Four-midable Cody sinks gutsy Warriors
A FOUR-try haul from Cody Walker helped South Sydney overcome a spirited New Zealand Warriors side for a come-from-behind 28-24 win.
Walker scored two tries either side of half-time with the match-winning solo effort coming with two minutes left.
The South Sydney fiveeighth produced two individual efforts to lay on the points while his other two tries were laid on by hooker Damien Cook.
South Sydney had to win the hard way, trailing 24-12 after 53 minutes. But the Cook and Walker combination sparked a lacklustre Rabbitohs side to life.
“He is pretty quick,” Walker said of Cook. “Hard to keep up with. I failed to do that last week. I wasn’t pushing up as much as I usually do. That was one of my goals. It was an awesome day.
“Disappointing in certain parts of the game. We let ourselves down with silly errors. Once we played our game we started making inroads.
“I don’t think we put together an 80-minute performance since the Roosters game. Areas to improve. Happy with the two points. We let ourselves down last week.
“It’s about being consistent with our efforts. We were really good in patches but really poor in patches. Happy with the two points. Room for improvement.”
There was some conjecture about Walker’s last try after he was ruled to have just touched the ball down on the try-line. The Rabbitohs were setting up for an Adam Reynolds field goal before Walker called the ball on a short-side.
Coach Wayne Bennett described Walker as being “in a league of his own” at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
POOR START The scores were locked 12-all at halftime with South Sydney missing 20 tackles to eight in the opening half.
The Warriors will rue a three-minute lapse in the opening half where they conceded 12 points.
Bennett said his side were poor to start the game with.
“I said to them at halftime we were playing flat,” he said.
“I told them to pick it up. The last 30 minutes we got back into the game and started to own the game in the last 15-20 minutes.”
NO GREEN BUT RTS STARS The Warriors were dealt a cruel blow in the warm-up when veteran halfback Blake Green was ruled out just moments before kick-off. Green hurt his groin just before kickoff resulting in a Warriors reshuffle.
Gerard Beale came into the squad in the centres forcing Peta Hiku into the halves.
The Warriors looked like they were going to secure a remarkable win largely thanks to the performance of captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
He a scored a try and finished with three line-breaks. His four-pointer came after he bamboozled the South Sydney defence with his footwork to open the scoring in the 13th minute.
A forward pass by TuivasaSheck just four minutes earlier denied the Warriors a try to David Fusitua.
Despite the loss, Stephen Kearney was impressed by his team’s performance.
“I couldn’t fault the effort. We weren’t really smart in the back end of the second half,” Kearney said. “When we got 12 points ahead we needed to manage the game more effectively. Frustrating because they worked so hard to get in that position.”
INGLIS ON DECK Injured South Sydney skipper Greg Inglis was among the people at the stadium amid conjecture he could walk away from the game immediately.
“He will be back on Monday so will know what’s going on in his life,” Bennett said.
Rabbitoh Cody Walker gets a kiss from his father Bernie as he celebrates his four-try effort against the Warriors with his family on the Sunshine Coast yesterday. Picture: AAP