South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis made a successful comeback from an 11-month injury layoff on Saturday night, helping the Rabbitohs to a tense 22-18 defeat of St George Illawarra in the annual Charity Shield at Mudgee.
Back in action after missing almost the entire 2017 season with a knee injury, Inglis looked strong in the first half before being rested for the second half.
Prized off-season recruit Dane Gagai got through the whole game in his first hit-out in Rabbitohs colours and saved his team a couple of times when the Dragons threatened to steal the match at the death.
The Bunnies trailed early after a try to Dragons winger Nene Macdonald before locking it up at 6-6 with winger Richie Kennar’s converted try.
Matt Dufty scored to give the Dragons a 12-6 lead, but Souths replied with tries to Angus Crichton and Robert Jennings and a penalty goal to lead 16-12 at half-time.
The Bunnies controlled proceedings in the second half, extending their lead to 22-12 with Cody Walker’s try before Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau crossed under the posts to set up a frantic final 10 minutes.