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South Sydney Rabbitohs earned their third win of the 2008 season after defeating an injury-ravaged Gold Coast Titans team by 24 to 23 at Homebush tonight.
Trailing by one point, Souths got home through a pressure penalty goal from Isaac Luke with just two minutes remaining.
The Rabbitohs were awarded a penalty by referee Steve Lyons after Titans winger Jordan Atkins made a second effort when tackling centre Beau Champion.
Hit hard by injuries, the Titans played the final 15 minutes of the match with just 13 able-bodied players. Luke Bailey (foot), Preston Campbell (eye), Daniel Conn (shoulder) and Aaron Cannings (leg) were all forced from the field and took no further part.
Bailey will be sidelined for at least two weeks and miss any chance of being called into the New South Wales side for Origin III.
Rabbitohs five eighth John Sutton scored soon after the break to set up the nail biting victory and see his side kick clear of the Cowboys on the bottom of theNRL ladder.
Luke's match winning penalty goal capped off two tries to the Rabbitohs hooker while Titans forward Anthony Laffranchi also ended up with a double for the match.
Match Details South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 def Gold Coast Titans 23 Round 15 - June 23rd, 2008 7:00pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Half time: Titans 12-10 Crowd: 9,827
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 Tries: Issac Luke (2), John Sutton, David Fa'alogo Goals: Issac Luke (3/4), Chris Sandow (1/1) Gold Coast Titans 23 Tries: Anthony Laffranchi (2), Scott Prince, Jordan Atkins Field Goals: Scott Prince (1/1) Goals: Scott Prince (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Nathan Friend (Titans) 2 Points: John Sutton (Rabbitohs) 1 Point: Issac Luke (Rabbitohs)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Touch Judges: Chris James, Brett Suttor Video Referee: Russell Smith RABBITOHS: 1. Luke Capewell 2. Nathan Meritt 3. Jamie Simpson 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Scott Geddes 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Luke Stuart 12. David Fa'alogo 13. Ben Lowe Interchange: 14. George Ndaira 15. Shannon McPheron 16. David Kidwell 17. Manase Manuokofoa TITANS: 1. Preston Campbell 2. Jordan Atkins 3. Luke O'Dwyer 4. Brett Delaney 5. Ben Jeffery 6. Mat Rogers 7. Scott Prince 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Brad Meyers 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minchiello 13. Ash Harrison Interchange: 14. Aaron Cannings 15. Michael Hodgson 16. Daniel Conn 17. Josh Graham; Reserves: 18. Michael Henderson 19. Luke Swain . ANZ stadium is the venue for tonights Monday night football clash with two teams from vastly differing positions on the ladder taking part. The 'high flying' Gold Coast Titans sit near the top of the ladder and can join other weekend winners with a win tonight. However they are playing tonight away from home where since re-entry into the NRL competition have only managed an away record 2wins - 12 losses. On the other hand the South Sydney Rabbitohs are languishing at the bottom of the ladder but are on the back-up after a Round 13 win against the Warriors. Has that winning momentum been lost due to a Round 14 bye ???? We will know shortly. . One team change to the listed starting line-up of the Rabbitohs with rookie fullback Luke CAPEWELL out bringin Shannon HEGARTY into the starting side on the wing. Nathan MERRITT drops from wing to fullback. . One team change also for the TITANS with forwrd Brad MEYERS out with injury. Michael HODGSON comes into the starting side and 18th man - Michael HENDERSON comes onto the Gold Coast bench.
1st min: Rabbitohs kick off and get us underway
2nd min: Both teams completed first set of six - both teams making good metres
3rd min: Forward pass from Mat ROGERS - Rabbitohs scrum feed just inside there own half
4th min: SANDOW cross field kick on last tackle - DROPPED - by Ben JEFFERY knocking on. Rabbitohs scrum fe4ed 10 metres out from Titans try line
6th min: Knock on by Rabbitohs, changeover to Titans
8th min: 40/20 kick by Mat ROGERS - Titans scrum feed on Rabbitohs 20m
8th min: Another forward pass by Mat ROGERS - Brett DELANEY crosses the Rabbitohs try line but dissallowed. Rabbitohs ball working it out of there own end.
