Depleted Souths tough out win against Knights

A depleted South Sydney Rabbitohs side has scored a come from behind 25-18 win over the Newcastle Knights in front of 13,255 fans at a wet ANZ Stadium.

South Sydney were missing key stars Greg Inglis, Ben Te’o and Chris McQueen through origin selection as well as Sam Burgess through suspension but that didn’t stop a strong showing from the Rabbitohs with many of their regulars putting in a good performance.

However early on it was the Knights who had the momentum with early tries to Alex McKinnon and debutant Josh Mantellato who also managed to put in one of the best conversions so far in NRL season 2013 continuing his good form from the NSW CUP.

Souths looked to be on the ropes in the opening 20 minutes but were helped with plenty of penalties against the Knights which helped them to get out of their own half and grow momentum. Souths capitalised on this momentum with tries to John Sutton and Beau Champion.

The first half ended up level at the break even though the Knights were able to cross the Souths line before the break but Joey Leilua was unable to get the ball down with the video referees agreeing with the call of referee Gavin Badger.

The second half started off with some risk free football although Souths won’t be happy with a couple of simple errors being made in the opening 10 minutes.

A barnstorming run by George Burgess gave him his fifth try of the season and
pushed Souths into the lead for the first time and then ten minutes later rookie Dylan Walker extended the lead with a try in the corner with both being converted by Adam Reynolds.

Soon after it was the Knights turn to score with winger James McManus scoring from a scrum after Jason Clark dropped the ball close to his own goalline early in the set of six.

That was to be the end of the tries for the night but the last point of the match was scored by Adam Reynolds who kicked a field goal from 45 metres out to take Souths lead out beyond a converted try.

Although it was a good game there was disappointment for both sides with Alex McKinnon suffering a bad ankle injury in the first half and then Beau Champion suffered an ankle/lower leg injury to put a sour touch on the night. Souths will also have a nervous wait with Isaac Luke put on report for a shoulder charge on Jeremy Smith.

Next week South Sydney get the enjoyment of having the bye while the Knights head back home to host the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday.

Match Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs 25 Newcastle Knights 18
Venue: Stadium Australia
Crowd: 13255
Halftime Score: 12 all Players of the Match:
3 points - George Burgess
2 points - Josh Mantellato
1 point - John Sutton

Tries: John Sutton, Beau Champion, George Burgess, Dylan Walker
Field Goals: John Sutton (0/1), Adam Reynolds (1/1)
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (4/4)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: Alex McKinnon, Josh Mantellato, James McManus
Field Goals:
Conversions: Josh Mantellato (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Live Commentary

Rabbitohs: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Andrew Everingham 3. Beau Champion 4. Dylan Walker 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Dave Tyrrell 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Ben Lowe 16. Jeff Lima 13. Nathan Peats
Interchange: 15. Jason Clark 17. George Burgess 18. Josh Starling 19. Luke Keary

