South Sydney Rabbitohs 32
Try Scorers: Johnston (2), Turner (2), Merritt.
Goals: Reynolds (6/6)
Wests Tigers 10
Try Scorers: Austin, Richards.
Goals: Richards (1/2)
The South Sydney Rabbitohs continued their recent good form with a convincing 32-10 victory over the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
In front of over 20,000 fans, the Rabbitohs capitalised on poor handling and too many penalties from the Tigers to ensure they kept in touch with the top four.
The Tigers started poorly when Martin Taupau dropped the ball off the first play of the match.
The Tigers were able to hold the home side out and even troubled the Rabbitohs’ line with back-to-back sets but in the 13th minute the pressure proved too much. Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston crossed over out wide after Chris Lawrence misjudged a cross-field kick which allowed Isaac Luke to get the ball and send Johnston over.
Adam Reynolds’ conversion from the sideline was successful and the Rabbitohs led 6-0 after 15 minutes.
The pressure on the Tigers’ defence continued with the Tigers guilty of poor discipline and twice being taken over the sideline in the space of a couple of minutes. This would come back to bite them in the 28th minute when Kyle Turner burst through a gaping hole from a scrum and went over virtually untouched.
Reynolds made no mistake from next to the posts and the home side went into the break with a 12-0 lead.
The second half started better for the Tigers as an inventive kick-off from Pat Richards saw them regain possession. In the resulting set, utility Blake Austin burrowed over from dummy-half for the first Tigers try.
Richards had the easy task of plotting it over from next to the posts and reduced the score to 12-6.
Just two minutes later the Rabbitohs regained their twelve point lead through Johnston. As James Tedesco received treatment from the trainer, Johnston burst through and with no one home at the back scored under the posts.
Reynolds had another easy kick to make it 18-6.
Ten minutes later, Nathan Merritt joined the try scorers list after being on the end of a beautiful offload from Sam Burgess.
It was another good night with the boot for Reynolds who made no mistake. Rabbitohs lead 24-6 after 56 minutes.
The Tigers were down and out before a cross-field kick was batted back by Tim Simona and Tedesco cleverly kicked for himself and had too much pace for the defence to score.
Richards was unsuccessful from close to the sideline as the Rabbitohs led 24-10 with 16 minutes left.
The Tigers were getting desperate and in the 73rd minute Pat Richards attempted to regain the ball from a drop out but it sailed over the sideline on the full.
Adam Reynolds opted to take the penalty goal and extended the Rabbitohs’ lead, the score 26-10 with 8 minutes left.
With the last play of the game, the Rabbitohs spread the ball close to the line and found makeshift centre Kyle Turner who stepped inside at the last minute to get his second of the night.
Reynolds was on fire from the tee and was again successful to give the home side a convincing victory.