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Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles fought back to claim a 24-20 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the opening round of the NSW Cup at 4 Pines Park on Saturday.

Both sides scored four tries apiece in a back-and-forth battle, with the home side taking the lead in the 69th minute after trailing 10-6 at half-time. The match marked the first round one victory for Blacktown in the NSW Cup since 2021.

South Sydney hooker Peter Mamouzelos showed his experience to burrow his way over the line from dummy half for a 6-0 lead after 13 minutes.

Sea Eagles fullback Bailey Hodgson scored in the 29th minute off the back of a good build-up play from fellow club debutant, Brandon Wakeham. The five-eighth stabbed a grubber kick through for the flying fullback, who slammed the ball down for a try. Hooker Jamie Humphreys converted for a 6-all scoreline.

The visitors reclaimed the lead minutes before halftime through Braidon Burns. The centre found himself in open space after a well-timed offload, allowing for him to crash over for a 10-6 lead heading into the break.

After countless sets at the line to open the second half, the Rabbitohs once again found themselves with points on the board. Fullback Jye Gray took it upon himself to spear the attack and it paid off as South Sydney crossed for their third try in the 57th minute for a 16-6 lead.

Winger Tommy Talau crossed for his first try in Blacktown colours thanks to a good effort from halfback Jake Arthur and centre Lehi Hopoate for a 16-10 scoreline in the 61st minute. 

After setting up the previous try, Hopoate got himself on the scoreboard three minutes later with a length of field try for a 16-all scoreline with 13 minutes remaining.

A Wakeham penaty goal gave Blacktown an 18-16 lead with 10 minutes remaining before Hodgson used his speed to split the defence to score for a 24-16 lead.

Both teams then lost a player each to the sin-bin before Souths scored a consolation try through Adam Christensen for the 24-20 scoreline.

The Sea Eagles take on the Sydney Roosters at 4 Pines Park on Sunday, March 17, at 1:45pm in round two.

Blacktown Workers 24 (Bailey Hodgson 2, Tommy Talau, Lehi Hopoate tries; Jamie Humphreys 2/2 goals, Brandon Wakeham 2/3 goals) d South Sydney 20 (Peter Mamouzelos, Braidon Burns, Jye Gray, Christensen tries; Dean Hawkins 2/4 goals), 4 Pines Park.


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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