The NRL Premiership is wide open after the South Sydney Rabbitohs did the unimaginable, defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 31-18 in Townsville.
Over recent weeks the Cowboy’s fans have seen their side give up early leads and the trend continued. Three minutes into the game Greg Inglis showed his calibre, slicing through poor Cowboys defence scoring first. The home side settled and then consolidated through Justin O’Neill halfway through the first half after conceding consecutive penalties.
Tom Burgess regained the lead for Souths by bulldozing his way over Jason Taumalolo. Adam Reynolds converted then snuck over a field goal just before half time. With just a minute on the clock the Cowboys went full length, O’Neill sneaking around Kirisome Auva’a to grubber the ball over the line where fullback Lachlan Coote pounced to score. Johnathan Thurston converted on halftime to reduce the margin to one.
Souths, looking to consolidate a top-four position, settling first on resumption. Isaac Luke hit the line from dummy half and gave Jason Clark the chance to fool the defence and score. Ten minutes later they were over again when Coote failed to clean up a Reynold bomb and Johnson kicked through, regathered and scored.
There was plenty to like about Souths performance which allowed coach Michael Maguire to tell the post-match conference “There is a lot of belief amongst us as a team.” They benefit from an eight-day turnaround, allowing time to assess Inglis who copped a heavy knock late in the match. – Marc Summers
Top photo from the NRL’s official website.