Harold Matthews (Under 16’s)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 defeated Canberra Raiders 8 at Seiffert Oval
After a tremendous first-half effort the Canberra Raiders succumbed to a strong finishing South Sydney Rabbitohs outfit 32-8 in front of a large crowd at Seiffert Oval.
With the Raiders NRL side also playing at their spiritual home, there was plenty of atmosphere at Seiffert Oval for the young sides as fans started to flood the venue.
Despite facing a fired up Raiders outfit and a parochial home crowd, the Rabbitohs opened the scoring in the 17th minute through lock Jake Kambos. Halfback Dean Hawkins successfully converted.
Canberra then clicked into gear and scored back-to-back tries through powerful centre Jonathan Fangaiuiha and smart hooker Jesse Dent.
Fangaiuiha’s try was particularly impressive with the young centre slashing through and racing 30 odd metres to score.
The two tries to Dent and Fangaiuiha saw the Green Machine take an 8-4 lead into the sheds at half-time.
Unfortunately, the Rabbitohs took command just three minutes into the second half and didn’t let up until the full-time siren sounded.
In total, the Rabbitohs scored five unanswered tries in the second stanza to blow the Raiders off the park.
Coach Adam Kyle was disappointed his side had let their half-time lead slip as well as their defensive errors in the second half.
“We started the match well however the second half was pretty disappointing,” Kyle said. “It’s very hard for any team to win when you register so many unforced errors and defensive lapses in one half.
“Nonetheless it was a great experience for the boys to play in such a big crowd and we will continue to work hard at training to improve our performance next week.
South Sydney 32 (Jake Kambos, Joey Lose, Raine Dellow, Campbell Graham, Mawene Hiroti, Bobby Nader tries; Dean Hawkins 4 goals) def Canberra 8 (Jonathan Fangaiuiha, Jesse Dent tries)
SG Ball (Under 18’s)
Canberra Raiders 26 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 at Seiffert Oval
What a way to celebrate your 18th birthday! In front of a bumper crowd at Seiffert Oval, wily hooker Jesse Martin stood up and scored two tries and received Man of the Match honours on his biggest day of the year.
After 33 minutes of stoic defensive efforts and missed opportunities in attack by both sides, Martin broke the deadlock, fooling the Rabbitohs’ defensive line with a smart dummy from close range.
Unfortunately the conversion attempt went astray entailing that Martin’s try was the difference at half-time with the Raiders taking a slender 4-0 lead into the sheds.
Three minutes into the second stanza, Martin again used his wits to further his side’s cause.
Packing in at lock for a scrum 10 metres out from South Sydney’s line, Martin picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and scythed past the Rabbitohs’ halfback to score adjacent to the uprights. Halfback Lachlan Cooper converted to give Canberra a 10-0 lead.
Soon after, NSW Under 16’s representative Nick Cotric furthered Canberra’s lead out to 14-0 when he proved too hard to handle for his opposite number on the right edge.
The Rabbitohs scored their first points of the day in the 53rd minute through front-rower Gabe Hamlin. Captain Siosifa converted to reduce the deficit to 14-6.
Jebidiah Simbiken then hit back for the Raiders in the 57th minute with the speedy winger displaying some flashy footwork to fool the defence following a nicely timed Cooper pass. Cooper’s conversion stretched Canberra’s lead out to 20-6.
Until this point in the match, Coach Dean Souter was particularly pleased with his side’s performance.
The young Raiders had tackled their guts out after a lopsided penalty count and were smart with the ball once in possession.
“We have a goal in this side to never concede more than 16 points in a match so the last 10 minutes was a bit disappointing.
“I was still proud of the boys’ performance but it just goes to show that we’ve got a lot of improvement left in us if we want to be one of the teams competing for the title at the end of the year.”
Inside the last 10 minutes, the Rabbitohs scored two tries through lock Cameron Murray and a consolation try to hooker John Neil in the final minute of play. In between those two tries to Souths, Raiders back-rower William Samuel barged over for a well-deserved try, followed by another conversion by Cooper.
The win now consolidates the Raiders in the top four of the competition after the opening two rounds.
Canberra 26 (Jesse Martin 2, Nick Cotric, Jedidiah Simbiken, William Samuel tries; Lachlan Cooper 3 goals) def South Sydney 18 (Gabe Hamlin, Cameron Murray, John Neil tries; Siosifa Talakai 3 goals)