Souths swamp Cowboys with late flurry

Scott Drinkwater tackles Dane Gagai in Souths' come from behind win over the Cowboys.
Scott Drinkwater tackles Dane Gagai in Souths' come from behind win over the Cowboys.

Three tries in the last ten minutes has helped to deliver South Sydney a 30-18 NRL win over North Queensland in Townsville.

The visitors were behind for most of the second half but an inspired finale by representative forward Cam Murray sealed the result for the Rabbitohs.

Dane Gagai scored from a kick in the 71st minute and when Adam Reynolds converted the scores were level - but from there it was the Murray show.

He threw the last pass for prop Tevita Tatola - who caught the offload brilliantly on his knees - before Murray iced the win with a runaway effort.

"Our guys upped the ante. The interchanges came on and did well; we controlled the ball better and all of a sudden it just opened up," Souths coach Wayne Bennett said of the pleasing finish to the match.

It had started well for Souths when North Queensland discard Ethan Lowe opened the scoring in the third minute off a pinpoint Adam Reynolds kick but the hosts answered shortly after when centre Tom Opacic took a perfect offload from Kyle Feldt to cross in the corner.

If Lowe's point hadn't been proven he did it again in the 21st minute after he bullied Javid Bowen close to the line to bag his second of the night.

But it was Feldt again for North Queensland's second score when the winger took a spectacular catch midair, twisting his body sideways to ground the ball.

The lead was finally theirs early in the second half; several Rabbitohs failing to take a bomb giving Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater an open runway for a try following a fortuitous bounce.

North Queensland rookie Murray Taulagi then came close to a dream debut but lost his lollies with the try line open in front of him.

But a similar moment awaited James Roberts, the Souths centre doing well to strip Drinkwater behind the line but knocked on as he fell to the ground.

Cowboys coach Paul Green lamented his side's inability to shut down the match when up 18-12.

"Through our last tackle options we failed to finish our sets the game was there to win," Green said.

The Cowboys will travel to play Cronulla on Thursday while the Rabbitohs will host the Dragons on Friday.

Australian Associated Press