St George Illawarra Dragons 6 (De Belin try; Widdop goal)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 26 (S.Burgess, L.Burgess, Inglis, Clark tries; Reynolds 5 goals) at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Crowd:24,368
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have cruised to a 26-6 defeat of a disappointing St George Illawarra Dragons outfit at the Sydney Cricket Ground tonight.
The stage was set for an epic battle between two old rivals but the Dragons were outplayed by an impressive Rabbitohs, assisted by a lopsided penalty count, that finished 11-6 in favour of the victors.
The opening 20 minutes resembled one of the many arm wrestles between the two great sides of the 1950’s and 1960’s before the Rabbitohs skipped away to a 14-0 half time lead.
The Rabbitohs opened the scoring in the 11th minute via an Adam Reynolds penalty goal and were denied a Joel Reddy try in the 21st minute as they dominated field position and possession during the first half.
They finally cracked the Dragons defence through a Luke Burgess try besides the posts in the 29th minute. Reynolds converted for an 8-0 lead.
With just 5 minutes left in the first half the Rabbitohs scored their second when Jason Clark scored besides the posts. Reynolds added the extras and the Rabbitohs were all over the Dragons at 14-0.
Sam Burgess joined his brother on the scorer’s sheet in the 53rd minute with a barnstorming try under the posts. Reynolds made it 4/4 with the simple conversion and his side led 20-0.
With ten minutes left in a dour contest that wasn’t reaching any great heights some magic football between John Sutton and Apisai Koroisau found a flying Greg Inglis and he breezed past Josh Dugan to ice the game. Reynolds converted to make it 26-0.
The Dragons finally crossed through Jack De Belin in the 72nd minute when he ran onto an inside ball from Mitch Rein. Widdop converted to add some respectability to the score line but the Rabbitohs ran out winners 26-6.
The Dragons were never really in the contest and looked lost in attack, despite the return of Josh Dugan that saw Adam Quinlan shifted to half back. Jason Nightingale and Brett Morris were both put on report for shoulder charges.