2023 NRL Round 24: Rabbitohs 26, Dragons 14

South Sydney Rabbitohs were looking to keep their finals hopes alive when they hosted St George-Illawarra Dragons at Barlow Park in Cairns.

Result

South Sydney Rabbitohs 26
Tries: Alex Johnston 10th, 71st; Campbell Graham 42nd; Cody Walker 50th
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 11th, 18th, 43rd, 51st, 71st, 79th

St George-Illawarra Dragons 14
Tries: Mikaele Ravalawa 19th; Ben Hunt 44th, Tyrell Sloan 65th
Goals: Ben Hunt 46th

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Report

This was a must-win game for South Sydney to stay contention for a top eight finish. However, the form of both sides over the past ten matches was poor with each team recording three wins.

South Sydney dominated the early stages of the first half and scored first through Alex Johnston after Taane Milne made a break down the sideline in the lead-up.

However, the momentum changed when Tyrell Sloan’s kick restart was allowed to bounce over the sideline which resulted in Moses Suli setting up Mikaele Ravalawa to score in the corner.

It was an error riddled opening forty for the Rabbitohs in making seven errors while the Dragons appeared clunky in attack. South Sydney leading 8-4 at the break.

The high error rate continued in the second half with the game unable to flow. South Sydney finishing with 16 errors and the Dragons 11.

Mathew Feagai’s error on his own line led to Campbell Graham scoring straight after the break. A mistake from Siliva Havili in the set from the kick restart saw Talatau Amone kick through for Ben Hunt to reduce the lead to four points.

The try of the match was to Cody Walker after Lachlan Ilias put up a kick with Latrell Mitchell winning the contest for the ball and finding his five-eighth back on the inside to score. There was a hint of controversy with some debate as to whether Walker and Mitchell were in front of the kicker in the chase.

Tyrell Sloan’s try with fifteen minutes remaining kept the Dragons in the game, but South Sydney kept the Red V at bay with Johnston’s second try of the afternoon extending the lead to a match-winning 12 points.

There will be a few incidents for the Match Review to look at with Walker, Damien Cook and Michael Molo placed on report by referee Ben Cummins.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

3 – Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs)
2 – Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs)
1 – Tyrell Sloan (Dragons)

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