Bunnies hold off clumbsy Cowboys
South Sydney 10 def Cowboys 6
A determined Souths outfit tonight held off a late flurry from the Cowboys to notch their 4th win of the season, moving to 8 competition points and well entrenched in the top 8.
In a match riddled with errors, both sides really struggled to get going and the heat possibly played a major part – with conditions in Townsville even hotter than usual.
Surprisingly the usually potent Cowboys were nullified in attack, and their frustration soon resulted in side to side running – as Thurston and Smith were heavily marked by the Rabbitohs defence.
Down 6-4 at half time the Rabbits got to the lead 15 minutes into the second half, through a sharp Merritt try. A neat little grubber from Joe Williams was snatched by Merritt under pressure and ground millimetres from the dead ball line.
With possession evenly spread, it was the simple grinding style of Souths that was the smarter option. The Cowboys after scoring first, looked like they might run away with it – but their harlem globe trotters style soon turned to tears after plenty of dropped ball. In contrast, Souths tucked it under the arm and played for field position – in the conditions, defintately the way to conserve energy and frustration.
There were moments when Souths got nervous towards the end, and made some silly errors – but Jason Taylor must be given credit for tactics and interchange – as he rotated nicely and had fresh legs at the death.
The Cowboys will need to regroup quickly as they face the unbeaten Manly Sea Eagles team next week – in what should be eye candy Rugby League.
Souths will wait nervously to hear a report on Luke Stuart who was cited for kicking Matt Bowen in the head while contesting a lose ball. Penalties tonight went the way of the Cowboys 9-4.