The South Sydney Rabbitohs have opened the 2014 NRL season with a comfortable 28-8 win over a disappointing Sydney Roosters outfit at ANZ Stadium. Just 27,282 fans were on hand to witness a one-sided game in which Greg Inglis scored three tries and Chris McQueen was unlucky not to win man of the match honours after an outstanding individual display.
Despite scoring the opening try in the 12th minute, the Roosters were never really in the contest and looked pedestrian in attack and let in soft tries, something that will not please head coach Trent Robinson. His counterpart Michael Maguire will be very happy with his side’s efforts, as they fought back from an early deficit and controlled much of the match. Dylan Walker was solid in his first hit out at five eighth, while Ben Teo had some nice touches, setting up Inglis’ second try and putting on some big hits in defence.
The Roosters opened the scoring in the 12th minute when a Rabbitohs kick was charged down. Roosters winger Daniel Topou won the race to the ball as it rolled towards the touchline and kicked it back infield, then kicked again, before being tackled by Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds as he chased the ball. Jennings won the race to the loose ball to score one of the more remarkable tries, saving Reynolds from an almost certain trip to the sin bin. James Maloney converted from in front to make it 6-0.
With 25 minutes gone, Greg Inglis powered his way over the line despite the attention of several Roosters defenders. Reynolds converted to tie the game up at 6-all. Both sides fought hard for the remainder of the half but couldn’t add further points in a brutal start to the season.
Five minutes into the second half a Maloney penalty goal edged the Roosters in front 8-6, before a beautiful offload by Ben Teo found Inglis who breezed through the defence to score untouched, his second try of the night. Reynolds’ conversion gave the Rabbitohs the lead, 12-8 after 55 minutes. An Adam Reynolds penalty goal pushed the score to 14-8 two minutes later.
Referee Luke Phillips suffered a calf injury and was unable to complete the match, replaced by Grant Atkins.The new referee didn’t help the Roosters’ cause, as they gave away silly penalties and another Reynolds penalty goal made it 16-8 with 15 minutes left.
Bryson Goodwin leapt high to score the Rabbitohs third try of the night and Reynold’s perfect night with the boot continued to make it 22-8, before Inglis scored his third try with a simple barge over try in the dying stages, converted by Reynolds.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 (Inglis 3, Goodwin tries; Reynolds 6 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 8 (Jennings try; Maloney 3 goals) at ANZ Stadium.
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