Shannon Meyer reviews ….. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Pen Goal – Shaun Johnson (Sharks)||Sharks 2-0|
|12th||Try – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 4-2|
|13th||Goal – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 6-2|
|19th||Pen Goal – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 8-2|
|22nd||Pen Goal – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 10-2|
|32nd||Sin Bin – James Roberts (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 10-2|
|33rd||Try – Wade Graham (Sharks)||Rabbitohs 10-6|
|34th||Goal – Shaun Johnson (Sharks)||Rabbitohs 10-8|
|40th||Try – Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 14-8|
|40th||Goal – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 16-8|
|48th||Try – Ethan Lowe (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 20-8|
|49th||Goal – Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)||Rabbitohs 22-8|
|62nd||Try – Sione Katoa (Sharks)||Rabbitohs 22-12|
|63rd||Goal – Shaun Johnson (Sharks)||Rabbitohs 22-14|
|64th||Try – Sione Katoa (Sharks)||Rabbitohs 22-18|
It mostly went the way of the Rabbitohs in the first half, with the 32nd minute sin-binning of James Roberts for a professional foul providing a brief turnaround for the Sharks in the final minutes before Rabbitohs scored with 12 men with 40 seconds to spare.
Cronulla did open the scoring for the match early with a penalty goal, but the Rabbitohs got the first try of the match in the 12th minute when Adam Reynolds looked devoid of 5th tackle options decided to run himself with success 10 metres out. The Rabbitohs continued to pressure the Sharks for the next period but only ended up with a pair of penalty goals to show for it, but held a handy 10-2 lead after 25 minutes.
The Sharks didn’t look too likely and ventured rarely into Rabbitohs, but on the occasion, they did in the 32nd minute they earned themselves a penalty, and when a quick tap was taken by Josh Morris he was instantly tackled by an offside James Roberts, who found himself instantly sent for a 10-minute rest. The Sharks made them pay with a simple movement between Townsend, Johnson and finally onto Wade Graham who scored easily. Somehow, despite being outplayed for most of the half the Sharks were only down 10-8.
Despite pressuring Souths with the one-man advantage, the Rabbitohs scored just before the break, after a canny blindside run from Damien Cook saw Campbell Graham score easily in the corner. A sideline conversion made it 16-8 at the break.
The game seemed to be meandering into a controlled Souths win when Ethan Lowe crossed in the 48th minute after collecting the ricochet of a Walker grubber, which extended Souths’ lead to 14 points.
Then came a sensational period for the Sharks where Shaun Johnson inspired two tries for winger Sione Katoa, one being a good juggling effort after a fine Johnson pass, the other an acrobatic feat that would get the tick of approval from Superman. All of a sudden after 65 minutes it was 22-18 and the Sharks were on top.
The game came alive from then, and it was mainly the Sharks on top. A myriad of repeat sets and penalties gave Cronulla the possession and territory to apply the blowtorch to Souths at the end. One golden chance came with a minute to go when a left-side move looked like a certain Sharks try, but the last try was correctly disallowed for a forward pass, but cruelly for the Sharks who did well to get themselves back into the game.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the game came form Sharks winger Sione Katoa, who scored a super hero-like try in the second half, which was his second in two minutes. That try gave the Sharks a real sniff of a win when previously it looked like Souths would do it easy.
There would have been a few eyes on big name signing Latrell Mitchell, and it is safe to say he had a mixed bag and limited impact. He was replaced after 56 minutes by Alex Johnston who arguably had more impact. He did a few good things though, his first proper touch came in the 21st minute where he showed a glimpse of what he can offer with a strong kick 30 metre return which earned a penalty. Early days, and there will be more to come no doubt, we hope.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Dane Gagai 3. James Roberts 4. Braidon Burns 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Cameron Murray 13. Liam Knight 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Ethan Lowe 16. Hame Sele 17. Alex Johnston
1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Morris 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Jack Williams 14. Connor Tracey 15. Braden Hamlin-Uele 16. Toby Rudolf 17. Scott Sorensen