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Heartache material for the Rabbitohs at Aussie Stadium, when the Warriors came back from 24-6 at one stage, to win 31-30 in a thriller that went into extra time.
The Warriors started well enough, but the Rabbitohs gained in confidence throughout the first half, with some excellent plays, to lead at the break by 18-6. Jason Death, up against his former club, caused many a mishap for the defence.
After an initial try to the Rabbitohs early in the second half, an unbelievable wave of attack came from the New Zealand side scoring 4 tries in 11 minutes to take the lead 30-24.
Down but not completely out, Souths fought back to score an equalising try in the 78th minute, to force the game into extra time and the Golden Point, a first for both sides.
No mistakes and careful plays by both sides until the 3rd minute in extra time and Stacey Jones gets the drop goal from 35 metres out to give the Warriors a lucky win.
Scorers: RABBITOHS 30 Tries: Fa'alago, Rigon, Merritt, Stringer, MacGillivray Goals: Smith (4/5), Craigie (1/1) defeated by WARRIORS 31 Tries: Meli, Jones, Toopi, Tony, Webb Goals: Jones (6/7). F/Goal: Jones
Sunday 29 June 2003 3:00 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Leagueunlimited players of the match:
3 - F Meli (Warriors) 2 - S Jones (Warriors) 1 - J Death (Rabbitohs)
By the clock: 0 min: Kick off in perfect conditions
5th min: NEWS - The Warriors show their intentions early with two unsuccessful kicks from Jones to his wingers. Back to back penalties to Souths for players being offside ease the pressure for the Rabbitohs
7th min: TRY - Meli for Warriors. From Souths tryline, Webb and Swann for the Warriors get to their end of the field. Just a matter of tackles and Meli is across for his 13th try of the season. Jones from the sideline, misses the conversion. Warriors 4-0
15th min: NEWS - Warriors throwing the ball around but not penetrating the 'in your face' defence from the Rabbitohs
18th min: TRY - Fa'alago for Rabbitohs. Back to back penalties close to their line, some great passing, and the Rabbitohs are over out wide. Smith gets a great conversion from 10 metres in from touch. Rabbitohs 6-4
24th min: PENALTY GOAL - Smith for Rabbitohs. Penalty count now 6-1 against the Warriors. Beetham (Warriors) penalised close to the line for slowing down the play. Rabbitohs 8-4
28th min: PENALTY GOAL - Jones for Warriors. Fifth tackle option by Jones comes off a Souths player, and picked up by another Rabbitoh who is offside. An easy kick from out in front. Rabbitohs 8-6
29th min: TRY - Rigon for Rabbitohs. A knock on by Webb at the kick off gives the Souths side possession on their tryline. 1st tackle and Souths score. Smith gets the conversion. Rabbitohs 14-6
33rd min: TRY - Merritt for Rabbitohs. Once again the Warriors are penalised and the Rabbitohs score. The Warriors defence is a bit shaky and they are made to pay with some great offloading by Souths. Smith from the sideline, just misses the conversion. Rabbitohs 18-6
HALF TIME: The Rabbitohs definitely the better side at the moment
44th min: NEWS - The Warriors come out strongly after the break. Close to scoring, but a forward pass keeps them from posting the points. Rabbitohs 18-6
50th min: NEWS - A mountain of possession for the Rabbitohs near their line. Some calls by the ref had to understand
52nd min: TRY - Stringer for Rabbitohs. Had to happen, the Warriors tired defence lets the big man through. Craigie from 18 metres in from touch gets the conversion. Rabbitohs 24-6
60th min: TRY - Jones for Warriors. Starting from the back, Webb sets up Meli to bust the line. Great foot work to set up a flying Jones from a Webb pass, under the posts. Jones converts his own try. Rabbitohs 24-12
61st min: TRY - Toopi for Warriors. From the kick off, a bust once again through the defence by Palea'asina to see Toopi burst to the line. Jones with a quick conversion. Rabbitohs 24-18
64th min: TRY - Tony for Warriors. Okay, this fan is feeling better. Fa'afili from the Souths tryline, sets up Anderson the break the defence yet again. Fa?fili is there to back up, tackled but offloads to a supporting Tony who scores. Jones gets the conversion. 24-24
71st min: TRY - Webb for Warriors. Once again Meli gets through the defence after a man comes out of the line. Webb in support play gets across the line to score. Jones from 20 metres in, gets the conversion. Warriors 30-24
78th min: TRY - MacGillivray for Rabbitohs. The Warriors letting Souths run, get the forwards close to the line and over. Smiths gets them back to a drawn game.30-30.
80th min: GOLDEN POINT - first to score wins, Souths have kick off
82nd min: DROP GOAL - Jones for Warriors. From 35 metres out Jones put in the kick and it's sweet.
FULL TIME: The fightback of the year for the Warriors who win 31-30