Latrell Mitchell lined-up at full-back against his former side, as the Sydney Roosters looked to pick up their first win of the season against bitter rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Roosters were the first on the board after just five minutes as Luke Keary’s kick to the corner was comfortably gathered by Daniel Tupou to pick up a four-pointer.
After a slow start, the Bunnies were trying to force the Roosters on the back-foot, however, Jake Friend was dictating the tempo of the game for the home side.
Both teams completed sets well between the 10th and 20th minute, as neither side managed to take control of the game in their own way.
The Roosters looked to have scored try number two just before the half-hour mark, a break down the left-hand edge from Tupou, left Roosters with a four-on-one, and Kyle Flanagan was the recipient of Josh Morris’ kick ahead to score under the posts.
A break from Braidon Burns and Alex Johnston put the Rabbitohs on the front foot and was denied after a superb tackle from Brett Morris, and it was Morris again who tapped the ball behind the dead-ball line to deny the visitors.
After picking up back-to-back penalties, Souths found themselves camped deep inside the Roosters territory and managed to hit back.
Latrell Mitchell took the ball to the line and popped a short pass to the onrushing Cameron Murray. The second-rower powered over Luke Keary and Angus Crichton to score with three minutes until the break.
HALF-TIME: Sydney Roosters 12-6 South Sydney Roosters
The Roosters started the second-half the better of the two sides. James Tedesco, from a standing start, 30 metres away from the Bunnies line, stepped outside Cameron Murray and Troy Dargan, then outpaced Mitchell to put the home side 10 points ahead.
The Tri-Colours stretched ahead even more in the 30th minute, Luke Keary skipped across the South Sydney line and gave the ball onto the on running Boyd Cordner to pushed his way over to score.
With 25 minutes of the game remaining, Jake Friend left the field for the Roosters, after the Rabbits lost both Bailey Sironen and Liam Knight to Head Injury Assessments as well.
The Bunnies finally managed to get into some good field position of their own, and Thomas Burgess took advantage of a hard-working Sydney defence and used his strength to power the ball over the line at a stretch.
With the game swinging back towards South Sydney, they were determined to close the gap to within a try.
Unfortunately for Wayne Bennett’s side, they were just too tired to break through a hard-working Roosters defence.
A few errors from the visitors made their heads drop, and Jake Friend find himself with ball in hand, and Latrell Mitchell out of position.
He kicked behind and regathered to score beside the posts. Flanagan converted his fourth of the night, to make it 28-12 with just two minutes remaining.
The final two minutes ticked by with not much action, and the Roosters picked up their first two points of 2020.
FULL-TIME: Sydney Roosters 28-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tedesco, Tupou, J. Morris, Manu, B. Morris, Keary, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Liu, Cordner, Crichton, Radley
Interchanges: Verrills, Tupouniua, Butcher, Collins
Tries: Tupou, Flanagan, Tedesco, Cordner, Friend
Goals: Flanagan (4/5)
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Mitchell, Gagai, Graham, Burns, Johnston, Dargan, Reynolds, Tatola, Cook, Burgess, Su’a, Murray, Knight.
Interchanges: Nicholls, Lowe, Sironen, Amone
Tries: Murray, Burgess
Goals: Reynolds (2/2)
Referee: A. Klein
Touch Judges: C. Butler, P. Gough
Video Referee: B. Norrie
Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)