Rampant Rabbitohs close gap on top-four

In a must-win game for both sides, the South Sydney Rabbitohs welcome Manly Sea Eagles to ANZ Stadium to round off Super Saturday.

Both sides went back and forth for the first ten minutes with just one error going the way of Manly.

That error led to the Rabbitohs beginning a set inside the Sea Eagles half and after some quick hand, Steven Marsters got on the outside of Brad Parker and held of Cade Cust to score on debut in the corner.

South Sydney were in red hot form, as Murray offloaded to a barraging Burgess, and a quick play-the-ball and slick ball skills meant Alex Johnston was able to do his thing and slide over on the left-wing.

Johnston picked up a quickfire second in the very next set thanks to Adam Reynolds and Latrell Mitchell combining to create space on the left, and Campbell Graham released the winger for another.

The score was also an eight-point try as Tevita Funa connected with a closed fist to the head of Johnston, which also resulted in a sin-bin for the Manly man.

Johnston would fail his Head Injury Assessment and Campbell Graham moved to the left-wing.

With 19 minutes gone, Graham found himself in space on the left after a bullet pass from Damien Cook, instead of passing back inside, Graham attacked the inside shoulder of Reuben Garrick and crashed over.

Try number five seemed to follow soon after as Marsters tapped back Walker’s high bomb to Jayden Su’A.

The second-rower then flicked the ball back inside to Reynolds, who burrowed over, but the ball was grounded short.

The Sea Eagles managed to hold out for about ten minutes, that was until Reynold’s kick pinballed around and into the hands of Marty Taupau who knocked on.

Cook picked up the loose ball, pushed onto Mitchell, who in turn released Graham for his second of the night on the left-wing.

Everything that could go wrong was going wrong for Manly, as Walker’s kick was controlled by Funa, who bumped off the half-back then passed to Garrick back inside.

However, Mitchell picked off Funa’s pass and scored the easiest try he’d ever score.

Reynolds converted to make it 38-0 with a minute to go until the break.

HALF-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-0 Manly Sea Eagles

It took Manly until the 50th minute to get onto the board as Daly Cherry-Evans found Curtis Sironen in open space, and then passed outside to Jack Gosiewski to score.

The Rabbitohs had stepped off the gas a little in the second half, trying to preserve some energy.

This was allowing Manly to get hold of the ball and attack.

A clever kick from Cherry-Evans found Garrick on the right edge, and the winger made sure to score under the posts to make his kick easier and make it 38-10 from the boot.

The Rabbitohs decided to stop the Sea Eagles in their tracks though, Mitchell cut back against the defence to get within a metre of the line and played the ball quickly for Cook.

The hooker then dropped the ball to Junior Tatola to crash over for Souths seventh try.

Adam Reynolds attempted a 40/20 with ten minutes to go, but Jorge Taufua couldn’t quite stop the ball to put the home side deep in the Sea Eagles half again.

Cook gave the ball to the onrushing Mark Nicholls who offloaded to Mitchell for his second of the night.

Reynolds converted again to bring up the half-century for the Bunnies.

Try number nine came just minutes later as Cody Walker dropped the ball onto his foot down into the corner for Cameron Murray to gather and slide over to get in on the act.

The Sea Eagles did look to pick up another consolation as Cherry-Evans kicked on tackle one from a midfield scrum and Garrick chased ahead to score.

FULL-TIME: South Sydney Rabbitohs 56-16 Manly Sea Eagles


South Sydney Rabbitohs

Mitchell, Johnston, Graham, Marsters, Paulo, Walker, Reynolds, Tatola, Cook, Burgess, Su’A, B. Sironen, Murray

Interchanges: Nicholls, Koloamatangi, Mago, Dillon

Tries: Marsters, Johnston (2), Graham(2), Mitchell (2), Tatola, Murray

Goals: Reynolds (9/9), Mitchel (1/1)

Manly Sea Eagles

Garrick, Taufua, Parker, Suli, Funa, Cust, Cherry-Evans, Paseka, Levi, Fonua-Blake, C. Sironen, Waddell, Trbojevic

Interchanges: Taupau, Croker, Keppie, Gosiewski

Tries: Gosiewski, Garrick (2)

Goals: Garrick (2/3)

Sin-bins: Funa

Referee: G. Sutton

Touch Judges: D. Munro, Z. Przeklasa-Adamski

Video Referee: B. Norrie

Image Source: @NRL (twitter)

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