Brad Inger reviews the Rabbitohs vs Warriors clash. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Thomas Burgess (8, 17), Jaxson Paulo (11), Cameron Murray (25), Cody Walker (28), Jayden Su’A (32, 42), Josh Mansour (53, 56), Keon Koloamatangi (68), Latrell Mitchell (74)
Goals: Adam Reynolds (9, 19, 27, 30, 32, 42, 54)
Latrell Mitchell (70)
Tries: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (4), Marcelo Montoya (38), Kodi Nikorima (40), Reece Walsh (65)
Goals: Reece Walsh (5, 40, 66)
Player of the Year Points
3 pts – Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)
2 pts – Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
1 pt – Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs)
Despite the huge gap between these sides on the ladder, both sides looked evenly matched in the opening stages. Both teams trading sets before the Warriors were the first on the scoreboard when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scooped up a wayward Cody Walker pass to run 50 metres to score in the corner. Souths responded a few sets later after a Reece Walsh kick went out on the full. In good field position, the Rabbitohs made it look easy as Tom Burgess barged his way over the try-line. Walsh then handed South Sydney good field position after his kickoff attempt went over the dead-ball line, and a few tackles later, they were over again when Jaxson Paulo finished off a nice passing play from Walker to go over in the corner. The Warriors fixed their kickoff attempts but struggled to get out of their own half and made their day more challenging, repeatedly being caught inside the ten. After a few six again calls, the Rabbitohs were over again, with Burgess scoring his second of the afternoon in almost the same manner as his first. The game threatened to be busted wide open with the Rabbitohs looking almost certain to score again, but Walsh’s desperate failed interception attempt let the Warriors off the hook. They tried to get themselves back in the contest with some offloads, but a Walsh bomb on the last tackle bounced over the dead-ball line again. The Rabbitohs surged up the field to score through Cameron Murray after a fantastic offload from Latrell Mitchell on the back of the seven tackle set. Souths twisted the knife further by scoring two more tries in almost back to back sets via Walker and Jayden Su’A to break their record of points scored in a half versus the New Zealand side. In the dying stages of the half, the Warriors finally managed to string some attacking plays together. After Adam Pompey broke the line, he combined with Chad Townsend to send Marcelo Montoya over in the corner. The Warriors weren’t done yet as they were over again after going the length of the field; a cutout pass from Kodi Nikorima saw Watene-Zelezniak sprint down the sideline before passing the ball back to Nikorima for the Warriors third try to end a poor first half on a positive note with the Rabbitohs going into the sheds leading 34-16.
HALF-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 New Zealand Warriors 16
The Rabbitohs wasted little time getting back to work, with Su’A barging over for his second try in only the 42nd minute with the Warriors struggling to slow down Souths forwards. Both sides struggled with errors for the next few sets, but the Rabbitohs continued to pile the pressure on the New Zealand side and, after a Damien Cook dummy-half run, opened the Warriors defence up, which allowed Josh Mansour to cross in the corner to push their lead out to 30 points. Mansour was over for a double minutes later, with the New Zealand side failing to deliver the same impressive grit they displayed last week. An error from Mitchell when attempting to catch a kick handed the Warriors good field position for the first time in the half but a Jazz Tevaga offload attempt touched a Rabbitohs player and was deemed a loose carry. Matt Lodge got the ball back for his side moments later with a one on one strip before then losing the ball with a wayward offload. The Warriors managed to hold the Rabbitohs out and show a glimpse of how dangerous they can be with the ball in hand when Walsh scored from a Townsend chip kick. That was the last shot the New Zealand side fired as Souths retook control and ended the match with two more tries scored with relative ease by Keon Koloamatangi and Mitchell, handing the Warriors their biggest defeat of the 2021 season and keeping themselves in the discussion for premiership contenders.
FULL-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 60 New Zealand Warriors 22
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised