Souths beat Cowboys for first win of '08 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths beat Cowboys for first win of '08

By Philip Henderson 04/05/2008 04:59:26 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney shrugged off another horror week to claim their first win of the NRL season against North Queensland at ANZ Stadium today.

With a fist-pumping co-owner Russell Crowe in the stands for the first time this season, the Rabbitohs ended a 10-game losing streak stretching back to last year after stunning the travel-shy Cowboys 28-24 despite dumping four players to NSW Cup and stripping David Kidwell of the co-captaincy for breaching an alcohol ban.

John Sutton and Beau Champion both bagged doubles for the Bunnies with hooker George Ndaira, new half Isaac Luke and prop Roy Asotasi also impressing in handing the Cowboys their second straight loss.

Souths took the lead for the first time midway through the first half after Nigel Vagana scored the best try of the game - set up by a Ndaira chip and chase - and were never headed from that point despite a late Cowboys fight back.

Kidwell was solid, if not spectacular, as he strived for redemption following the failed breath test last weekend which cost him the co-captaincy, making 26 tackles.

Fullback Matt Bowen was a late inclusion for the Cowboys after being ruled out on Friday with a knee injury, but it was not enough for North Queensland, who lost their third of four away games this season.

Souths had dropped Ben Rogers, Eddie Paea, Jaiman Lowe, and Fetuli Talanoa after all four - plus Kidwell - had failed to adhere to the club's zero-alcohol policy on recovery days.

But after North Queensland twice grabbed the lead in the first half, it was the Bunnies who went into the break 18-12 ahead.

Champion crossed twice for the home side - cancelling out Cowboy touch downs by Ash Graham and Carl Webb - before Vagana gave Souths the lead for the first time in the 26th minute after some clever work by Ndaira.

The Rabbitohs hooker bolted out of dummy-half on the halfway line and chipped ahead with Luke getting a kind bounce before throwing the ball out wide for Vagana to score.

Sutton was the star in the second half after backing up from Friday's City-Country game, scoring two tries to secure a much-needed victory for the battling Bunnies.

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