80 min: The Raiders almost score a consolation try right on full-time but Josh McCrone's kick goes out before Reece Robinson pounces. It's the first time Canberra have been kept tryless since round two when they were thrashed 36-0 by the Titans. Souths were simply superb tonight en route to their fourth consecutive win and may open up a five-point break at the top of the table if other results go their way this weekend.
SOUTH SYDNEY 32 (S Burgess B Goodwin J Hunt I Luke N Merritt D Walker tries A Reynolds 3 B Goodwin goals) bt CANBERRA 2 (J Croker goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referees: Ben Cummins, Chris James.
78 min: Terry Campese kicks out on the full. Full-time can't come soon enough for the Raiders.
That was an awesome try. #NRLsoucan — Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) June 28, 2013
71 min: It's getting embarrassing now for the Raiders with Dylan Walker crossing, after superb kicks by Reynolds and Hunt. Reynolds converts. So much for points being at a premium in the rain! Souths 32-2.
Very disturbing hearing two players in five days scream in agony with dislocations #NRLsoucan — Steve Mascord (@therealsteavis) June 28, 2013
64 min: Souths rack up their fifth try with Luke putting centre Bryson Goodwin over for the simplest of four-pointers. Reynolds misses the kick. The Raiders are just playing for pride now. Souths 26-2.
61 min: More bad news for the Raiders with winger Sandor Earl suffering a dislocated elbow. The poor bloke was screaming in agony. No one will ever convince me rugby league footballers are overpaid - theirs is such a dangerous occupation.
59 min: Superb cut-out pass from Inglis puts Merritt over for the 149th try of his career. Great work by the decoy runners too who opened up the space for Inglis. The smile is back on Merritt's face after disappointing on debut for NSW on Wednesday night. Reynolds makes it from three from four attempts. The Raiders need a miracle now. Rabbitohs 22-2.
57 min: Another superb kick by Reynolds forces a Raiders dropout. That's the 17th time he has done so this season - many say he'd look good in a Blues jumper in a few weeks. His kicking game is certainly top notch.
56 min: Raiders centre Jack Wighton hasn't returned for the second half because of a groin injury. Hopefully for him and the Raiders it's not too serious as Canberra can ill afford to lose another outside back for an extended period.
53 min: Time is marching on and the Raiders remain tryless. They need to strike very soon otherwise we'll soon be hearing Glory, Glory to South Sydney for the umpteenth time this season.
46 min: Despite having 12 tackles on the Rabbitohs' line, the Raiders fail again to crack the home team's line. That's the biggest improvement in Souths this season: their defence. Opponents seldom score a soft try against them.
43 min: He is human - a sliding Greg Inglis fumbles a bomb to put the Raiders on the attack.
41 min: The rain continues to tumble down as play resumes with the Raiders kicking off (a stadium in Sydney with a roof like Melbourne's Etihad Stadium would be handy right now)
Am I imagining it, or has there been NO Tom Waterhouse on the league match tonight? #NRL #league — Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) June 28, 2013
Here's Michael Chammas's summary of the first half:
"Canberra haven't really been in this game. South Sydney are still in second gear but they are doing it easily. The greasy conditions aren't doing the Raiders any favours. They've struggled to build any momentum in attack and their defence of their own tryline has been weak. With Adam Reynolds starting to challenge the line and Issac Luke in one of his moods, the second half isn't going to be pretty for Canberra. Don't be surprised to see Michael Maguire pull Greg Inglis from the field in the final minutes if his side have a comfortable lead."
Log on smh.com.au or pick up a copy of tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald for Michael's match report. Your day will be better for the experience!
Campo needs to run the footy if Raiders are to have any joy. That and put Milford on at dummy half for a bit. No variation at the minute... — Mark Geyer (@markMGgeyer) June 28, 2013
36 min: Blow for Souths as Queensland Origin star Ben Te'o limps off. I was just thinking the other day that the Bunnies had had a great run with injuries to their stars this season. Apparently it only a cork to a calf, though - nothing too serious.
