Illawarra Steelers suffered mixed results agains the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the fifth round of competition at Redfern Oval on Saturday.
In perfect conditions for football, both the Harold Matthews (U16) and SG Ball (U18) were looking to consolidate their places in the top 8 heading into the end of the season.
First onto the field were the Harold Matthews teams, Illawarra showed glimpses of great play but dropped ball affected their rhythm.
Souths were first over the try line but the Steelers were able to hit back with a 60m effort from Cody White.
This motivated the home side and back-to-back tries saw the Rabbitohs head into the interval with an eight point lead.
With the Steelers still in the game, they tried to keep up with a far bigger South Sydney side but were unable to stop their momentum as the home side comfortably pulled away for a 30 point victory and left Illawarra with some work to do before next week’s game.
The SG Ball sides were next onto the field and Illawarra were facing a side that was undefeated.
In a tight first half which saw both sides aim to dominate the other, a singular try to winger Brendan Woods, after a nice backline play, saw the away side head into the break with a slender lead.
At the start of the second half, Souths came out firing and after successive sets on the Steelers line were able to cross over and with the resulting conversion gave them the lead.
However, this was the motivation that Illawarra needed and after tries from Paora Kemp, Nathan Leatigaga and a second to Brendan Woods, the Steelers were able to walk away with a 16 point win.
This was a great win for Illawarra against a significantly larger side and will give them plenty of confidence heading into the important part of the season.