Battered Bunnies sink sleepy Warriors

South Sydney have battled to secure a courageous win over the New Zealand Warriors in front of a record Perth crowd tonight, trouncing their Kiwi opponents 34-18.

While the Bunnies' flight home will resemble more of a hospital ward than a Boeing airliner, the relocated hosts of tonight's match were outstanding in the second half to overcome an exuberant Warriors side that simply faded out late.

The primary concern for the Rabbitohs after tonight's game is fullback Greg Inglis, who sustained what appears to be a serious leg injury just before halftime, and could be out for one or two months - meaning he misses the rest of the Origin period and then some for the Maroons and his club. Bryson Goodwin was also badly injured with a nasty looking elbow injury, while Jason Clark's head knock in the second half will also have Michael Maguire raiding the Norths' VB NSW Cup stocks over the coming weeks.

It wasn't the greatest start for the Rabbitohs, two incredible tries kicked the match off for the Warriors with David Fusitu'a managing some incredible acrobatics in the right hand corner of the field, while Shaun Johnson ran off a Suaia Matagi break to secure the visitors a 10-0 lead within ten minutes of the kickoff.

It appeared as though the Warriors took their foot off the gas for the remainder of the game, but for the first half at least their defence held strong against a rampaging Souths forward pack - this included an outstanding tackle by Shaun Johnson on Rabbitohs' lock Sam Burgess. The Bunnies' only points of the opening forty came from a Dylan Walker try, converted by Adam Reynolds.

Then the moment Rabbitoh fans and Maroon fans alike had dreaded - Inglis went down just before the halftime break. It appeared as though he fell awkwardly helping Sam Burgess tackle an opposition player and he subsequently hobbled off. The Warriors led 10-6 at oranges.

The second half started much in the same way as the first - the Warriors bounded out of the blocks and extended their lead after 50 minutes through Simon Mannering, before the Rabbitohs, despite missing three key players, went on a run that saw Walker and Kyle Turner put their side in front through back-to-back tries - then they added three more in the final ten minutes, including a shock Dave Tyrrell double and an aerial piece of genius from Joel Reddy off a Reynolds cross-field kick.

The Warriors added a late consolation to Konrad Hurrell in the final minute. Next week they head home and relax with a bye, while the Rabbitohs are back at their home base of ANZ Stadium to host the Wests Tigers.


Match Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 New Zealand Warriors 18
Venue: NIB Stadium
Crowd: 20267
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 New Zealand Warriors 10

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Dylan Walker
2 points - Sam Burgess
1 point - Adam Reynolds

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (34)
Tries: Dylan Walker (2), Kyle Turner, David Tyrrell (2), Joel Reddy
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (5/6)

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (18)
Tries: David Fusitua, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Konrad Hurrell
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (1/4)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

The Golden West has it's second and final taste of the NRL for season 2014 tonight as the Bunnies take their annual clash with the Warriors to Perth's nib Stadium. Souths can push for a top four berth with a win here while the Warriors will be on the edge of the eight if they can jag two points in this one. Should be a belter!
TEAM NEWS | One change for each side. South Sydney welcome back Bryson Goodwin in jersey #20, with Alex Johnston OUT. The Warriors are 1-17 however hooker Nathan Friend drops to the bench with Saliva Havili to start at hooker.

2: We are underway in Perth! Both sides with a solid couple of opening sets.

4: VIDEO REFEREE possible TRY to the Warriors for David Fusitu'a... checking the corner!

5: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by David Fusitua. Kick to come.

Fusitu'a has it - amazing try in the corner! He's flown through the air and come down... freakish. Barely a millimetre inside the touchline.

6: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.

Johnson starts it to the right but it's straight instead of curving. Miss.

8: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Kick to come.

What a start for the Warriors! Matagi finds open space and Johnson has supported him ably, running away for the try!

9: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.

Johnson made his own conversion easy by scoring under the sticks. He converts.

14: Warriors ruled to have knocked on after Vatuvei attempted a bomb take. Souths scrum 10m from the NZ line.

16: VIDEO REFEREE possible NO TRY to Souths through John Sutton. Checking grounding, looks to be held up. Sutton doesn't look confident.

16: NO TRY, Sutton dropped it. Warriors ball.

18: Warriors surge up the park, on the attack with a fresh set. Mannering charges at the line but is caught short... then Tomkins spills it. Souths scrum on their own 10m.

22: BAM! Shaun Johnson has absolutely RATTLED Sam Burgess with a fantastic tackle. What a hit by a little man on a big man! Souths do get a penalty and now a repeat set through an in-goal tackle.

