South Sydney winger Alex Johnston snatched Nathan Merritt’s record of 146 trials, standing alone as the highest scorer of all time for the oldest club in the NRL.
The Rabitohos are back with a devastating win against the West Tigers from last week’s defeat, where they trailed 18-12 at halftime to score 32 unbeaten second-half points.
It was the first time in 2022 that the Southers trailed by a margin and went on to win – as their left edge buzzed to the end – Johnston grabbed his second and third try, inside the men’s doubles as Campbell Graham Crossing and Cody Walker we would be.
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Johnston later said, “It means a lot to me, there is no club I will play for.”
“I love this club and breaking this record is something I never dreamed of.”
Johnston made his debut for the Rabbitohs’ 2014 title-winning season, scoring in the grand finale – and has been a permanent fixture in the left wing for the Rabbitohs ever since, with some appearances at fullback.
“He’s one of the best finishers I’ve ever seen,” Walker said.
“She knows where to be in a certain position on the footy field and we’ve built a great relationship on that left end.
“She looks beautiful to me,” he added.
Johnston’s next stop is immortality throughout the league, not just Cardinal and Martel. At just 26 years old, Johnston has surpassed Ken Irwin’s all-time record of 212 by a healthy but indomitable number.
Johnston will have to make 65 more attempts to catch the Bears legend, assuming he stays healthy, it would be better to arrive in the next three or four seasons.
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But off the record, it was a much-needed victory for the Rabbits, who have been in mid-table moderation for most of the year.
Asu Kepawar is an intercept and thanks to a Ken Maumallo score after a 12-0 lead at the start, the South Score struggled to return to parity as the former Warriors winger grabbed his second in half time, putting the spectators in front.
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This will be the last time they have scored, as the South finally took advantage of the occupied mountain and field position to steamroll the Tigers in the final 40 minutes, stopping a scoring of their own through Jackson Paolo.
Cameron Murray has returned from injury without a problem, and looks set to return to the fold for the first State of the Origin game, with both teams bidding farewell to the Origin-infested week next week.
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