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South Sydney survived a huge scare as a late George Burgess try propelled them to a thrilling 24-22 win at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 5 this year.
The Warriors were coming off their first win of 2013 and looking to build into their season but the match started off on the wrong foot for the home side as Nathan Merritt stole an intercept to prevent a promising Warriors attack, then raced 50 metres up-field in a dazzling run to the try line.
Six minutes Souths turned defence into attack again, with the Warriors throwing a desperate pass out the back while trying to keep the ball alive and Greg Inglis swooping to run the length of the field and make it 12-0 to the visitors.
The match was 30 minutes old before the Warriors finally clicked into gear – some nice hands close to the line finishing with Ben Matulino steaming through a gap to score alongside the posts. But Souths quickly responded with a similarly well-constructed team try to Bryson Goodwin to make it 18-6 at the break.
Needing a quick start in the second half, the Warriors did just that as Ngani Laumape crashed over out wide to give them hope before Konrad Hurrell barged through three defenders to close the gap to just two points with 20 minutes remaining. Hurrell then kick-started a brilliant long-range try to Pita Godinet to put the Warriors in front for the first time at 22-18.
But with 13 minutes remaining, big George Burgess used his sheer size to crash his way over and give the Bunnies a 24-22 lead that they would hold onto until the final siren.
The Warriors made 165 hit-ups to South Sydney’s 145, produced 19 offloads to 10 and made five line-breaks to three but couldn’t get the job done.
The Burgess brothers starred for the visitors, with Sam running for 121 metres and George 137 metres while Greg Inglis ran for 191 metres with 10 tackle-breaks.
Simon Mannering ran for 163 metres and made 34 tackles for the Warriors.