Match highlights: Round 9
It wasn't their night as the nib Newcastle Knights went down 36-18 to a determined South Sydney Rabbitohs side at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday evening.
The Bunnies stunned Newcastle early with two tries in just five minutes, but the home side clawed their way back to be within four points at the break.
It was a Knights dropped ball over the line that saw momentum swing the Bunnies' way as they ran away with match.
Just over a minute in and Alex Johnson found a gaping hole in defence on the left edge, as he dished off to Robert Jennings to stride over for the opening try. Adam Reynolds added the extras for the Bunnies to take the early lead, 6-0.
Four minutes in and Cody Walker found more space to charge over for Souths' second and with a Reynolds conversion, the Rabbitohs were up 12-0.
At the other end Shaun Kenny-Dowall kick started the Knights' momentum with a trademark run before the Knights moved the ball from the left to right as it again ended up in the hands of Kenny-Dowall to dive over out wide. Sio couldn't convert and it was a 12-4 score line after 12 minutes.
23 minutes in and the Rabbitohs dragged Newcastle's defence to the middle and took advantage of space out wide, as winger Campbell Graham jogged over casually to record his first try. The Bunnies led 16-4.
With five minutes on the clock before half time, the Knights went right again and a bullet pass from Kalyn Ponga to centre Sione Mata'utia paid off as he muscled his way to the line and stretched an arm over for the four points.
Sio was again unlucky with the kick and the Knights trailed 16-8.
And in impressive style, the Knights got it out of dummy half with seconds to spare before the siren. They shifted the ball to the favoured right side where Kenny-Dowall was wide open and glided over for the double.
Ponga this time took the kick, but it was again unsuccessful for the Knights as the Bunnies led 16-12 into the break.
In the second half, it could have been a Knights lead as Sio sailed over on the left edge, but the winger dropped the ball over the line and it was deemed a no try.
And with a lucky break for the Bunnies, they drove it to the other end and Dane Gagai was able to pick up the crumbs from a stray high ball and plant it down for a try 45 minutes in. A Reynolds conversion then made it a 10-point ball game.
In the 54th minute, Damien Cook had some electric speed out of dummy half as he side stepped his way to the line and recorded the Rabbitohs' fifth try for the evening.
A late tackle on Reynolds, saw the Rabbitohs opt to take the penalty kick and from 15 metres out, he nailed the two points as the visitors extended their lead, 30-12.
The Knights conceded another penalty right on the line and Reynolds again booted it through the posts for a 20-point lead to Souths.
In the 70th minute the Knights finally put one down via the ever reliable Lachlan Fitzgibbon, who charged his way to the line off a Ponga assist for his fifth try of the season. Sio sunk the conversion to see the Knights trail 32-18.
And to make the final statement of the day, the Bunnies ran a polished set play to guide Greg Inglis over out wide.
South continued their winning streak against the Knights to record a 36-18 defeat over the home side.
Knights 18 (T: Kenny-Dowall 2, Mata'utia, Fitzgibbon G: Sio 1/3, Ponga 0/1)
Rabbitohs 36 (T: Jennings, Walker, Graham, Gagai, Cook, Inglis G: Reynolds 4/6, PG: Reynolds 2/2)