A decisive golden point field goal by young halfback Lachlan Ilias led the Rabbitohs to a 13-12 victory over the Sea Eagles at Accor Stadium on Saturday night. With the score tied at 12-12 after 80 grueling minutes, a mistake by Manly in the first set of golden point allowed Ilias to seize his opportunity and secure the win.
Despite facing early pressure, the Sea Eagles found space on the left side, only for Campbell Graham to stop Reuben Garrick in his tracks. Manly’s Brad Parker then did the same to Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson. In the 13th minute, the crowd honored the passing of Rabbitohs legend John Sattler with a minute of applause.
The Rabbitohs scored first in the 23rd minute, with Cody Walker miraculously putting down the ball just inches from the dead-ball line after chasing a Damien Cook grubber. Latrell Mitchell converted the score to 6-0. A Jacob Host error gave Manly the chance to equalize, resulting in Haumole Olakau’atu making a one-handed touchdown to bring the score to 6-6.
Although Tom Trbojevic’s try was denied due to a tight forward pass call, Daly Cherry-Evans managed to intercept a Cameron Murray pass just before half-time, giving the Sea Eagles a 12-6 lead at the break.
Walker’s 50th-minute score narrowed the gap to two points, and the Rabbitohs eventually tied the game at 12-12 after a high tackle penalty. With less than a minute left, Mitchell’s unsuccessful field goal attempt led the match into golden point territory. A dropped ball by Manly’s Josh Aloiai gave the Rabbitohs the opportunity they needed, and Ilias scored the first field goal of his career to secure a 13-12 win on an emotional night for the club.