By STEVE MASCORD
FORMER Western Reds ballboy Bryson Goodwin overcame being steamrolled by rampaging Warrior Konrad Hurrell to complete a fairytale homecoming with a brace of tries in South Sydney’s fifth consecutive win.
Centre Hurrell, 102 kg, swatted Goodwin like a fly and prompted a head clash between Greg Inglis and Chris McQueen as they tried to stop him scoring a powerhouse try in the 37th minute of the Rabbitohs’ 30-13 win in front of a near-sellout 20,221 fans at nib Stadium.
But Goodwin, a West Australian junior, enjoyed redemption by kicking ahead for himself in the 68th minute to put the bunnies back in front and then followed up by scooping up a loose ball to streak away for his second eight minutes later.
“I grew up in WA, it’s good to come home here and yeah, I was a ballboy for the Reds for two years,” said Goodwin.
“I remember (Hurrell) putting me on my backside. He’s one of the hardest players to tackle, I got myself in the wrong position.
“It’s not a setback, that’s going to happen on the footy field, you’re going to miss tackles. It’s just one of those things that happens.”
The Rabbitohs were under the pump at halftime with Hurrell’s try, converted by Shaun Johnson, followed by a Johnson field goal which gave the Aucklanders a 13-6 halftime lead.
“He’s scored a couple like that for us this year, to be fair,” said Warriors coach Matthew Elliott. “You don’t like to take that sort of stuff for granted but if you give him one-on-one opportunities, he’s pretty scary.”
John Sutton claimed a kick to narrow the margin to one eight minutes into the second half and then it was a dogfight until Goodwin’s double.
Second rower McQueen, his head bandaged from his collision with Inglis while trying to stop Hurrell, posted another try near fulltime.
Rabbitohs lock Sam Burgess had an unfortunate night, knocking on twice after laying the platform for Andrew Everingham’s eighth minute try and being penalised on one occasion for throwing the ball away.
He was also booked for a high tackle on Warriors fullback Kevin Locke.
Inglis said: “Sammy’s got to go back and concentrate on .. I think he was trying to be Sonny Bill. What Sammy does best is take the ball forward. He does have that skill in him but we need him to take the ball forward.”
Inglis was ill in the lead-up with a virus, received a head knock early and then was opened up by Hurrell.
Asked if he had a broken nose, Inglis said: “I don’t know. Probably. He (Hurrell) is a strong human.”
In the first half, a lucky ricochet helped Everingham score in the corner. Warriors hooker Nathan Friend was held up at the 26-minutes mark, before skipper Simon Mannering crossed a couple of minutes later off Shaun Johnson’s pass
“’Too good’ is probably a poor description,”said Elliott. “They are a little bit further down the track than us and it was a really good lesson that we’ve got some ground to cover.
“We had some problems with our travel. We got delayed. We really have to examine how we do that next time.”
SOUTH SYDNEY 30 (B Goodwin 2 A Everingham J Sutton C McQueen tries A Reynolds 5 goals) bt WARRIORS 13 (S Mannering K Hurrell tries S Johnson 2 goals field goal) at nib Stadium. Referees: A Klein/D Munro. Crowd: 20,221.
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD