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Reynolds field goal seals Souths' thriller

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/04/2017 Matt Encarnacion

A last-minute field goal from Adam Reynolds has given South Sydney a thrilling 21-20 win over Penrith on Friday night, lifting the Rabbitohs into the NRL's top eight.

Leading 20-14 with four minutes to go, the Panthers looked to have forced golden point when Nathan Cleary converted Michael Oldfield's late try from the sideline.

But the Rabbitohs showed great composure in setting up for Reynolds' game-winner, with Cody Walker and Kyle Turner providing strong runs in the lead-up to his 19-metre shot.

Walker was among the visitors' best at Pepper Stadium, scoring a crucial try before halftime and setting up his halves partner in Reynolds soon after resumption.

A depleted Panthers outfit failed to make up for the absence of Matt Moylan, Peta Hiku and Waqa Blake on club-imposed bans.

South Sydney jumped out to an 8-0 lead on the back of Sam Burgess' opening try, only for the Panthers to steal the momentum with two tries of their own.

First debutant Malakai Watene-Zelezniak set one up for younger brother Dallin, before fellow rookie Corey Harawira-Naera latched onto a Nathan Cleary pass soon after.

But Walker turned the game single-handedly in a 10-minue period bridging the first and second half, which began when he combined with John Sutton on a run-around play in the 36th minute.

The classy five-eighth then gave his team the ascendancy when he stepped past a number of defenders and then found a straightening Reynolds soon after the break.

Penrith had a handful of opportunities to lock up the scores but were frustrated by a desperate defence.

The loss for the Panthers, who were also without injured Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey leaves them outside the top eight with just two wins from their opening six games.

South Sydney coach Michael Maguire said he was delighted his players were rewarded for their efforts after coming up empty for the past two weeks despite solid performances.

"The preparations that they've done allows themselves to get through periods like that," he said.

"I was very pleased with Adam's finish there, he's done a lot of work around that area to make sure that when those times come, he comes up with the right play."

Penrith Anthony Griffin said it was a disappointing finish after working themselves back in a second half dominated by the opposition.

"I thought we showed a real tonne of character in the middle of that second half, they had us by the throat for long periods and they had a chance to finish us off a few times," he said.

"But we got ourselves back into the game and unfortunately, that last 2-3 minutes, the game slipped away again."

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