From Souths official website:
Words: Tom Skolarikis I Photos: Col Whelan – Nrlphotos.com
The South Sydney Rabbitohs extended their top of the table lead to five points with a convincing 32-2 win over the Canberra Raiders in front of 11,167 Members and supporters.
The Rabbitohs took the field wearing the ‘House of El, Man of Steel’ Rabbitohs Jersey (our bold), and lived up to the famous symbols reputation, showing great steel in both attack and defence in poor weather conditions to account for the eighth placed Raiders.
Canberra took no chances with the first placed Rabbits early with a penalty for offside within kicking distance enough to get the Raiders on the board in the 5th minute. Centre Jarrod Croker slotted the two pointer to give the visitors an early 2-0 lead.
But the Raiders would not score again, with some fancy footwork from Adam Reynolds close to the line setting up a converted try for Sam Burgess under the posts, giving the Rabbitohs the lead for the first time in the match.
From the ensuing set, Nathan Merritt broke clear through the Raiders’ line, but was caught just short by Raiders fullback and Souths Junior Reece Robinson. A penalty to Souths one tackle later gave Justin Hunt an opportunity to slide in to the corner to extend Souths’ lead to 10-2 – Reynolds having missed the conversion from the touch-line.
A penalty against Canberra for a shoulder charge on Roy Asotasi saw the offender Sam Sauiluma placed on report in the 18th minute, but the men in red and green failed to capitalise immediately.
Issac Luke broke the points drought ten minutes before the break with a sneaky try from dummy-half close to the line catching the Raiders’ defence napping. Reynolds converted from close range to extend the lead to 16-2.
The Rabbitohs continued the momentum in defence just before half time, with the side enduring three repeat sets on their own line from a determined Canberra. But Souths’ defence held strong, going in to the break ahead 16-2.
An uncharacteristic drop-ball from Greg Inglis paved the way for the Raiders to apply pressure on the resumption, but the visitors came up short with Souths’ steely defence again holding strong.
From Origin opponents on Wednesday to teammates for the Rabbits, Nathan Merritt and Greg Inglis combined in the 60th minute, with Inglis putting a perfect pass on to Merritt’s chest to send the flying finisher over in the corner. Reynolds converted for the Bunnies to lead 22-2.
But the men in red and green weren’t done yet, with Bryson Goodwin touching down in the corner after taking a quick pass from dummy half down the blind side. Reynolds again added the extras to give Souths a 26-6 lead with just under 15 minutes to go.
The Rabbitohs were still not content though, with replacement winger Justin Hunt showing great vision to chip in to the in goal from 40 metres out for the flying Dylan Walker to touch down. Bryson Goodwin converted for the Bunnies to finish the match at 32-2.