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Rabbitohs victorious over Cowboys

The Rabbitohs have prevailed 20-16 over the North Queensland Cowboys in from of 12,213 fans at ANZ Stadium.
Rabbitohs victorious over Cowboys
by NRL

The Rabbitohs have prevailed 20-16 over the North Queensland Cowboys in from of 12,213 fans at ANZ Stadium. The Rabbitohs were ahead 20-0 after just 20 minutes but failed to score again as the Cowboys drew to within 4 points with 4 minutes remaining.

It was a bright start for South Sydney, winning an early penalty which led to the first try of the game to Greg Inglis in just the 3rd minute. Inglis ghosted outside the Cowboys right side defence and took a couple of players over with him to take the Rabbitohs to a 6-0 lead.

After some fantastic defence including a brilliant tackle by Andrew Everingham which forced the ball loose, the Rabbitohs won another penalty. The score was soon 12-0 as Issac Luke, in a typical scoot from dummy half just a metre out, miraculously dragged four Cowboys players over the line to score.

With the Rabbitohs on attack again, Tariq Sims was put on report for a hit on John Sutton as he kicked. It was Issac Luke who kicked the penalty to stretch the lead to 14-0 after 13 minutes.

South Sydney's 20 minute blitz was capped off when Issac Luke held the ball up superbly from dummy half for Dave Taylor to crash over under the posts. Adam Reynolds, who had a perfect 3 from 3 with the boot, converted to give the Rabbitohs a 20-0 lead.

The remaining 20 minutes of the half were a real defensive scrap with South Sydney holding on several times after the Cowboys were awarded penalties deep in their attacking half. The Cowboys just couldn't find the final pass towards the end of the first half, wasting several opportunities.

Dave Taylor and Greg Inglis, fresh off Kangaroo duties were the two best on the field in the first half, both looking dangerous with ball in hand. Taylor in particular seemed to pop up just about everywhere.

The second half started in a lively fashion with the Cowboys determined not to give Inglis room to return the ball. Thurston repeatedly kicked long or pinned corners to deny the Rabbitohs fullback any space.

After heaping pressure on with a couple of quick penalties, the Cowboys were the first to score after half-time. James Segeyaro scooted over the line and the video referee deemed that he had planted the ball for North Queensland's first points in the 48th minute.

Minutes later Ash Graham crossed for the Cowboys second try after yet another penalty for offside had given them great field position. Thurston converted from the sideline to close the gap to 20-12. Ill-discipline was costing the Rabbitohs, a 5-0 penalty count in the second half not making for pretty reading.

The Cowboys were throwing everything at the South Sydney line, Thurston's grubbers forcing Everingham and Inglis to concede a couple of line dropouts. With time ticking inside 15 minutes remaining, the Rabbitohs held out a number of attacks before Dave Taylor forced Matt Bowen in-goal off a Reynolds bomb. From the dropout he nearly pulled off a memorable try, gathering the ball himself before tiptoeing down the sideline. He was only denied by a desperate tackle by Matt Bowen and Johnathan Thurston who bumped him over the sideline.

After another penalty and more field position for the Cowboys, Ash Graham was over for his second and Rabbitohs nerves frayed with just 4 minutes on the clock and a now slender lead. The quick kick was missed by Thurston and the Rabbitohs led 20-16. Just a couple of minutes remained as the Cowboys once again went on the attack but the game was effectively over when Tamou knocked on near halfway. The Rabbitohs soaked up the remaining time and pulled off a nail-biting 20-16 victory.

- NRL Stats: Souths v North Qld
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- Live Blog: Souths v North Qld
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