The Canberra Raiders have gone down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-12 in Round 21 of the NSW Cup at GIO Stadium Canberra.
A penalty goal to the Rabbitohs in the 70th minute gave the away side a narrow lead before a try in the 73rd minute put the game beyond doubt.
The game saw the return of Corey Horsburgh and Trey Mooney, who had both spent time on the sideline in recent weeks with illness and injury respectively.
Mitchel Souter opened the scoring in the 11th minute off the back of repeat sets to the Raiders.
Souter’s support play saw him charge over to score following offloads from Peter Hola and Corey Horsburgh.
Brad Schneider’s conversion was successful, giving the Raiders an early 6-0 lead.
The Raiders defence proved too strong soon after, holding out three consecutive sets on their defensive line to keep their lead intact.
Semi Valemei was at his hard-hitting best in the 34th minute, sending Souths winger Josh Mansour into touch close to the line to keep the away side scoreless.
Souths kicked a 40/20 with four minutes remaining in the half to give them a great opportunity just before half-time, but were unable to capitalise.
Strong defence from Souths saw a turnover in the following set, which they were able to take advantage of, with Tallis Duncan scoring just before half-time.
Jack Campagnolo added the two points, with nothing separating the two teams at half-time, going into the break at 6-all.
The heavens opened at the start of the second half but that didn’t slow the game down.
Souths took the lead for the first time in the match soon after half-time, with Romano Cook bursting through the middle of the field to score under the sticks in the 46th minute.
Campagnolo added another two points to give Souths a 12-6 lead.
A brilliant length of the field try to the Raiders saw them hit back in the 52nd minute, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Brad Morkos, Steve Numambo and Manase Kaho combining for Kaho to score.
Schneider added the two points to lock the game up at 12-12 after 54 minutes.
Souths centre Richard Kennar took an intercept with 12 minutes remaining to turn defence into attack and take the away side down the field.
Numambo was sent to the sin bin on the next play for a professional foul, with the Rabbitohs kicking a penalty goal in front of the posts to give them a 14-12 lead.
Souths put the game beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when Jake Tago scored to further extend their lead.
Campagnolo continued his perfect afternoon with the boot to give Souths an eight point lead, 20-12.
Souths' Tyson Hodge was sent off in the 78th minute following a dangerous tackle.
The Raiders were unable to add any more points in the final minutes, going down by eight points, 20-12.
The Raiders will meet the Western Suburbs Magpies next Sunday at Leichhardt Oval at 2pm.