The Newcastle Knights were outdone by the South Sydney Rabbitohs 50-10 at Barlow Park in Cairns on Sunday afternoon.
In warm conditions, the Knights were up against a Rabbitohs side that produced a perfect completion rate in the first half.
The game was the second for brothers Chanel and Sione Mat’utia, with 20-year old Jake Mamo completing a young backline for the Knights.
Twenty-year-old Joseph Tapine, who had played NYC on Saturday in Sydney, was a late inclusion to replace Kade Snowden.
The Rabbitohs were first to score when Kivisome Auva’a crossed in the corner in the 14th minute. Souths led 4-0 after Adam Reynolds failed to convert the kick from the sideline.
Willie Mason put in a gutsy try saving tackle but minutes later, Lote Tuqiri scored the Rabbitohs second try midway through the half. Reynolds missed the conversion, for the Rabbitohs to lead 8-0.
Tom Burgess was awarded a controversial try under the posts in the 31st minute with Reynolds adding the extras to extend their lead 14-0.
Just two minutes after, a lucky kick on the Knights’ line saw Dylan Walker score under the posts with the conversion bringing the score to 20-0.
The Knights were pushed to the limit in defence with the majority of the first half played in their own half, made more difficutl when the Rabbitohs kicked a 40-20 in the 38th minute.
Chris McQueen made the most of it, stretching out near the line to ground the ball despite the defenders. Reynolds conversion saw the score to 26-0 at the conclusion of half time.
The Rabbitohs’ dominance continued into the second half when an offload from McQueen found Greg Inglis, to score after four minutes. The conversion was successful and Souths had a 32-point lead.
The Knights started to find some good field position and off the back of a Rabbitohs’ error, winger Jake Mamo worked hard to score in the corner. Kurt Gidley was unable to convert from the sideline but the Knights were on the board, 32-4 after 50 minutes.
Newcastle continued its roll when hooker Adam Clydsdale took the ball himself from dummy half to score next to the posts reducing South’s lead to 32-10 in the 52nd minute after Gidley nailed the kick.
A Johnston hat-trick stretched Souths’ lead back out to 46-10 when he scored in the corner before Auva’a crossed his second try to extends the Rabbitohs lead to the eventual full time score 50-10, with 7 minutes to play.
Summary from Barlow Park
Newcastle Knights 10 (T: Mamo, Clydsdale, G: Gidley 1/2)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 50 (T: Johnston 3, Auva’a 2, Tuqiri, T Burgess, Walker, McQueen, Inglis, G: Reynolds 5/9, Luke 0/1)