You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

A last-minute drop-goal conversion from Damien Cook handed reigning champions South Sydney a 14-13 victory in the opening game of the 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines against old rivals the Sydney Roosters.

A long Bryson Goodwin line break from almost the first play of the day set the tone before the sides went try-for try with Alex Johnston and Kirisome Auva'a scoring for Souths, while for the Roosters veteran Braith Anasta wound back the clock to step his way over for a four-pointer.

Roosters young gun Latrell Mitchell backed up fellow young gun Joseph Manu to score but the try of the game came when a perfectly weighted downfield kick from rookie Roosters half Tyler Cornish saw UK import Joe Burgess streak downfield to win the race to the ball.

A late try from Souths winger Michael Oldfield, whose clumsy grounding was awarded, narrowed the gap before Cook's conversion handed victory to Souths, 14-13.

Goodwin admitted he surprised even himself by splitting the Roosters defence open so early in the match.

"I just jumped across and found myself in some open space, I wish I could have scored but that's alright. The first hit-up of the game and I went straight through, it was a bit surprising," Goodwin said after the game.

"We are pretty pleased with that win, it's a good platform to build off."

Anasta said the Roosters' youngsters showed plenty of promise despite the defeat.

"Joey Burgess showed some speed there, made a couple of good breaks and scored a try as well," Anasta said.

"Latrell was great as well. I thought Joey Manu was great for us. We have some good exciting players and they did well."

There were some fears over a possible shoulder injury to Johnston, who spent the final minutes of the match on the sideline, but he was given the all clear by the Rabbitohs after full-time.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 (Johnston, Auva'a, Oldfield tries, Cook goal) def. Sydney Roosters 13 (Mitchell, Anasta, Burgess tries).


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners