South Sydney Rabbitohs soared to victory in a crucial match against the Warriors in Auckland, with Alex Johnston‘s impressive performance leading the way. Johnston’s milestone double secured a 28-6 win for the Rabbitohs, propelling them back into the NRL winners’ list. Faced with the potential of falling out of the top eight after their recent slump, South Sydney showcased their wet-weather prowess at Mt Smart Stadium.
Despite a slow start that saw the Warriors take an early 6-0 lead, South Sydney rallied and dominated the remainder of the match. Johnston’s two tries not only secured the win but also propelled him into equal third place on the all-time tryscorers’ charts, alongside Manly legend Steve Menzies. This achievement marks his 179th and 180th four-pointers in his career. Additionally, Johnston matched the great Ken Irvine with his 50th multi-try games.
South Sydney‘s victory was a testament to their unwavering resilience after suffering four defeats in their previous five games. They displayed exceptional defense and capitalised on their opponents’ mistakes throughout the match. The Rabbitohs‘ response to early penalties and a deficit positioned them to unleash an overpowering offensive onslaught.
The turning point came when Rocco Berry‘s handling error gifted South Sydney the opportunity to send Johnston over for his first try. A subsequent penalty resulted in Blake Taaffe successfully leveling the scores. Taaffe’s impressive performance was unfortunately marred by a controversial high shot which led to him receiving a yellow card and a temporary exit from the game.
The Rabbitohs capitalised on the depleted Warriors side, with Cameron Murray slicing through the defensive lines to add another try near the posts. The second half started with Taaffe being thwarted just meters short of the try line, but it didn’t take long for South Sydney to extend their lead. Cody Walker‘s well-executed kick found Johnston open on the right side, allowing him to equal Menzies and further cement his legacy.
Debutant Tyrone Munro made his mark on the game with a try, courtesy of a perfectly executed Ilias kick. This further widened the point gap and sealed the victory for South Sydney. To add insult to injury for the Warriors, Taaffe secured a long-range effort just before the final whistle, solidifying their disappointment.
The Rabbitohs‘ win lifts them from eighth to sixth place on the NRL live ladder, reigniting their hopes of securing a spot in the top four. It also serves as a reminder of their potential as they strive to regain their winning form and compete among the league’s elite teams. With Johnston’s record-breaking performance and the team’s overall display of skill and determination, South Sydney has reestablished themselves as a formidable force in the competition.