Brad Inger reviews the Round 21 clash between the Rabbitohs and the Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium; here’s how the match went.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tries: Lachlan Ilias 3, Damien Cook 9, Tevita Tatola 16, Keaon Koloamatangi 21, Latrell Mitchell 30, 56, Alex Johnston 35, Izaac Thompson 43
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 4, 10, 17, 22, 31, 36, 45, 57
New Zealand Warriors
Tries: Ed Kosi 26, Shaun Johnson 50
Goals: Shaun Johnson 27
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Rabbitohs bolted out the gates and never looked back, scoring four tries in the first 21 minutes of the match. Targeting some poor Warriors defence, Souths made it look easy as Lachlan Ilias, Damien Cook, Tevita Tatalo and Keaon Koloamantangi all crossed with Cameron Murray playing a hand in the first three tries, causing plenty of headaches for the visitors.
The Warriors finally found themselves on the scoreboard when Ed Kosi finished a nice right-to-left play in only their second set played within the Rabbitohs half.
Souths weren’t done yet as they finished the first half in style, scoring another two tries via Latell Mitchell and Alex Johnston. Johnston’s try was the 159th of his career as he continues his climb up the all-time tryscoring leaderboard. This saw the teams go into the sheds with the home side leading by 30 points and much improvement needed by the Warriors.
The second half started in the same manner as the first, with the Rabbitohs taking only three minutes to score their seventh try via debutant Izaac Thompson. Minutes later, Johnston looked sure to cross for his second, scorching down the field with Dallin Watene-Zeleaniak making a massive try-saving tackle, desperately dragging the winger’s leg over the sideline at the last moment.
After learning a penalty, the Warriors were in good field position, and Kosi looked dangerous before being dragged down close to the line; the New Zealand side kept the pressure on, and Shaun Johnson scored after receiving a Jack Murchie offload.
The Rabbitohs almost scored a length of the field try but were given a penalty after Reece Walsh hit Johnston without the ball; Souths went back to work. Mitchell crossed for his second try when a decoy run parted the Warrior’s goal-line defence like the red sea in the game’s final scoring play in only the 56th minute.
Both sides had a few more highlight reel plays left in them, with the Rabbitohs almost scoring via Thompson and the Warriors making a huge break thanks to Reece Walsh, who passed the ball to Murchie, who showed some impressive pace before being dragged down just before the line. The visitors looked ready to cross again but let Souths off the hook with a forward pass.
The Warriors had one final attempt at scoring when Johnson put a kick up that was tapped back by Marcelo Montoya before being tapped again by Souths and ending up in the hands of Taniela Otukolo, who was held up just under the crossbar.
Despite a few close calls, the Rabbitohs had done more than enough damage in the first half to see them finish with the biggest win of their season while the Warriors continue to countdown to the offseason after another disappointing display.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs), 2 pts – Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs), 1 pt – Reece Walsh (Warriors)
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