The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup reigning premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs have added another trophy to their cabinet by claiming the 2023 NRL State Championship after defeating the Brisbane Tigers 42-22 at Accor Stadium today.
A hattrick to winger Tyrone Munro guided his team to their first State Championship win – the sixth NSW team to do so since the match between NSW Cup and Qld Cup premiers was introduced in 2014.
Munro, who scored the match-winning try for the Rabbitohs against the North Sydney Bears in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Grand Final a week ago, was named today’s Player of the Match.
The Rabbitohs were the first to open the scoring through Munro, who regathered the ball on a fifth-play kick to score (4-0).
In the 18th minute Souths shifted the ball out to the left for winger Tom Carr to cross in the corner. Halfback Dean Hawkins was unlucky off the tee leaving his teams lead to eight points.
The Tigers hit back through utility Cole Geyer, son of Melbourne Storm star Matt Geyer, who buried his way over the line off his first touch of the ball (8-6.)
With the heat starting to take a toll on each side, a handful of mistakes were made in the back end of the first half.
Just before half-time, Munro scored his second of the day after tip-toeing down the right sideline to extend their teams lead.
Despite best efforts, Hawkins failed to add the two points, leaving the Rabbitohs lead to a converted try at the break 12-6.
.The Rabbitohs came out firing in the second half scoring two tries back-to-back within two minutes with second rower Ethan O’Neill and five-eighth Dion Teaupa both finding the line.
Hawkins’ luck shifted in the second half with the halfback converting both tries to stretch the lead to 24-6.
Carrying all the momentum, the Rabbitohs continued to capitalise with Munro crossing for his third in the 59th minute – his first hat-trick of the season.
While the Tigers tried to test the Rabbitohs in attack, the Hostplus Cup winners struggled to find the line with the Rabbitohs defence proving too strong.
The Tigers found the line for the first time in the second half through second rower Tom Rafter, who broke through the Rabbitohs defensive wall in the 62nd minute (30-12).
But then the Rabbitohs added more salt to the wound in the final ten minutes, with Carr and lock Tallis Duncan each adding four pointers to the board (42-12) – Carr swooping on a loose pass for a 70 metre run.
Two late consolation tries to the Tigers centres Solomona Faataape and Kane Bradley unfortunately was still too little too late for Brisbane.