Flukey Luke grabs Souths victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Flukey Luke grabs Souths victory

By David Beniuk 23/06/2008 10:21:12 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach Jason Taylor has declared the fighting spirit which earned the club its first NRL finals appearance in 18 years was back as the Rabbitohs recorded consecutive victories for the first time this year with a thrilling 24-23 win over Gold Coast at ANZ Stadium.

Souths followed up their last start 35-28 win over the New Zealand Warriors with a come from behind victory over the Titans, hooker Issac Luke slotting home a penalty goal in the 78th minute to clinch the Bunnies' third win of 2008.

"The resilience to just come back and keep fighting, it was something that we built a season on last year and it's great to see it's back," Taylor said.

"There were a few times earlier in the season where we'd get behind and that would be it. Now two games in a row we've got behind, come back ... and there's just no giving up which is a great thing even if we didn't get the win, in the end we just kept fighting to the death."

Luke, who also scored two first half tries for Souths, lined up the pressure kick from 23m out and to the left of the uprights after Titans winger Jordan Atkins was penalised in the 77th minute for holding down centre Beau Champion.

The hooker had already been sacked once as goalkicker after missing an easy first attempt and he said Taylor had made him endlessly practise easy kicks at training.

"The ones that are in front are the ones that you need to worry about so that's where (Taylor) hammers me," Luke said.

"I don't really slot them over all the time, that's why I was a bit bothered when I missed the first one. I put my head down, I looked at JT and I knew I was going to get the sack."

The Coast led 12-10 at halftime and 22-16 midway through the second half but, when four of their players went down injured, had to withstand a fresher Rabbitohs who squared it up at 22-22 with 10 minutes to go.

Brilliant Titans halfback Scott prince looked to have clinched victory for them with a 72nd minute field goal to make it 23-22 before Luke stepped up to seal the Rabbitohs' win.

"In the end I just think we've got a team that's coming together," Taylor said.

And that team will come together even more against last placed North Queensland next week with Taylor confirming gun off-season buy Craig Wing will be available to make his return from a serious shoulder injury.

The Rabbitohs went ahead 16-12 four minutes after the break when John Sutton emerged from a tangle of decoy runners and defenders to touch down, but the Coast squared it up at 16-16 in the 51st minute when Atkins dived over in the corner.

The Titans reclaimed the lead six minutes later when Anthony Laffranchi scored his second for the night barging over from dummy-half, before David Fa'alogo crashed over for Souths in the 69th minute to make it 22-22.

Gold Coast co-captain Luke Bailey's NSW State of Origin hopes were ended when the front-rower suffered an ankle injury, while Aaron Cannings injured a leg, Daniel Conn a shoulder, Preston Campbell got a poke in the eye and Nathan Friend suffered a minor knee problem.

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