25: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Dylan Walker. Kick to come.

Walker shifts to the left and gets around a few defenders to bag the Bunnies' first of the night.

26: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds no mistake, four the difference now.

28: Another penalty for the "hosts" - Souths with three to the Warriors one now. 35m out Bunnies with the ball.

30: Fifth tackle kick from the Warriors inside Souths' 20m ricochets off Sutton and the Warriors go back and retrieve it through Johnson.

31: Ah, that play breaks down with the ball flying past Vatuvei and ending up with the cameraman. Souths scrum.

32: Souths put up a bomb, it's allowed to bounce and ends up with Reynolds, who turns it to the right, they kick again and Tomkins has to take it and try to get out of the in-goal... he can't and he's upended. Drop-out.

33: George Burgess down and concussed it would seem. He's off, it's the result of a head clash. Play on.

33: Adam Reynolds is down with a head knock a couple of plays later. Ikahihifo looks like he's gone high - Maxwell confirms this. Penalty Souths, Sebastine is on report.

34: And ANOTHER PENALTY, Nathan Friend warned about niggling. Souths tap it 10m out.

35: Nothing doing for Souths... now the Warriors storm up the park and Hurrell earns his side a penalty. Warriors start the set just ten short of halfway.

37: Reddy takes a high ball for South Sydney then earns his side a penalty. Bunnies advancing now.

37: Auva'a runs it on the last (we don't think he knew), and is tackled. Handover to the Warriors 1m from their own line.

39: Good deep kick from Johnson traps Inglis on his own ten metre line after a good chase. Now Walker makes a break down the right!

39: VIDEO REFEREE possible Goodwin TRY for Souths. It's in the air, Goodwin snatches it. Checking the corner grounding... NOPE hand on the ground. Ouch.

The big news at halftime in Perth is Greg Inglis. In the shadows of the break he looks to have sustained a serious knee or leg injury. We'll keep you posted. Warriors 10-6 at the break.

41: We're back on. Inglis won't return tonight but we'll get more on the severity of his injury as the night progresses.

48: Vatuvei charges up the park and it looks like Goodwin has dislocated his elbow in an attempted tackle.

48: Make that an elbow actually, horrible luck for the Bunnies' backline. This is looking rough for the Bunnies now, but they're still only four behind.

50: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Simon Mannering. Kick to come.

Chad Townsend through, but supports runners are held back. It's a penalty... a few plays later and it's a TRY for the captain Simon Mannering out wide!

51: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.

Johnson can't add the extras. Eight is the lead.

54: Dylan Walker - courage. He's injured his thumb but with both Inglis and Goodwin off he stays on.

57: UPSTAIRS - Video Referee to adjudicate on a possible try to Dylan Walker. Checking obstruction.

58: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Dylan Walker. Kick to come.

Walker ducks and darts around several defenders, no obstruction, and scores under the sticks.

58: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds closes the gap to two.

59: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Kyle Turner. Kick to come.

They go the field in one set, go wide on the last and Turner's in! Souths lead!

61: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.

Reynolds pushes the conversion across the face this time.

62: Jason Clark now down injured, Souths really struggling with players now. He's not in a good way.

Some news wires report that Inglis' leg injury has an early diagnosis of 6-8 weeks out. Scans tomorrow will clarify.

69: Warriors, despite having a 3-man advantage on the bench, look like the more tired of the two sides. Souths have it on the attack.

69: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by David Tyrrell. Kick to come.

SOUTH SYDNEY TRY! Wowee, Dave Tyrrell barrels over from close range... they'll lead by eight after this conversion.

70: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

And convert they do, Adam Reynolds adds the two and it's a long way back for a sleepy Warriors side.

71: Short kickoff for NZ... they bat it back... but they're pushed out.

73: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Joel Reddy. Kick to come.

THAT'S THE GAME! Joel Reddy scores a try - he steals it from the air. Shades of this same clash last year... Warriors led at the break and got overrun... it's happened again tonight!

73: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds has no trouble with the two and it's now an emphatic victory for the Bunnies.

76: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by David Tyrrell. Kick to come.

Two tries before tonight... now TWO in ONE NIGHT! Tyrrell onto a Issac Luke short ball near the line and he crashes over.

77: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds boosts the lead to twenty points.

79: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Konrad Hurrell. Kick to come.

Konrad Hurrell with a break down the right edge and he bounces off Dylan Walker to score in the corner. Big collision though.

80: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.

Walker cautioned over a shoulder charge there on Hurrell, but the try stands. Johnson's conversion hits the upright. 28 seconds left.

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