Walker, Johnston spark Souths fightback over Dragons

The attacking flair of Cody Walker and Alex Johnston has helped South Sydney surge back from 16 points down to defeat arch rivals St George Illawarra 32-24 at Kogarah on Thursday night.

What shaped as a disastrous night for Souths when they trailed 16-0 after 16 minutes turned around just as quickly as Wayne Bennett’s men posted three tries in 20 minutes to level the scores at half-time.

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It was the Dragons who got on the board first through in-form fullback Matt Dufty after an Adam Reynolds grubber went wrong for Souths and Corey Norman swooped.

Norman raced upfield and found Dufty to post his ninth try of the season.

To make matters worse for Souths, Reynolds suffered a shoulder injury while trying to retrieve the ball and played no further part in the game.

Dufty then put Euan Aitken across for a try before grabbing a second of his own to make it 16-0.

The Bunnies then clicked into gear as Walker produced a superb individual try in the 20th minute and Johnston intercepted a Dufty pass and raced 90 metres to score in the 31st minute.

With half-time looming, Latrell Mitchell stamped his class with a pinpoint cut-out pass to Johnston who kicked back inside for Mitchell to regather and score.

The momentum continued for Souths in the 48th minute when Walker and Dane Gagai combined to send Johnston over for his second of the night.

The Dragons returned serve when Ben Hunt grubbered for Tyson Frizell to score and it was locked up at 20-all with 25 minutes to play.

Walker put the Bunnies back in front in the 61st minute after Souths’ left-side attack had opened the Dragons up.

With seven minutes to play the Dragons handed Johnston his third try on a platter as Tristan Sailor went to the line and threw a long ball which the Rabbitohs winger gleefully intercepted to race away.

A very late try to Mikaele Ravalawa in the corner gave the Red V some faint hope, but the Rabbitohs’ win was safe when Zac Lomax’s conversion attempt struck the upright.


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