Four-midable Cody sinks gutsy War­riors

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

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

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