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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have outlasted the Canberra Raiders 16-12 in a thriller at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
With the Raiders and Rabbitohs heading into Saturday night's clash as the second and third-best defensive sides in the competition, a low-scoring affair was expected.
And the first half lived up to those expectations with neither side able to break through for a try. It was far from a dull forty minutes though, with frustrations boiling over after Sam Burgess was penalised for five separate infringements.
Penalty goals were the flavour of the half with Jarrod Croker slotting three goals while Adam Reynolds kicked two of his own.
John Sutton claimed the first try of the night in the 47th minute when he pounced onto a Reynolds grubber but replays showed the ball coming loose at the dying stages.
The disappointment was short-lived though as Damien Cook went short to Cody Walker who sliced through for his 11th try of the year.
Momentum eventually swung back in Canberra's favour when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad showed serious patience to watch a Reynolds grubber go dead.
And an early ball to Nick Cotric was all it took to see the home side hit the lead.
The 20-year old made a half break down the right edge before offloading inside for Elliott Whitehead.
Halfback Sam Williams was backing up in the middle and dived under the posts to score Canberra's first try of the night.
Canberra were unable to land the killer blow though and Souths regained the lead in the 71st minute when Mawene Hiroti dived over in the corner for a try.
The Rabbitohs had to defend two-straight sets on their own line in the dying stages as they held on for a tense four-point win.
Canberra Raiders 12 - South Sydney Rabbitohs 16
Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 6 South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cody Walker
2 points - Josh Papalii
1 points - Cameron Murray
CANBERRA RAIDERS (12)
Tries: Sam Williams
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (3/4)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (16)
Tries: Cody Walker, Mawene Hiroti
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (2/2)