33 min: Great hit by Joel Edwards on Tom Burgess knocks the ball free just after the kick-off and gives his side possession. But the Raiders fail to make anything out of it.
31 min: Issac Luke strolls over from dummy half after a quick play-the-ball by John Sutton. Reynolds raises the flags from in front and Souths go out to a 14-point lead. Souths 16-2. Long way to go, I know, but I did say put your house on Souths.
26 min: Another strong charge by Sauiluma. He's raw but he looks a real prospect.
23 min: The Raiders finally get the ball back after a knock on from centre Dylan Walker attacking the Canberra line.
22 min: The Raiders' woes continue as Sauiluma is put on report for a shoulder charge on Jeff Lima.
19 min: Souths are now eight points clear after a superbly constructed play ends with winger Justin Hunt, who is a terrific back-up player, scoring in the corner. Reynolds is unable to convert. Souths 10-2.
16 min: Souths hit the front as the Dewsbury Destroyer Sam Burgess powers over after a deft short pass from Adam Reynolds. Reynolds converts. Souths 6-2.
14 min: A couple of good runs already by rookie Raiders winger Sami Saulima tonight. The Raiders may have bought Bill Tupou from the Warriors but this kid has no intention of relinquishing his position without a fight.
9 min: Terrific set of six by the Bunnies marches them from one end of the field to the other. That's more like it from the Rabbitohs.
7 min: Another penalty to the Raiders puts them on the attack again but Josh Papallii lets the Bunnies off the hook with an awful pass.
5 min: Raiders take an early lead courtesy of a Jarrod Croker penalty goal. Wise move to take the two because points are likely to be at a premium in these conditions.
2 min: Souths caught in possession inside their own half on the last tackle. Great pressure by the Raiders early on.
The teams are filing out of their dressing rooms now on to a soaked ANZ Stadium. When will these incessant rain ever end? It's driving everyone nuts. The teams weren't allowed to warm up on the field tonight because it is so wet.
Word has just come through that winger Andrew Everingham is a late withdrawal after injuring a rib in the warm-up. Justin Hunt, who played a blinder against Parramatta last week, is back in the side.
Good evening everyone and welcome to our coverage of the opening match of round 16, one that South Sydney should win in a canter if Canberra's woeful away record this season is anything to go by. But you never quite know what the Raiders are going to produce, do you? They are almost as enigmatic as the Warriors, and that's saying something.
There is one late change to the Rabbitohs side - second-rower Chris McQueen has failed to back up from Origin II and will be replaced in the starting side by Ben Lowe. Josh Starling joins the bench. The Raiders are as per program. Join me for all the action from 7.45pm local time.
ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Friday 7.45pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Finals week 2 2012 - Rabbitohs 38 bt Raiders 16 at ANZ Stadium
Head-to-head: Rabbitohs 19 Raiders 27
Referees: Ben Cummins, Chris James
TV: Live, Channel 9
TAB Sportsbet: Rabbitohs $1.20 Raiders $4.75
FootyTab: Raiders +10.5
Phil Mitchell writes: Canberra continue to serve up either rocks and diamonds this season. Apart from a memorable victory in Melbourne in round eight, it’s been rocks when they play away and diamonds within the confines of Canberra Stadium. How such a talented team can produce such a disparate record (6-0 at home and 1-7 away) remains as baffling as the ACT’s roundabouts. One would think it’s only a matter of time before the Green Machine scores its first win in NSW in 2013, but it’s doubtful it will be on Friday night. The Rabbitohs are in rude form, three points clear at the top of the table, and will welcome back their State of Origin quartet. Put your house on Souths - but please gamble responsibly.
Phil's tip: Rabbitohs by 18.
RABBITOHS: Greg Inglis, Nathan Merritt, Bryson Goodwin, Dylan Walker, Justin Hunt, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Dave Tyrrell, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Ben Lowe, Ben Te'o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Nathan Peats, Jeff Lima, Tom Burgess, Josh Starling.
RAIDERS: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Sami Sauiluma, Terry Campese (capt), Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joel Edwards, Sam Mataora, Paul Vaughan, Jarrad Kennedy.