By Martin Gabor - NRL.com National Correspondent
The young Dragons have suffered a 38-16 loss to the Rabbitohs in the Holden Cup at Allianz Stadium on Friday afternoon.
They might have started the game with an error from the kick-off but it didn't take long for the Rabbitohs to click into gear with winger Tyrone Taukamo latching onto a terrific ball to score in the corner.
The good times kept rolling for the Bunnies when Siosifa Talakai spun out of several would-be tackles to score an outstanding individual try to make it 12-0 after 15 minutes.
Just when it looked like momentum was starting to swing the Dragons' way, Souths extended their lead when Dean Hawkins found a hard-running Gabe Hamlin back on the inside who powered over to make it 18-0.
With less than a minute left on the clock in the first half, the Dragons received a huge boost heading into half-time when No.9 Joe Lovodua spotted a gap around the ruck and burrowed over from close range to cut the gap to 12 points.
The main break did little to halt the Dragons' momentum with the Red V making the most of back-to-back penalties to further eat into lead courtesy of a try to bench forward Hayden Lomax only for Jackson Willis to miss the easy shot at goal.
Wayne Collins's men continued to dominate the second-half proceedings and they were rewarded for their territorial advantage when Jason Gillard crashed over in the right corner to make it a two point game.
It seemed only a matter of time until the Dragons would hit the front but their spirited comeback was stopped in its tracks by a piece of individual brilliance from Harry Leddy who scooted from dummy-half, turned the fullback inside out and touched down in the corner to complete the 50-metre effort.
That proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back as Souths extended their lead through Dean Hawkins to seal the result before Beau Cordtz put the cherry on top with a solo try two minutes from full-time.
NYC Rabbitohs 38 (Tyrone Taukamo, Siosifa Talakai, Gabe Hamlin, Harry Leddy, Dean Hawkins, Beau Cordtz tries; Dean Hawkins 7 goals) defeated NYC Dragons 16 (Joe Lovodua, Hayden Lomax, Jason Gillard tries; Jackson Willis 2 goals) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: Rabbitohs 18-6.