Full Time
4:10pm Sun July 1, 2018
Round 16 - Barlow Park - Crowd: 7195

Match Overview

Known for it's heat and humidity, Cairns turned on the cold and wet conditions as the Rabbitohs took a 21-20 win over the Cowboys in front of 7,000 fans at Barlow Park.

The first half was the JT show with Johnathan Thurston turning on the charm and skill to give the Cowboys one of their best 40 minute performances of the season. The Cowboys made the best of the metres early on and they opened the scoring after just eight minutes when Thurston and Cooper combined for a beautiful try. The try came from a good short wrap around play before Thurston drew the defence forward and in before kicking out to Winterstein who scored the first of the afternoon. 

The Rabbitohs hit back soon after when Adam Reynolds saw a gap in the middle of the field and kicked through for himself but the onfield officials ruled that there was an obstruction when sending it to the bunker. The bunker took a number of replays before ruling that the contact was initiated by a Cowboys defender rather than the attackers and Reynolds was awarded the try after the bunker.

The Cowboys hit back again when Thurston turned on the magic yet again when he put boot to ball in behind the Souths defensive line and a chasing Gavin Cooper got to the ball first and scored the Cowboys second of the afternoon. The lead extended on the 25 minute mark when Johnathan Thurston added a penalty goal to add a penalty goal and extend the lead out to 14-6. The Rabbitohs looked to be lacking confidence in the first half but they got a much needed boost when Cody Walker crossed under the sticks on the stroke of half time when he was on the back up to a Sam Burgess burst through the middle and Walker took an offload to score under the sticks.

The Rabbitohs looked a better side after the break and they took the lead for the first time when Damien Cook saw the Cowboys defence were short out to the left despite having numbers right and youngster Cam Murray had space out in the corner and scored the try, Reynolds conversion attempt missed and the Rabbitohs lead by two. The game ebbed and flowed with both teams having chances to score but drop ball cost both sides any chance of points.

The Cowboys hit the lead again with ten minutes to go when Lachlan Coote took a sneaky dart from dummy half when the Souths defence was lacking concentration and Coote got the ball to the line although there was a nervous wait whilst the bunker had to give the try the seal of approval which came and after a simple conversion the Cowboys lead by four points with ten to play. The Cowboys gave up a penalty on their own line and it was a move that came back to bite them when Damien Cook found space out to the left when Robert Jennings had a chance to score and it happened when Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt made an atrocious attempt attackle and Jennings crossed and levelled things up. 

The scores were level in the dying minutes and the Rabbitohs had the first shot at field goal through Adam Reynolds who sprayed his first shot giving the Cowboys a seven tackle set. The Cowboys tried to come up with a trick play during the set to make more metres but a lost ball gave the Rabbitohs the field position to have a second shot. The second shot was all Adam Reynolds needed as he nailed the field goal from 35m out to give the Rabbitohs a 21-20 lead. A late penalty for the Cowboys gave them an outside chance and after Kyle Feldt kicked for touch and found it 30m out, Johnathan Thurston took the tap and took a shot at field goal from a wide angle and it missed meaning the Rabbitohs had won the game.

Next weekend, the Rabbitohs have the bye before taking on the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium whilst the Cowboys who also have the bye take on the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra. 

3. Damien Cook

Cook had a brilliant game with some good passing to set up the Rabbitohs points.

2. Adam Reynolds

Reynolds had a good game, good kicking game and scored his own try.

1. Johnathan Thurston

Put on some magic touches for the Cowboys in the first half.