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Prince sledged as Gold Coast fall short

Date

Steve Mascord

SOUTH SYDNEY 22 GOLD COAST 18

Happy days ... Dylan Farrell of the Rabbitohs celebrates with team mates after scoring.

Happy days ... Dylan Farrell of the Rabbitohs celebrates with team mates after scoring. Photo: Getty Images

When Scott Prince said he had ''enjoyed'' yesterday's loss to South Sydney, it was apparent something unusual was going on. Before long, he admitted it without prompting: the Gold Coast captain had been abused by at least one opponent after throwing the intercept pass that gave Andrew Everingham a 90-metre try half an hour from the end of the Rabbitohs' sixth consecutive win.

''I just enjoyed the challenge to today - I copped a bit of a spray from the Rabbitohs after I threw the intercept pass,'' said Prince, doing his best to remain cool and calm. ''We'll just leave it on the field, yeah, that's what normally happens … Hopefully I get a try assist with that one. I just remember telling them: 'I'm coming back for you, don't fall asleep.'

''Hopefully we're in a position to play them again because I'm looking forward to it.''

Prince's decision to offer up the juicy angle to grateful reporters was one of several unusual events in the aftermath of an entertaining game in which Souths, according to their coach, Michael Maguire, fell some way short of the expectations they have of themselves.

Five-eighth John Sutton was offered up to media representatives for interview afterwards. He said he knew nothing of Prince being sledged. ''I was on the other side - I think when Evo scored I was still on the halfway, getting my breath back,'' he said.

When Adam Reynolds and Everingham emerged at the request of reporters, they said little or nothing, while centre Dylan Farrell claimed the players were ''not allowed'' to speak.

The Rabbitohs denied there had been a blanket ban placed on players but admitted seeking a low profile was the priority heading into Friday's eagerly anticipated game against Manly.

''I'm sure there will be plenty [of hype],'' Maguire said. ''We are playing against the premiers from last year. They're probably flying under the radar a bit, the way they've been going.''

The win was Souths' first at Skilled Park and marked the first time they have put together six on the trot since 1994.

Everingham fumbled Prince's bomb to give Gold Coast their first try, through centre Steve Michaels, in the 12th minute. ''The sun was in my eyes,'' Everingham said. ''The elbows weren't in. It was a shaky start, I had to make up for it.

''Overall, a bit of a disappointing game for myself.''

The response from Farrell came after he kicked ahead and the winger scooped the ball back to him in the 24th minute.

Then came the three minutes everyone was talking about afterwards. In the 33rd, Luke O'Dwyer was ruled to have knocked over Chris McQueen in the lead-up to David Mead crossing and video referee Sean Hampstead chalked off the try. Then, McQueen was ruled not to have knocked on in the air before Justin Hunt crossed for the first of his two Souths tries.

Someone on SportsEars could be heard saying ''he didn't touch it''. Replays suggested McQueen did.

''I don't think anyone would have been surprised if they both went the other way,'' said Gold Coast coach John Cartwright. ''You don't really know what you're going to get and I'm sure they'll have an explanation for it.

''It was critical at the time. It was close to half-time, it was a 12-point turnaround anyway.''

Prince lamented: ''Souths got a lucky one.''

In the second session, the Rabbitohs looked to have spared the referees blushes by opening up a 22-6 lead. Everingham made Prince a verbal target in the 51st minute and Hunt got his second after some heady play by Sutton.

But Gold Coast roared back to put the refs in the crosshairs once more, five-eighth Aidan Sezer (72nd minute) and winger Kevin Gordon moving them to within four - though with fewer than two minutes on the clock.

''Where we are as a group and where we stand as a team, we weren't as happy as what we should have been,'' Maguire said. ''Just the fluency of our attack at times and defensively working together … other than that, there's plenty there that we can work at.''

Souths, or course, still have Issac Luke and Sam Burgess to come back into their side but Burgess could be in trouble for an early hit on William Zillman.

SOUTH SYDNEY 22 (J Hunt 2 A Everingham D Farrell tries A Reynolds 3 goals) bt GOLD COAST 18 (K Gordon S Michaels A Sezer tries S Prince 3 goals) at Skilled Park. Referee: Ben Cummins, Phil Haines. Crowd: 20,187.

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CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
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CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
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CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
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CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
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MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
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SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
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MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
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PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
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WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
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CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
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BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
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SYD ($1.50)vs SOU ($2.65) 19:45AS
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PEN ($2.40)vs NEW ($1.60) 15:00Pepp
STG ($1.75)vs WST ($2.10) 17:30ANZ
NQL ($1.18)vs GCT ($5.00) 19:301300
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PAR ($1.60)vs CBR ($2.40) 14:00Pirtek
CRO ($1.48)vs MAN ($2.70) 16:00Rem
CBY ($1.08)vs NZW ($8.00) 18:30ANZ
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Brisbane Broncos 24 17 7 0 38
North Queensland Cowboys 23 16 7 0 36
Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 32
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 23 14 9 0 32
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 23 13 10 0 30
South Sydney Rabbitohs 23 13 10 0 30
St George-Illawarra Dragons 23 11 12 0 26
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