Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PAUL CRAWLEY

SOUTH Sydney’s sea­son is back on life sup­port af­ter crash­ing to a shock 14- 12 loss to the un­der- strength Sydney Roost­ers.

With their four State of Ori­gin stars miss­ing, the Roost­ers main­tained their place in the NRL top four with what would have to be rated one of their gut­si­est wins of the sea­son over their bit­ter ri­vals.

The match fin­ished two tries apiece with a penalty goal to Michael Gor­don sep­a­rat­ing the teams.

Gor­don was out­stand­ing, also com­ing up with some tremen­dous de­fen­sive plays, while skip­per Jake Friend pro­duced an in­spi­ra­tional per­for­mance in set­ting up both the Roost­ers’ tries.

Big Jared Waerea- Har­g­reaves also led the way up front with a barn­storm­ing dis­play where he charged for 192m on a night when his team needed him.

But the loss was a ter­ri­ble blow to the Rab­bitohs’ fi­nals hopes.

From here, Souths face a tough run through to Septem­ber and still need to win at least six of their re­main­ing eight games to make the top eight cut.

It starts with the Cow­boys next Sun­day in Cairns and fol­low­ing that it’s the Sharks, Raiders, Drag­ons, Bull­dogs, War­riors, Storm and Eels.

Given their predica­ment, last night was a match they sim­ply couldn’t af­ford to lose but they bombed it with a mis­take- rid­dled per­for­mance.

GOTCHA: Con­nor Wat­son of the Roost­ers is tack­led dur­ing his side’s win over Souths last night.

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