South Sydney Rabbitohs hung on to an 18-16 lead against Gold Coast Titans to claim their sixth win in a row.
The Titans took an early lead when Ash Taylor’s kick was missed by Campbell Graham. Phillip Sami took advantage.
They almost scored again when AJ Brimson’s kick was chased by both Keegan Hipgrave and Dale Copley. But they got in each other’s way and in the end, neither scored.
Then George Burgess was pinged for obstruction which cost Sam Burgess an early try on his 150th NRL appearance.
Adam Doueihi, playing in the centres in place of Greg Inglis, did score for South Sydney. It was well set up by Alex Johnston.
After Robbie Farah was denied by the video referee and Hipgrave was binned for repeated offences, Cody Walker finally scored Souths’ second try.
With Hipgrave back on the field, his captain Ryan James managed to get the ball down with many Rabbitohs in attendance. Michael Gordon’s conversion levelled the scores at half-time.
Reynolds’ penalty early in the second half edged the Rabbitohs ahead.
With Hipgrave in the bin again for repeated offences, the first time a player has been sin-binned twice in a game for 16 years, Souths extended their lead. Campbell Graham was freed on the right. He offloaded to Alex Johnston.
South Sydney weren’t able to keep up the pressure, however. Poor handling in their own half gave Ryan James a chance to score his second try. The big prop got rid of Mark Nicholls before falling over the line.
Gold Coast pressed but couldn’t keep hold of the ball either. Souths hung on.
Titans: Gordon, Don, Copley, Lee, Sami, Brimson, Taylor, Wallace, Peats, James, Proctor, Hipgrave, Arrow; Interchanges: Rein, King, Fotuaika, Stockwell
Tries: Sami, James 2; Goals: Gordon 2
Sin-bin: Hipgrave (17, 44) – repeated offences
Rabbitohs: Johnston, Graham, Doueihi, Hunt, Jennings, Walker, Reynolds, T Burgess, Farah, G Burgess, Sutton, Murray, S Burgess; Interchanges: Clark, Tatola, Nicholls, Fuimaono
Tries: Doueihi, Walker, Johnston; Goals: Reynolds 3