South Sydney have ensured the New South Wales dominance of the NRL State Championship continued after posting a 42-22 win against Brisbane Tigers.
While it was a tight start to the game, with Rabbitohs overcoming a horror start where they knocked on the opening kick-off, they were able to turn that around to score the first try of the day thanks to Tyrone Munro, who finished the game with a hat-trick.
The Bunnies scored their second try on the opposite side of the field, making goal-kicking tricky for Dean Hawkins and keeping the Tigers in the game, with Cole Geyer going over with his first touch.
However, the Rabbitohs went into the break with winning momentum, with Munro sneaking over just before the halftime siren.
A telling period at the start of the second half where the Rabbitohs run in three tries in six minutes did major damage to the Tigers.
A few close chances in the second half and were finally rewarded when Thomas Rafter went over with a nicely timed run onto a Ryley Jacks pass.
That gave the Tigers some renewed energy and they upped the pressure on the Bunnies, by throwing the ball around.
However, the NSW winners were able to hold firm, with Carr scooping up a loose ball off the deck to race the length of the field to score against the run of play and pick up his second try of the afternoon. Tallis Duncan scored a late try, which was a fitting reward for a strong game, but the Tigers did manage to finish the match in a flurry, with consolation tries to Solomona Faataape and Kane Bradley.
- Tigers centre George Jennings left the field after a swinging arm from Jacob Gagai caught his head and failed his HIA.
- Leivaha Pulu left the field in the second half with a calf tear.
- Brisbane Tigers defeated the Burleigh Bears 22-18 in Queensland's Hostplus Cup grand final to earn their place in the NRL State Championship.
- The Rabbitohs beat North Sydney Bears in the NSW Knock On Effect Cup, also with a score of 22-18.
- The Tigers were able to break a 32-year premiership drought in winning their Cup grand final. The Tigers had been in six grand finals prior and lost.
- Rabbitohs fullback Blake Taafe was the player of the match in the NSW Cup grand final.
- While Queensland teams won the first two NRL State Championships in 2014 and 2015, it had been dominated by NSW Cup winners.
- The NRL State Championship was not played in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19 cancellation of the state competitions.
- South Sydney coach Joe O'Callaghan was a former coaching staff member at Brisbane Tigers, coaching in the junior ranks.
- O'Callaghan was on staff in 2014 when the Northern Pride won the inaugural State Championship against Penrith Panthers.
Play of the Game
It was almost a full team effort, but Tyrone Munroe's try to secure his hat-trick went through plenty of hands before he was able to secure his milestone on grand final day.