While were some closely fought results from the Rabbitohs Pathways' trip to Wagga Wagga on the weekend, overall the weekend had plenty of positives to take heading into Round 10.

NSW Cup Round 9: South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 def by Canberra Raiders 22

In a back-and-forth contest that saw a number of late calls deny the Red and Green of a hard-fought victory, the Rabbitohs were narrowly defeated by the Canberra Raiders in Wagga Wagga.

Izaac Tu'itupou Thompson opened the scoring with an early four-pointer in the corner, with Ethan O'Neill charging through to give the side the lead just after Canberra responded with their first try.

The Raiders struck just before half-time to level the scores at the break and were the first team to get on the board shortly after the sides returned, but it wasn't long before Blake Taaffe struck back to bring the difference to two points.

Both teams continued to go to and fro, but ultimately a late try to Canberra gave the hosts the victory, with the Rabbitohs denied on two occasions in the final ten minutes.

For Rabbitohs Head of Pathways and Elite Development and NSW Cup Head Coach Joe O'Callaghan, it was a match that could have yielded results but still had plenty of positives to take away from, most notably the return of Liam Knight.

"It was try-for-try out there and Canberra eventually got the last one to win it," he said.

"It was twelve-all at half-time and 18-16 going into the final quarter, but they managed to find one while we had two disallowed in the last ten minutes.

"Sometimes that's just footy and I thought we did enough to get a shot at the end to either force a draw or get the two points, but full credit to the Raiders. It was a high-quality game.

"It was a real positive to see Liam Knight back out on the field. He had a strong 30-minute stint and statistically, he was really good too.

"He had a lot of confidence both in attack and defence, and it's been a long time off for him so we were all really excited to see him get out there."

Jersey Flegg Cup Round 9: South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 def by Canberra Raiders 22

Following a big month that has seen a number of SG Ball players make the leap to the Jersey Flegg competition, the young Rabbitohs were gallant but unable to come away with the two competition points against the Raiders in Wagga Wagga.

Following a strong half that saw debutant Jye Gray not only return from a hamstring injury but score the first try of the match, the Red and Green were in a good position at the break, trailing by just six points.

However, with player unavailability playing its part in the second stanza, the Rabbitohs were unable to wrestle back momentum, with the final scoreline reading 22-4.

"It was a tough one on the road and showed the last month has caught up with them," O'Callghan said.

"The Flegg team has been doing well but a few boys have been playing busted and have been trying to get through to the bye this weekend. We had the tough win down in Melbourne on the road and it was a real grind with Penrith last week.

"It was always the plan to get Jye on for just the first half of footy to give him a bit of fitness coming back from a hamstring as well as the experience of playing Jersey Flegg.

"Unfortunately we had a player who sustained a serious injury and we were left with fifteen players in the second half, so they just ran out of gas in the end."

Despite the results on the scoreboard, the weekend down in the Riverina proved to be a great exercise for the playing group, giving them a chance to create closer bonds with one another as the season reaches its mid-point.

"It was a rare opportunity to get away so for both teams on Friday," O'Callaghan explained.

"We had a good team dinner on Friday, and they got a lot out of it. Socially in a team environment, you can't beat that time together.

"There were plenty of positives to take from the first half in the Flegg match, while NSW Cup went down to the wire so even though we didn’t get points there is plenty to take from it."

Moving Forward

Just one Pathways outfit will be on display this weekend, however, Rabbitohs Members and supporters in Sydney will have the opportunity to enjoy a Rugby League-filled day at North Sydney Oval with three NSW Cup matches to be played on Saturday.

"The Flegg boys have a much-needed bye which will let them freshen some bodies up, while the Cup have their own version of Magic Round," O'Callaghan said.

"There is mounting ladder pressure so they need to get their season going so hopefully we can kickstart that against the Roosters."

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