Rabbitohs victory soured by serious injury

By Zachary Gates and Brett Graham

The Rabbitohs held off a fast-finishing Warriors outfit to return to the winners’ list on Saturday, but the triumph was soured by a serious injury suffered by Jacob Host.

The second-rower left play with the help of a trainer after reaggravating an injury to his right shoulder during the first set of the game.

Host combined with Jai Arrow for a tackle on Aaron Pene and came out of it grimacing, having dislocated his shoulder.

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“I think he’s dislocated his shoulder again,” Souths coach Jason Demetriou said.

“He’ll have to go see the specialist, more than likely he’ll have surgery.”

The Rabbitohs took a 26-6 lead into the half-time break but the Warriors fired in the second 40-minute period, closing the deficit to 32-30.

The Warriors scored their final two tries when the Rabbitohs had just 12 men on the field, after hooker Damien Cook was sin-binned for impeding Reece Walsh as the speedster pursued a Shaun Johnson grubber.

Cody Walker had appeared lost without former halves partner Adam Reynolds over the opening nine rounds of the season, but the gun five-eighth returned to form in brilliant fashion on Saturday.

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Perhaps buoyed by gaining the captaincy in the absence of the injured Cameron Murray, Walker set up three tries and showed glimpses of his exceptional attacking best.

“It’s no surprise to me how he played,” Demetriou said.

“He’s been having moments like that in the last few weeks, it’s just that little bit more responsibility, I thought he handled it really well. His kicking game was outstanding.”

Warriors coach Nathan Brown was left to lament a disastrous start, that effectively cost his side the match.

“We’ve got to focus on why the first half happened,” he said.

“That’s certainly not where you want to be as a football club.”

The Warriors will meet the Dragons at Jubilee Oval next Saturday, while the Rabbitohs are set for a clash with the Raiders in Dubbo next Sunday.

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