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The Rabbitohs have been defeated 46-10 in round 2 of the Pre Season Challenge against their arch rivals the Sydney Roosters.

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Rabbitohs v Roosters

It was a tough outing for Souths who tried hard in wet conditions throughout the contest. However, too many errors at key points in the match meant that they were ultimately unable to keep up with their opposition when it mattered most.

While the end result was decisive in favour of the Roosters, it was a tight contest early, with both sides trading tries to make it 6-4 to Souths at the 11-minute mark.

The Roosters opened the scoring in the third minute through edge back-rower Meli Nasau, The Fijian going over relatively easily after a big shift to the left gave him too much space for the defence to handle.

The Rabbitohs then hit back after a Roosters error and a subsequent set restart resulted in a sustained run of possession in the attacking zone. The pressure proved unmanageable for the Roosters, with Souths capitalising through lock Matthew French who crashed over after running a tough line.

Matt French bulldozes over

Souths had their chances in the remainder of the first half, and looked dangerous at times off the back of Roosters errors and set restarts. But errors of their own and the slippery conditions in general made it tough to capitalise on their opportunities.

The Roosters on the other hand were able to hang onto the ball at crucial times, resulting in tries to Turoa Williams, Corey Ross and Salesi Foketi for a 20-6 lead at the break.

Souths knew they would have to score first if they were to rein in the Roosters’ 14-point half-time advantage. They displayed clear positive intent early, making 66m off their first set off the kick off. However, a penalty in possession for blocking kick pressure meant that they would be unable to turn this into points.

The task of a comeback was then made more difficult for Souths, as the Roosters scored the first try of the second half through Kyron Fekitoa in the 48th minute.

An impressive double to Roosters fullback Callum Gromek then put the result even further out of reach for the Rabbitohs, who now found themselves staring down the barrel of a 36-6 score line at the 62nd minute.

The Rabbitohs were able to find a consolation try in the 65th minute through winger Leon Te Hau, who finished off a nice backline movement to score in the corner.

It was to no avail however, with the Roosters finishing with two unanswered tries to Michael Coleman and Emery Jolliffe for a fulltime score of 46-10 over the Rabbitohs.

Leon Te Hau with ease

Match Snapshot

Play of the game

Although the result was already beyond doubt, Michael Coleman’s try in the 73rd minute was particularly impressive. The Roosters shifted the ball left on the last tackle while still in their own half. Number 18 Harrison McKeon was able to find space with a big run down the left touch line, followed by a deft chip kick infield which was dived on by Coleman in the in-goal to score.

What’s Next?

The Rabbitohs will begin their 2024 NRL campaign in Las Vegas on the March 3rd against the Manly Sea Eagles. After sitting out this trial against the Roosters, the Rabbitohs star players should all be fit and raring to go for this historic round 1 clash.

No Helmets, No Pads, No Timeouts by Russell Crowe

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