Rugby League

Rabbitohs retain Charity Shield with second-half blitz

February 18, 2024 7:20 am

[Source: NRL]

The Rabbitohs continued their Charity Shield dominance of the Dragons with a 28-6 victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

After scores were locked 6-6 at half-time the Rabbitohs kicked clear on the back powerful displays up front from Sean Keppie and Tevita Tatola and a composed showing by youngster Jye Gray at fullback.

The Rabbitohs have now won 10 of the past 12 Charity Shield clashes with a draw in 2015 and a Dragons win in 2022.

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On the back of a penalty against Jack de Belin for a high tackle the Rabbitohs earned a repeat set courtesy of a Dean Hawkins grubber and had two more sets inside the red zone but the Dragons’ defence held firm.

A mistake by Dragons No.1 Tyrell Sloan deep in his own territory gave the Rabbitohs another opportunity but Peter Mamouzelos fumbled the ball at dummy half and the chance was lost.

When Sloan exploded into space in the 25th minute the Dragons looked certain to open the scoring but the fullback’s pass went astray and two minutes later it was Jack Bird putting a chip kick out on the full as the Red V searched for polish at the end of their sets.

With three minutes remaining in the first half the Rabbitohs opened the scoring when a strong tackle by Lachlan Ilias forced the ball out of Sloan’s hands and Jacob Host picked up the scraps to score. Hawkins converted for a 6-0 lead.

The Dragons hit back almost immediately when prolific winger Mikaele Ravalawa swooped on a loose ball after an Isaiah Tass mistake and the scores were locked 6-6 at the break.

Nine minutes into the second stanza the Rabbitohs doubled their lead when Braidon Burns finished off a slick passing raid that started with a Cameron Murray offload in the middle of the field.

The Rabbitohs went further ahead in the 63rd minute when Davvy Moale powered onto a Mamouzelos pass from close range and plunged over for his team’s third try of the night. Hawkins converted for an 18-6 lead.