Friday 18 August 2017 / 01:39 AM

NRL FRIDAY: CRICHTON LEADS SOUTHS TO COMEBACK WIN

RABBITOHS 36 d. TITANS 20 @ ANZ Stadium

A barnstorming hat-trick from boom back-rower Angus Crichton spearheaded a come-from-behind 36-20 victory for South Sydney over Gold Coast on Friday night.

THE MATCH: The visiting Titans had all the early running, dominating possession and charging out to a 14-0 lead on the back of a third-minute try to stand-in hooker Pat Politoni and a four-pointer to the returning Kevin Proctor in the 17th minute.

The Rabbitohs, rocked by Sam Burgess’ late withdrawal, finally found some traction when Crichton carved through the visitors’ defence in the 29th minute.

Alex Johnston finished off a backline sweep five minutes later to trim the deficit to four points, but the Titans landed a seemingly crucial blow just before the break as Englishman Joe Greenwood somehow defied five defenders to plant the ball on the try-line.

The second half was all Souths, however, with Cody Walker scoring a solo try just four minutes after the resumption before Crichton put the home side into the lead soon afterwards with his second try.

Bryson Goodwin extended the advantage and Johnston crossed again to put the Rabbitohs 12 points in front, while Crichton iced a convincing win and a sensational individual performance with a stunning 40-metre try in the dying stages.

THE MAN: Crichton has been in excellent form over the past two months, but this performance will make everyone in the game sit up and take notice. The 21-year-old Temora product’s try treble was part of a 200-metre, 27-tackle game, while he has now bagged seven tries in his past seven games. Runs great angles, has genuine pace and size – and oozes future representative star.

THE MOMENT: The Titans’ bid for an away upset unravelled on the back of a several hair-brained moments from Konrad Hurrell in quick succession. A lackadaisical approach to cleaning up a loose ball with his side was on the attack allowed Souths to march up the field and score their first try. Soon afterwards, he fumbled the ball by trying to play it too quickly, then lost his rag in a stunning blow-up at the ref. Still fuming, Hurrell rushed out of the defensive line to give the Rabbitohs an overlap as they scored their second. The Titans still had the halftime lead, but their early momentum quickly became a distant memory.

[YouTube – DCD]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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