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On Friday night, Jaxson Paulo played a crucial role in the defeat of his former team, as the Roosters triumphed 20-18 against their arch-rivals, the Rabbitohs.

In a fierce encounter, Paulo scored twice in the second half to help secure the win for his side, though they faced a tense finish as the Rabbitohs scored with just two minutes remaining, attempting a two-point field goal which fell short.

South Sydney had initially dominated the game, taking a 10-0 lead within the first 15 minutes. However, a tactical substitution from coach Trent Robinson, introducing Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Brandon Smith from the bench, shifted the momentum towards the Roosters. Smith’s try and a well-placed kick from Luke Keary resulted in the Roosters tying the score, before a penalty goal gave the Rabbitohs a 12-10 lead at halftime.

Paulo’s two tries in the second half gave the Roosters the lead, with his second following a remarkable try-saving strip from Joey Manu.

Despite the Rabbitohs’ late comeback attempt, the Roosters held on for their second win of the year. The match was characterized by high emotion and a heavy collision resulting in Hame Sele leaving the field for HIA assessment, and Joseph Sua’ali’i being placed on report.