Souths Spirited But Fall To Cronulla

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South Sydney Rabbitohs v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

If the writing wasn't on the wall for Souths coach Jason Demetriou then it truly is tonight as an injury hit South Sydney fall to their fifth defeat of the season with a 34-22 defeat to the Sharks at Accor Stadium.

The pressure on the Rabbitohs didn't show early as they were able to defend an initial attacking raid from the Sharks but couldn't use their own chance to pressure the Cronulla line. An error in attack gave Cronulla a strong attacking position and off an attacking scrum the Shire side got the opening four pointer when Ronaldo Mulitalo went over.

South Sydney were able to hit back minutes later when some good play down their left saw Michael Chee-Kam have too much size and strength for the Cronulla defence and he was able to get the ball down. Dean Hawkins conversion gave the Bunnies a 6-4 lead.

Injuries began to mount for the home side as Tevita Tatola suffered a leg injury and Tyrone Munro suffered a collarbone injury as well as rookie fullback Jye Gray being forced from the field for a HIA.

The Sharks began to get momentum and put up two tries inside the final ten minutes of the half both with Ronaldo Mulitalo's fingerprints on them as one he beat Taane Milne to the before linking with Teig Wilton and then second time Ronaldo was able to chase through a Braydon Trindall kick. Nicho Hynes converted both efforts for a 16-6 lead at the break.

The injury concerns continued to mount for Souths as even though Jye Gray had passed his HIA, Souths Captain Cam Murray failed his after being collected high on the stroke of half time.

Things got worse for the Rabbitohs as it looked like Cronulla could start racing away with the game as they had luck down their right this with Nicho Hynes able to link with Sione Katoa on the outside to score. The conversion for the Sharks captain put the lead out to 22-6.

South Sydney couldn't be accused of a lack of effort tonight despite everything that went against them as Taane Milne kept the Cardinal and Green's hope alive of making a comeback as he had to pick the ball up around his ankles and forced his way to the line. Hawkins conversion closed the gap to 12 points.

Tonight could've been called the Ronaldo Mulitalo show and it was for good reason yet again as he was able to outjump the South Sydney defence when he took possession of a high kick before finding Teig Wilton who scored his second.

Souths' hopes of pulling off a miracle were looking good when Tom Burgess' strong performance tonight was rewarded with a much deserved try as Siliva Havili was able to get the ball free after a good run to Tom Burgess to score. The margin then closed to a converted try when Isaiah Tass scored on the back of a beautiful floating pass from Cody Walker.

The hope of the Rabbitohs were dashed inside the last two minutes when a lost ball from Keaon Koloamatangi in his own ingoal was scooped up by Blayke Brailey to score and seal the win after Nicho Hynes conversion and seal the 34-22 win.

South Sydney's biggest concern in the next fortnight will be who their coach will be in two weeks time with the bye next week before a tough trip to Melbourne taking on the Storm at AAMI Park on ANZAC day. Meanwhile, the Sharks next week have a clash against the Cowboys back at Shark Park on Sunday afternoon.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 34

Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park / Wanngal
Crowd: 12207
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16 Players of the Match:
3 points - Ronaldo Mulitalo
2 points - Kayal Iro
1 points - Thomas Burgess

Tries: Michael Chee Kam, Taane Milne, Thomas Burgess, Isaiah Tass
Conversions: Dean Hawkins (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Dean Hawkins (0/1)

Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo (2), Teig Wilton (2), Sione Katoa, Blayke Brailey
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (5/6)

See how it happened in our Match Centre