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South Sydney produced a scintillating first half and defended when needed in the second half, to record a 20-16 victory in front of 12,213 fans.
From the opening whistle, the Rabbitohs looked energetic and hungry for points. After a penalty, Greg Inglis combined with Sutton for a second man play which ended with Inglis going over for the opening try. Reynolds converted and it was 6-0.
It seemed like it would be a long night for North Queensland when all the Rabbitohs forwards were rolling over the advantage line. Issac Luke highlighted the ease when he beat three defenders to make it 12-0 and warning signs for the visitors.
Dave Taylor was bending the Cowboys line, with each touch.
He got involved in everything and earmarked that with a soft try close to the line, making it a point a minute after 20 minutes. South Sydney looking like the top four team, they have been predicted to be in the last few years.
Halftime couldn't have come at a better time for North Queensland. They regrouped and then James Segeyaro lit the fuse for the comeback with his try from dummy half in the 48th minute, reducing the gap to fourteen.
A double to Ashley Graham gave the Cowboys hope that they could replicate what happened on Wednesday for St George Illawarra but South Sydney's defense held out when it was needed to record their 1000th win plus an important two competition points.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 16
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Saturday April 28, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Steve Lyons and Henry Perenara
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Gavin West
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 North Queensland Cowboys 0
South Sydney Rabbitohs (20)
Tries: Greg Inglis, Dave Taylor, Issac Luke
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
North Queensland Cowboys (16)
Tries: Ashley Graham (2), James Segeyaro
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to ANZ Stadium, which is holding it's second NRL game in as many days, hosting South Sydney v North Queensland.
South Sydney: Nathan Merritt returns on the wing, pushing Chris McQueen to the bench. Josh Starling remains on the bench, with Neccrom Areaiiti dropping off.
North Queensland: 1-13 are unchanged but Glenn Hall drops off the bench, for Scott Bolton.
FULLTIME in the Toyota Cup; South Sydney 36 have defeated North Queensland 14.
Both teams have hit the field and we're almost ready for kick-off.
1 min: Isaac Luke gets boot to ball and we're underway!
2 min: First penalty of the night goes to South Sydney, offside.
VIDEO REFEREE: Checking an obstruction and the grounding for a try to Greg Inglis.
4 min: TRY
TRY! There's the green lights and Inglis has ten tries in eight games verse North Queensland. Inglis creates the opening with John Sutton and finishes the movement from the second man play. Reynolds converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
6 min: Andrew Everingham comes out of the line and puts a good hit on Winterstein to jar the ball free.
9 min: Matty Bowen drifts down the right edge, looking for space. He finds Fai Fai Loa who stabs one in behind and earns his side a dropout.
10 min: The long shift from the Cowboys is too slow and it allows Nathan Merritt to swoop on a pass. The next charge earns the Rabbitohs a penalty.
13 min: TRY
You know what he's going to do but it's hard to stop. Issac Luke from dummy half, you know he's going to go himself and he does, beating three defenders to plant the ball down. Reynolds makes no mistake from besides the sticks.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-0
16 min: John Sutton puts in a kick and is taken high by Tariq Sims, it'll be a penalty to South Sydney.
17 min: PENALTY GOAL
Once the Rabbitohs have kicked for touch, they opt for the penalty goal which should be an easy two and Reynolds obliges.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
VIDEO REFEREE for the second time, checking if Nathan Merritt might have swooped onto the ball.
18 min: NO TRY! The ball rebounds off Ashley Graham and into the hands of Nathan Merritt but he spilled it. North Queensland dropout.
20 min: TRY
It's all South Sydney currently. Dave Taylor showed great hands earlier in the count and backs it up, with a rampaging run to score Souths third try. Reynolds has his third conversion as well.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-0
21 min: The door might be opened ajar for North Queensland, an error by Souths deep in their own territory.
22 min: Thurston kicks early for Graham who is losing the chase and tries the bat back but it fails.
24 min: Quick run by Ashley Graham earns North Queensland their first penalty of the evening.
25 min: Another penalty for the Cowboys, for the Rabbitohs defenders not allowing the ball to be played.
26 min: Engage the rocket arms Kalifa with that pass, Bowen tries the cut-out but goes too high and Fai Fai Loa can't rein it in.
28 min: Dear, oh dear.. Dallas Johnson is hit hard and spills it. Souths will be licking their lips with another set at North Queensland's line.
28 min: Souths try to get too fancy on the first tackle, Matt King trying to drift across too far and he's flung into touch for his trouble.
34 min: James Segeyaro comes in like a missile on Jason Clark, who drops it but there is more concern for Segeyaro who is still down.
36 min: Fortuitous bounce for the Cowboys, gives them a full set at the Rabbitohs line but it comes to naught as Nathan Merritt is there to pounce on the ball.
40 min: Penalty North Queensland for a strip. That was coming though, Souths were laying all over the ruck.
40 min: Knock on Winterstein. That's the story of the Cowboys half, they haven't built any pressure. Souths for their part, have been agressive and hungry.
Here come both sides for the second half.
41 min: Thurston puts boot to ball and here we go for the second forty of Sole Saturday.
44 min: Fai Fai Loa is held up and driven across the field into touch.
45 min: John Sutton thinks he's in the circus, juggling the ball but he spills it. He has to work on that.
46 min: Cowboys get a six again call when Souths are laxidaxical in dealing with a loose ball. Cowboys will be deep on the attack, with a fifth tackle penalty.
VIDEO REFEREE: James Segeyaro tries to go from dummy half again and might have got there.
48 min: TRY
It's given! Segeyaro keep fighting in the tackle and gets the tip of the ball down for the TRY! Thurston with the stumble converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-6
50 min: Good metres made by the Cowboys but it's spoiled by Bolton spilling it.
53 min: Quick dart by Kalifa Fai Fai Loa earns the referee's whistle.
56 min: TRY Northern Storm
Ashley Graham adds another to his tally. Graham takes an inside ball from Tate and forces himself over the line, to shorten the gap to ten. Thurston chips that down to eight, with a swinging conversion.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-12
59 min: Messy end to the set there for the Cowboys but Fai Fai Loa's kick earns them a repeat set for Souths being offside.
60 min: Matt Bowen tries the cut-out pass again and it got the same result, over the sideline.
61 min: Cowboys rush up for another charge down but it falls for South Sydney.
64 min: Quick tap. Penalty. Good run by Brent Tate.
66 min: Simple error by Pettybourne in his own half. This could be the opening North Queensland needed.
69 min: A monster boot from Inglis hangs in the air and allows Taylor to smash Bowen into the in-goal.
70 min: Thurston goes short.. Taylor steams onto the ball but he's taken into touch. Lucky break for North Queensland.
71 min: Thurston drifts across, finds Bowen who tries to get it Fai Fai Loa but it's judged forward.
72 min: Fai Fai Loa jumps high but unfortunately from the field of play and he's driven back for a dropout.
VIDEO REFEREE: Dave Taylor might have sealed the game, checking the putdown.
74 min: NO TRY! Taylor dropped it.
75 min: Dave Taylor tries to reef it free but it touched him before he could. Knock on.
76 min: TRY Northern Storm
There we go! Thompson and Bowen combine to send Ashley Graham over for his brace. Thurston almost gets the conversion but it hits the upright.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-16
78 min: Strong run by Tamou but he's knocked on when it counted.
80 min: Cowboys run it on last but it comes to naught. South Sydney will hold on for a hard fought win.