9th min: Lost ball by ASOTASI - Titans scrum feed on half way
11th min: Grubber kick by Mat ROGERS goes dead - Souths ball working it out again
11th min: Rabbitohs penalty - kick for touch - Souths ball on Titans 45m
12th min: Cut out pass by John SUTTON intercepted by Ben JEFFERY
13th min: PENALTY - Gold Coast - kick for touch - Titans ball in Souths half.
13th min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Soft goal line defence from Rabbitohs - one out pass from FRIEND to LAFFRANCHI whol takes two Souths defenders over the try line. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful. Gold Coast Titans 6-0
16th min: Lost ball by Scott GEDDES - Titans ball just inside Rabbitohs half
18th min: Souths hold on with Scott PRINCE's grubber kick not deep enough and collected by SUTTON - Souths working it out of there end again
19th min: Last tackle kick by Scott PRINCE - DROPPED - KNOCKED ON by Shannon HEGARTY - Titans scrum feed on Rabbitohs 10m
20th min: Souths hold on - better try line defence that time.
22nd min: Dropped ball by MINICHIELLO - Souths ball in Titans territory.
22nd min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Titans turn for soft goal line defence - Isaac LUKE darting out of dummy half and dragging two Titans defenders across the line. LUKE misses the conversion attempt from just adjacent to the posts - SHould have been converted and scores level. Dissapointing miss could come back and hurt later in the game Conversion attempt by Issac Luke unsuccessful. Gold Coast Titans 6-4
26th min: Both teams trading sets of six - Scott PRINCE kicks for touch and finds the line 10m out from Rabbitohs try line - Souths win scrum and working it out
27th min: Rabbitohs lost ball collected by Titans about half way
27th min: Titans knock on Souths ball in Titans half - Rabbitohs attackiing early in the tackle count on Titans 20m
28th min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Again SOFt goal line defence from Titans - Isaac LUKE AGAIN darts out of dummy half and drags another two Titans defenders across the try line and plants the ball. LUKE sacks himself from the goal kicking duties and Chris SANDOW converts. Rabbitohs 10 - Titans 6 Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 10-6
31st min: Shannon HEGARTY breaks away and runs 60 metres beating cover defence but a try saving tackle from Nathan FRIEND.
31st min: PENALTY - Rabbitohs - Full set of six on Titans try line.
32nd min: Cross field kick by Chris SANDOW - DROPPED - KNOCKED ON by Jordan ATKINS - Souths scrum feed inside Titans 20m
34th min: Grubber kick by SANDOW taken by Scott PRINCE on try line - Titans working it out of there end - Titans under huge pressure
34th min: PENALTY - Gold Coast Titans - kick for touch - Titans now attacking inside Rabbitohs 20m
35th min: Grubber kick into Souths in-goal knocked dead by MERRITT - Rabbitohs drop out - Titans attacking on tackle 1 only 30m out
37th min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Scott PRINCE takes the Rabbitohs defensive line on side stepping and dragging two Rabbitohs defenders across the line and scores. Titans have absorbed a fair amount of pressure on there try line and go the length of the field on the back of a penalty and convert their possession into points Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful. Gold Coast Titans 12-10
39th min: Titans kick and chase near invisible - David FAALOGO collects the ball and runs to the half way
39th min: PENALTY - South Sydney - kick for touch - Souths attacking inside Titans 20 metres.
40th min: Cross field kick from SANDOW easily retrieved by Jordan ATKINS who carries it across the dead ball line as the half time siren sounds
HALF TIME - . Penalties : Souths 4 - Titans 2 Line Breaks : Souths 5 - Titans 2 Missed Tackles : Souths 8 - Titans 27 . The match is paused for half time in a very interesting state. The first half ebbed and flowed in patches for both teams with momentum swinging both ways. Some soft goal line defence from both teams has led to all 4 tries being scored. ASOTASI and LUKE for the Rabbitohs have been leading the way for their team along with BAILEY and LAFFRANCHI for the Titans. Should be in for an exciting 2nd half with both teams still well in the mix for the two competition points.
41st min: Titans get us under way for the 2nd half
43rd min: PENALTY - Rabbitohs - Kick for touch - Rabbitohs going on the attck just outside the Titans 30 metres line
44th min: Possible try to John SUTTON - video referee decision awaiting for possible obstruction - looks OK thouigh
44th min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-12
47th min: Aaron CANNINGS leaves the field and heads straight to the sheds injured
50th min: Both teams trading sets of six - No repeat sets occurring for eiter side. Souths kick for touch on last tackle - Gold Coast scrum feed on their own 30 metre line
51st min: Consecutive set of six on Rabbitohs try line for Titans after an ordinary kick was fumbled by Isaac LUKE and recovered by Titans
52nd min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Sloppy set of six leads to a Titans winger Jordan ATKINS scoring after a good offload by Daniel CONN when he looked to be wrapped up - drawing some defenders in. Easy try for ATKINS just having to catch and put the ball down over the try line. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful. 16 all
55th min: PENALTY - Gold Coast Titans - kick for touch - start just inside there own half.
57th min: Possible try to Titans Anthony LAFFRANCHI - Video referee decision pending - possibly held up
57th min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Soft goal line defence again from the Rabbitohs with LAFFRANCHI barging over from close to the line Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful. Gold Coast Titans 22-16
58th min: Luke BAILEY leaving the field now after hearing a 'cracking' noise in his foot. Titans now down to 15 players
59th min: Goal line drop out to Rabbitohs when Nathan MERRITT is dragged back into the in goal area by a good kick chase from the Titans - Titans now attacking agin inside Rabbitohs territory
61st min: Another sloppy kick from Scott PRINCV deflects off a Rabbitohs player and propels forwards but when attempting to pick the ball up knocks it on - Titans get another consecutive set with a scrum feed 20 metres out from the Rabbitohs line
61st min: Possible try to Titans Ben JEFFERY - Video referee decision pending - Looks to have been dragged into touch whilst attempting to put the ball down for a try - Great tackle by TALANOA
62nd min: NO TRY - Rabbitohs scrum feed 10 metres out from there own line
62nd min: PENALTY = South Sydney Rabbitohs - kick for touch - 35 metres out from Titans line
63rd min: Titans hold on but appear to have picked up another serious injury, this time to Daniel CONN
64th min: Preston CAMPBELL now leaves the field after receiving an accidental finger in the eye - Titans down to 13 players at the moment.
66th min: PENALTY - Rabbitohs - kick for touch - Souths with the ball on there own 40 metres line
67th min: Titans down to 13 players on the field with 4 injured players in the sheds and not expected to return
68th min: good grubber kick by SANDOW forces Mat ROGERS to knock it dead. Souths tackle 1 35 metres out from Titans line
69th min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Good strong try to FAALOGO busting a tackle and carrying two Titans over the line and planting the ball for a try just adjacent to the posts Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. 22 all
73rd min: FIELD GOAL Gold Coast Titans First time back in South Sydney's half and Scott PRINCE drops a field goal from 20 metres out - Absolutely NO pressure applied by the Rabbitohs defence Gold Coast Titans 23-22
74th min: Great set of six after points by TITANS tackling Nathan MERRITT inches out from his try line
74th min: Compounded by silly PENALTY - Rabbitohs - kick for touch attacking inside Titans half
75th min: Last tackle option by Rabbitohs results in Chris SANDOW knocking the ball on whilst attempting a kick - Titans ball just inside there own half
77th min: great run by John SUTTON puts Rabbitohs on the attack into Titans territory
78th min: PENALTY - Rabbitohs - 22 metres out from Titans try line. Isaac LUKE kicking for goal - Wouldn't be too confident the way he has been striking them tonight.
78th min: PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-23
79th min: short kick off by Titans taken by Beau CHAMPION
79th min: Titans ball on there own 30 metre line - 1 minute left and a long way away from the posts or the try line
80th min: Small bust by Mark MINICHIELLO - Last tackle - Scott PRINCE attempted field goal - wide - taken by Rabbitohs - Game Over