Craig Wing sparked Souths into action with a dynamic performance off the bench to deny a gutsy Newcastle Knights 22-12 at Bluetongue Stadium.
15,277 fans were at Gosford to witness the clash as the Newcastle Knights were the superior team for the first hour of the match.
Craig Wing sparked a lethargic Souths outfit into action as he received the ball wide on the right in the 57th minute to slice through for the Bunnies and score.
It was all Souths from then on as they turned around an 8-0 half time deficit to score 22 unanswered points. Talanoa finished off a slick 90m set as Souths went back-to-back following Wing's try and 10 minutes later Wing all but sealed the match for the Bunnies as he darted from dummy-half to score.
Isaac Luke signalled curtains for Newcastle as he finished off a Fa'alogo break to blow Souths lead out to 14 points.
It was Newcastle who got off to the perfect start as they chose to run the ball on the last in the first set of the game. They were rewarded for their enterprising play as James McManus finished off a 60m backline move. South Sydney had all the ball and plenty of attacking opportunities but couldn't break a commited Newcastle defence. The Knights made the most of their rare opportunities as Aku Uate collected a Scott Dureau kick to take the Knights to an 8-0 lead and the scores remained unchanged into the break.
A slumbering South Sydney returned from the sheds and it was not until Wing's individual brilliance that they started to dominate through the likes of Isaac Luke and John Sutton.
Kurt Gidley was courageous for the Knights as he made two spectacular try-saving tackles within a few minutes in the closing stages of the game and he was the man to provide the last pass for Junior Sau to score a consolation try for the Knights in the 76th minute.
The final score which finished 22-12 ultimately flattered South Sydney in the four tries to three victory.
Craig Wing dedicated his performance to his late Grandmother who passed away the night before the game.
Match Details South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 def Newcastle Knights 12 Round 3 :: Sunday March 29th, 2009 Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Crowd: 15,277 Referee: Ashley Klein & Brett Suttor Sideline Officials: Peter Kirby & Mohamad Fajajo Video Referee: Phil Cooley Half time: Knights 8-0 South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 Tries: Craig Wing (2), Fetuli Talanoa, Issac Luke Goals: Chris Sandow (3/3), Issac Luke (0/1) Newcastle Knights 12 Tries: James McManus, Aku Uate, Junior Sau Goals: Kurt Gidley (0/3) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Craig Wing (Rabbitohs) 2 Points: Issac Luke (Rabbitohs) 1 Point: Kurt Gidley (Knights) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Newcastle have won four of their last five against the Rabbitohs but injuries and a short turnaround from Monday Night Football will hurt them. The Bunnies will be well rested after a ten day break and will see Craig Wing make his return on the interchange bench.
RABBITOHS: 18. Luke Capewell 2. Shaune Corrigan 3. Colin Best 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Luke Stuart 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi (c) 11. Ben Lowe 12. Shannan McPherson 13. David Fa'alogo Interchange: 14. Craig Wing 15. Eddy Pettybourne 16. David Kidwell 17. Jaiman Lowe
KNIGHTS: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. James McManus 3. Junior Sau 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Akuila Uate 6. Ben Rogers 7. Scott Dureau 8. Mark Taufua 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Ben Cross 11. Chris Houston 12. Cory Paterson 13. Zeb Taia Interchange: 14. Matt Hilder 16. Richie Fa Like