Raiders stun Rabbitohs in trio's Canberra farewell
Blake Austin capped his final home game in Canberra with a star showing as the Raiders stunned South Sydney 24-12 at GIO Stadium.
Despite trailing 12-0 after 31 minutes, the Raiders showed desire in defence and rode the surge of their play through the middle third of the field.
It was just the third time the Raiders had overcome a half-time deficit this season as they gave Austin, Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo the perfect send-off in their final home game for the club.
The loss is Souths' third in a row and only the third time they have given up a lead at the break as they eye the first week of the finals with several questions hanging over their form.
The Raiders went on the attack early when Austin scooped up a mistimed Adam Reynolds bomb, racing 40 metres to put the home side in the Souths half.
Match: Raiders vs Rabbitohs
Round 24 -
Venue: GIO Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
However, the chance of being first on the board was lost with a cheap turnover by halfback Sam Williams.
The mistake came back to haunt the Raiders almost immediately as the Bunnies marched down the field off the back of penalties, allowing Cody Walker to slice his way through to score his 11th try for the season.
Reynolds added the extras and the Rabbitohs enjoyed a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Greg Inglis celebrated his return from a fractured thumb by shrugging off a Joey Leilua tackle to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Rabbitohs were gifted two points soon after when Canberra bizarrely lost the scrum feed, before a penalty in the tackle allowed Reynolds to slot the easy shot from right in front for 12-0.
Canberra finally cracked the Souths defensive line with a deft kick from Josh Hodgson allowing Michel Oldfield to pounce on the ball and touch down just inside the dead-ball line.
The Rabbitohs went down a man early in the second half when Jason Clark was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul off the back of a run by Austin.
The Raiders made the most of the advantage with Oldfield showing good footwork at the line to score his second for the afternoon.
Williams raised the flags with his conversion and the Green Machine had all the momentum.
Canberra continued to show their hand, shifting the ball to the right quickly off the restart with an infield kick from Jordan Rapana nearly paying dividends.
The home side earned possession at a crucial time via an Austin bomb which was knocked-on by Alex Johnston in-goal.
From the resulting drop-out, Austin put Soliola into a gap with the veteran putting the Raiders in front for the first time at 16-12.
Canberra continued to put their foot on the throats of the Rabbitohs as they stormed down field giving Nick Cotric the time and space to show his strength and footwork near the line before he slammed the ball down to give the Raiders a 10-point lead.
Williams put the icing on the cake with a late penalty to make the final margin 12.
News & Notes: Greg Inglis scored his 19th try against the Raiders ... Canberra have won four of their last five clashes against Souths ... Crowd: 15,990 ... Next week: The Raiders travel to New Zealand for their last game of the season to take on the Warriors next Friday night ... South Sydney will round out their regular season when they take on the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.