An inexperienced South Sydney Rabbitohs side has gone down to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 68 points to six at Gosford’s Industree Group Stadium on Sunday in front of 5,107 Members and supporters.
The Rabbitohs fielded a 21-man squad which featured only four players with NRL experience, against a Manly outfit that was much closer to the team they will field in the opening rounds of the NRL premiership.
The Rabbitohs kicked off and opened the match in the best way possible with Adam Christensen bursting through a gap to score. It was wonderful gap running from Christensen, with Jarrett Subloo converting to give South Sydney a six-nil lead after four minutes.
Three minutes later Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega scored a messy try for Manly which involved a cross field bomb and a grubber kick off the ground to score in the right corner. Jaxson Paulo converted from out wide to level the scores at six-all.
Second-rower Ben Trbojevic scored three first half tries in the ninth, 25th and 40th minutes to establish the Sea Eagles’ 24-6 lead at the half time break.
Both sides were finding room around the ruck at the back end of the half and the Rabbitohs had Manly under pressure with four sets on their opposition’s line. However none of the opportunities brought points. Christensen was proving to be one of the Rabbitohs’ best in the first half, creating opportunities and always being around the action.
In the second half, Jacob Sykes scored two tries as did Jamie Humphreys; Jakob Arthur, Clayton Faulalo and Cameron Brown all clinched one four-pointer each, with Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega scoring his second for the match, setting up a 68 points to six win for Manly-Warringah.
Despite the scoreline, the young Rabbitohs will have taken plenty out of the game, coming up against a much more experienced line up in the first hit out of the pre-season. They defended as strongly as they could when under a lot of pressure throughout the game, and they created a number of scoring opportunities with the limited number of chances they had when they were on the front foot.
The Rabbitohs will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in next Saturday’s Charity Shield match at Kogarah’s Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 68 (Ben Trbojevic 3, Jacob Sykes 2, Jamie Humphreys 2, Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega 2, Jakob Arthur, Clayton Faulalo, Cameron Brown tries; Jamie Humphreys 7, Jaxson Paulo 3 goals)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (Adam Christensen try; Jarrett Subloo goal)
Crowd – 5,107.