The South Sydney Rabbitohs have overcome an error-riddled and ill-disciplined first half to beat a spirited Newcastle Knights team 24-18 in Newcastle.
The Rabbitohs trailed 12-10 at halftime after they had scored the first two tries of the match. They completed just 45 per cent of their sets in the first half and conceded far too many silly penalties.
Newcastle looked to be in trouble when Alex Johnston and John Sutton scored tries to take Souths out to an early 10-nil lead.
The turning point in the half came when George Burgess made an error off the restart and then threw an elbow at Mitch Barnett in frustration.
That saw him put on report as well as earning himself 10 minutes in the sin bin. It’s likely he’ll face suspension for his brain explosion in the coming weeks.
Soon after, Trent Hodkinson and Peter Mata’utia scored to put the Knights back in the match.
George Burgess had a chance to redeem himself on half-time, but he was ruled to lose control of the ball when trying to score a try that would have taken Souths into the sheds with the lead.
In the second half, Souths pinned the Knights in the in goal from the kick-off. From the ensuing dropout set, Cody Walker put a deft grubber over for Bryson Goodwin to score.
Adam Reynolds threw a great ball to put winger Braidon Burns over soon after, and Souths were in front 22-12.
Trent Hodkinson was sin-binned with 10 minutes to go for backchat, but the Knights showed plenty of heart in fighting all the way to the final hooter.
A try and a brilliant sideline conversion from Brock Lamb reduced the margin to 24-18, but Souths hung on to take the two points.
Both sides will be unhappy with their ball handling throughout the match, but the Newcastle fans will once again be happy with the effort shown by their rebuilding team.
Newcastle Knights 18
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24