Knights: 1. Kevin Naiqama 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joseph Leilua 18. Josh Mantellato 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Travis Waddell 10. Willie Mason 11. Robbie Rochow 12. Alex McKinnon 13. Jeremy Smith
Interchange: 15. David Fa'alogo 16. Adam Cuthbertson 17. Korbin Sims 19. Matt Hilder
A big challenge for South Sydney tonight with a few Origin stars missing in Greg Inglis, Ben Te'o and Chris McQueen, plus Sam Burgess' suspension draining their second-row stocks. In TEAM NEWS, they lose big Sam, who's replaced in jersey #16 by Jeff Lima, with Josh Starling and Luke Keary coming onto the bench. Justin Hunt is the player left out.
For Newcastle, Peter Mata'utia is out replaced by Josh Mantellato on the wing, while Adam Clydsdale is out with illness, his replacement on the bench is Matt Hilder.
Sides about to head out to a soggy ANZ Stadium tonight, Rain been around since mid afternoon, hopefully it doesn't get too damaged for origin on Wednesday night
1 min: Game Underway with the badge (referee Gavin Badger) calling time on, Newcastle have first possession
2 min: PENALTY - Knights get the opening penalty after South Sydney have been ruled to have stripped the ball out of the tackle, Knights go on the attack
3 min: Some good work from Dylan Walker diffuses a Tyrone Roberts bomb and gets into the field of play to give Souths the ball
6 min: Both sides playing risk free Football at the moment, just looking like they are both seeing where the weaknesses lie
7 min: PENALTY - South Sydney get their first penalty of the night, Knights being penalised for being inside the 10m, Referee Gavin Badger telling Jarrod Mullen that they were offside for 2 plays in a row
8 min: Some good work from John Sutton gives Souths a repeat set after trapping knights debutant Josh Mantellato in goal
10 min: South Sydney make an error on the set from the dropout giving Newcastle possession in their own half
Jeff Lima makes an unforced error.
Jeff Lima makes an error 15m out from his own line, giving possession back to the Knights
Scored by Alex McKinnon. Conversion attempt by Josh Mantellato successful.
Opening points go to the Knights with an unmarked Alex McKinnon scoring off an offload, debutant Josh Mantellato has no problems converting
Newcastle Knights 6-0
Jarrod Mullen kicks a 40/20.
Jarrod Mullen puts in a 40/20 that will put Newcastle in to good field position to possibly puts some points on the board
Scored by Josh Mantellato. Conversion attempt by Josh Mantellato successful.
Debutant Josh Mantellato scores with an excellent finish in the corner and puts in an amazing conversion from the sideline to extend their lead
Newcastle Knights 12-0
20 min: PENALTY - South Sydney get their second penalty of the game after Tyrone Roberts ruled to be too slow away from the tackle
23 min: South Sydney get a repeat set after Dylan Walker slams the Newcastle defender in goal
23 min: A poor Adam Reynolds kick gives James McManus and the Knights a free passage back to the 20m
24 min: PENALTY - South Sydney get their third penalty of the game, go on the attack from the touch finder 40m out from Knights line
25 min: Beau Champion told by the referees to clean his face up with blood streaming from his nose
Scored by John Sutton. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
The man who unluckily missed State Of Origin selection during the week John Sutton pushes his way over the tryline and gives Souths their first points. Adam Reynolds has no problems converting
Newcastle Knights 12-6
28 min: PENALTY - Souths get another penalty, this time its against Adam Cuthbertson for being late into the tackle as well as being too slow away, Penalty count now 4-1 to Souths
29 min: PENALTY - Souths get their 5th penalty of the half and keeps the pressure on the Knights
Scored by Beau Champion. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
South Sydney take advantage of the extra set of the Penalty and score through Beau Champion, Adam Reynolds converts to bring it back level
12 all
31 min: Knights manage to force the ball loose from the Rabbitohs and go on the attack inside the Souths 10m
31 min: TIME OFF at ANZ Stadium with Alex McKinnon receiving attention with a nasty head gash and as well as what could be a serious ankle injury
31 min: While Alex McKinnon gets stretchered off with what could be a serious ankle injury, some trivia it is Wayne Bennett's 669th game as head coach equalling with Tim Sheens record
32 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Checking a possible Knights try, Joey Leilua the possible tryscorer, Referee Gavin Badger says no try and wants the video referees to check grounding from a different angle
32 min: VIDEO REFEREE's put up the red lights and South Sydney get possession as it was the last tackle
36 min: A good kick from John Sutton secures Souths a repeat set after Josh Mantellato has to push the ball over the dead ball line
37 min: South Sydney get their third set in a row as Jarrod Mullen is taken down in goal after Kevin Naiqama is unable to clean up the kick on his on goal line
38 min: Souths release the pressure on the Knights with an error 30m out from the Knights line
