South Sydney Rabbitohs clinched a 19-20 victory with a last-minute penalty today at 1300SMILES Stadium against North Queensland Cowboys in a thriller in Townsville.
The Rabbitohs took an early lead when George Burgess broke through the Cowboys’ defence to touch down, with Adam Reynolds adding the goal, before adding a penalty for a Jake Granville ball strip on eleven minutes and then adding another four minutes later.
The Cowboys got off the mark on 19 minutes when Antonio Winterstein touched down with Johnathan Thurston adding the goal for a 6-10 scoreline.
Reynolds added another penalty and Thurston landed one for the Cowboys to make it 8-12 at half-time.
Thurston closed the gap on 46 minutes with another penalty before Rabbitohs hooker Damian Cook displayed his State of Origin credentials with a superb try from dummy-half, with Reynolds’ conversion putting them eight points ahead.
But the Cowboys were not beaten and Thurston added a penalty and created a crucial try with Michael Morgan for Antonio Winterstein for Thurston’s touchline goal to level the scores at 18-18 with ten minutes remaining.
And with just five minutes to go Morgan snapped a field goal for what looked like a Cowboys victory.
But from a short kick-off the Rabbitohs were able to run the ball downfield and with seconds to go Cowboys hooker Jake Granville was caught offside, for Reynolds to kick the penalty from in front of the posts to claim victory.
Cowboys: 14 Te Maire Martin, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Ben Hampton, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston, 8 Matthew Scott, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo; Interchange: 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 Corey Jensen, 18 Francis Molo, 21 Enari Tuala
Tries: G Burgess, Cook; Goals: Reynolds 6
Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston, 2 Campbell Graham, 3 Greg Inglis, 4 Dane Gagai, 5 Hymel Hunt, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 10 George Burgess, 11 John Sutton, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Sam Burgess; Interchange: 14 Cameron Murray, 15 Adam Doueihi, 16 Jason Clark, 17 Tevita Tatola
Tries: Winterstein 2; Goals: Thurston 5; Field Goal: Morgan
For full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL games, see Monday’s edition of League Express