short of a miracle comeback as he posed a threat with every touch of the ball.

Burgess had another trademark performance, punching out 114 metres from a strong 39-minute stint, with 50 of those coming post-contact as he equalled Bob McCarthy's record of 211 first-grade appearances for the mighty Rabbitohs.

Alex Johnston's tryscoring feats also continued, with his try in the 66th minute bringing him to 167, leapfrogging Andrew Ettingshausen into fifth place on the NRL's all-time tryscoring ladder.

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