In one of the more bizarre games of 2022, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have taken a 40-28 victory that including 68 points, a comeback and a send-off all in front of 18,000 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Weird circumstances surrounded the first try for the Rabbitohs when Cody Walker crossed after running into Tom Burgess and bumping away to get under an effort from Mitch Barnett to score.
After looking certain to score, the Rabbitohs quickly got a rude shock when Dom Young turned defence into attack after saving a try tackling Nikorima from behind before a lost ball saw Newcastle counter-attack and score through Dom Young.
The Knights crossed again soon after when David Klemmer was on the spot to clean up the ball after Edrick Lee was able to tap the ball backwards and Klemmer was there to pick it up and get over. The message about not letting Edrick Lee take clean catches hadn't reached the Knights as Lee was again able to take a clean uncontested catch on the ball before getting it out to an unmarked Bradman Best to score.
Leading 16-6, the Knights looked as if they were going to dominate but the game turned on its head when a short dropout from Latrell Mitchell was regathered by Souths and the game changed significantly.
The Rabbitohs then turned the momentum big time running in three tries in ten minutes including back-to-back tries to Richie Kennar including the second coming off a pinpoint kick from Cody Walker who used the boot to take advantage of the overlap.
Souths added another try right on half-time when Cody Walker took an intercept off a poor pass from Matt Croker and raced 80m to score. Latrell Mitchell's conversion pushed Souths out to a 24-16 lead after trailing 16-6.
The Knights were left shellshocked as poor defence hurt them again when Dom Young needlessly raced 20m infield leaving space open for Richie Kennar to score his third try of the night and extend the Souths lead. Some more misfortune at the back for the Knights gifted Tevita Tatola a try and after leading by 10, the Knights were now down by 14.
Edrick Lee broke the run of Souths dominance out wide when Newcastle found their attacking groove but it wasn't to last long when the Rabbitohs were able to hit back. Poor defence again from the Knights let Jaxson Paulo muscle his way to the line when he easily could've been stopped.
The Knights were in reach of making a comeback and when Mitch Barnett crossed from close range and things looked good for the home side as they could mount a potential comeback. However, poor decision making from the Red & Blue cost them points and opportunities.
What was an entertaining contest finished on a sour note when referee Todd Smith sent David Klemmer from the field in the dying seconds after the Knights enforced dropped a cheap elbow onto a Souths player on the ground. The ensuing penalty gave the Rabbitohs an easy two points which they took to seal the 40-28 victory.
Next week, Souths head to Accor Stadium as the away team for a Sunday night clash with the Bulldogs whilst the Knights have a tough trip to Brookvale to take on Manly.