39 min: PENALTY - Knights penalised yet again this time for Joey Leilua being offside from the kick, Penalty count now 7-1 to Souths
40 min: HALF TIME at ANZ Stadium and its all square at 12-12 with both sides scoring 2 converted tries, Knights looked the better side in the opening 20 but a 7-1 penalty count has helped the Rabbitohs back level
41 min: Second Half underway and this time its Souths who have the first possession of the half
Roy Asotasi makes an unforced error.
Roy Asotasi puts the ball down halfway through the set, giving Knights possession in the Souths half
42 min: Isaac Luke takes a 1 on 1 strip and gets to halfway before he was taken down
43 min: PENALTY - Newcastle get just their second penalty off the match, which will let them get away from their own line
Nathan Peats makes an unforced error.
Nathan Peats puts the ball down, not a good start to the half for Souths with 2 errors in the opening 5 minutes
46 min: Both sides look to be playing risk free football although the Rabbitohs won't be happy with their second half completions
49 min: Jarrod Mullen only just misses out on his second 40/20 with the ball going into touch just 1m short of the 20m line, Souths with possession
50 min: 10 minutes gone in the second half and still no change to the halftime score, neither side really looking likely to score
Bryson Goodwin makes an unforced error.
Bryson Goodwin makes an error in the play the ball, Souths complain that it was Matt Hilder who forced the ball loose, referees Badger & Shortall not interested in his complaints
Tyrone Roberts makes an unforced error.
Drops a high pass and gives Souths possession
52 min: PENALTY - Knights concede their eighth penalty of the half this time against Jeremy Smith
Scored by George Burgess. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
A barnstorming run from George Burgess gives Souths the lead for the first time in the match with Adam Reynolds converting from in front
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-12
57 min: All the momentum looks to be with Souths at the moment, ahead on the scoreboard as well has being well in front of a one sided penalty count
59 min: PENALTY - Knights get their third penalty of the game and will be happy with the piggy back down field
60 min: Knights force a line dropout after Andrew Everingham has to take the ball dead
60 min: Beau Champion and Tyrone Roberts are down injured after Roberts makes an error, but referee Alan Shortall has given a tip off to the other referee Gavin Badger about an Isaac Luke shoulder charge, so we should see a penalty and possibly place it on report
61 min: Isaac Luke placed on REPORT by referee Gavin Badger, Knights get the penalty 10m out from the Souths line
61 min: But before we can get play back going the medicab has to come out and take Beau Champion off the field with what could be a serious ankle injury
61 min: CROWD FIGURE: 13,255 a tad disappointing but considering the weather conditions in Sydney today is quite good considering Souths missing several starts
Joseph Leilua makes an unforced error.
A strong Andrew Everingham tackle has force Joey Leilua to drop the ball 10m out from Souths line
64 min: Jarrod Mullen puts the ball high and taken beautifully by Dylan Walker who gets the ball back out to the 30m
Scored by Dylan Walker. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Dylan Walker scores for the Rabbitohs, started the set with a magnificent bomb take then finishes it off with a good try in the corner, Adam Reynolds converts from out wide
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-12
Jason Clark makes an unforced error.
Clark looks up at the defensive line before taking the ball securely
Scored by James McManus. Conversion attempt by Josh Mantellato successful.
A good piece of play from the Scrum gives James McManus his 11th try of the season and another brilliant hooking conversion from Josh Mantellato brings the margin back to 6
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-18
70 min: Souths come up with the ball after Isaac Luke gets his second one-on-one strip of the match, Souths just 30m out from the Knights line
71 min: Tyrone Roberts with a slips like catch, takes a Adam Reynolds kick 10m out from his own line
Field goal attempt by John Sutton unsuccessful.
John Sutton tries to push the lead out to 7 but attempt goes wide
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-18
75 min: PENALTY - Isaac Luke penalised for knocking the ball out of the hands of Kevin Naiqama, Knights go down field and get over halfway
76 min: Knights grubber it on tackle four and goes touch in goal.
Field goal attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Adam Reynolds kicks a field goal from 45m out, is it the killer blow for the knights?
South Sydney Rabbitohs 25-18
79 min: Knights try the short kickoff but doesn't work and Souths get the ball back from the scrum
79 min: Inside the final 30 seconds and Souths will look to play risk free football
80 min: FULL TIME at ANZ Stadium and Souths have showed why they are top of the NRL at the moment, fought hard without their big stars but still ground out an impressive win after trailing by 12 points early on in the game