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Rabbitohs wake from slumber as Dragons lose second straight NRL match

St George-Illawarra 6 South Sydney 26

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Rabbitohs dominate Dragons

The Rabbitohs have broken a three match losing streak after comprehensively beating the Dragons 26-6.

PT0M0S 620 349

As it happened - Souths v Dragons

South Sydney have shaken off their early season funk. After three consecutive defeats, a slide to near the cellar of the NRL ladder and even speculation of discontent in the camp, it is not before time. 

Rampaging Rabbit: Souths' Sam Burgess attacks the Dragons' defence.

Rampaging Rabbit: Souths' Sam Burgess attacks the Dragons' defence. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
STG
Score
6
Team
SOU
Score
26
St George Illawarra versus South Sydney
View Match Statistics
Players de Belin Tries 1 Tries 4 Players Burgess, Clark, Burgess, Inglis
Players Widdop 1/1 (100%) Conversions 1 Conversions 4 Players Reynolds 4/4 (100%)
Players Penalty goals 0 Penalty goals 1 Players Reynolds 1/1 (100%)
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

What Michael Maguire's men dished up wasn't excatly pretty in a 26-6 defeat of the Dragons on Saturday night but the coach will care little for aesthetics. Returning to the power game that thrust them to within a match of last year's grand final the Rabbitohs shook off the cobwebs the only way they know.

Englishman Sam Burgess might be departing the club and the country at season's end but no one can argue his mind is not on the present job at hand. He was a force to be reckoned with 28 runs and 202 metres under his belt, and topped off a dominant personal display with a try. 

Thirteen days after the Major League Baseball began their season at the SCG, Souths had lobbed at the redeveloped grand old lady intent on starting theirs over again. And after three weeks of being more rocks than diamonds this was a result they desperately needed, no matter how it arrived.

The red-and-green won't be immediately re-installed as premiership favourites; they weren't overly slick, but there were good signs they may not be too far from regaining the mojo that went horribly amiss after their 28-8 hiding of the Roosters in round one.

The decision to abort captain John Sutton's early season switch to the back row looks a shrewd one for a start. With Burgess restored at lock the Rabbitohs had a full complement of fully fledged forwards at their disposal, and time and again they were able to trample their way up the ground.

Burgess led the way, and it was no surprise that when they found their way over the line it was via route one. The Englishman and his older brother Luke crossed for tries either side of half-time in similar fashion: thrown flat balls from dummy-half with the line beckoning and smaller opposition tacklers unable to withstand the tide.

The return to the halves of Sutton - in his 212th match breaking Bob McCarthy's club record - also allowed him to share some of the creative load with No.7 Adam Reynolds. 

Souths were given a significant leg-up, too, via a lop-sided penalty count, which at one point early in the second half had stretched to 8-1 in their favour, leaving Dragons captain Ben Creagh somewhere between flumomoxed and furious as he approached referee Gavin Badger.

It forced Steve Price's side to cope with a weight of possession and field position against them that made life difficult and ultimately, as they tired from the task, threatened to see them opened up. 

Inglis, well contained for much of the Heritage Round contest, put the finishing touches on Souths' second win of the season thanks to some smart play from hooker Apisai Koroisau, and moments later burst through into clear pastures again only for the movement to break down soon after. 

There has been plenty made of the absence of the Rabbitohs' star No.9 Issac Luke and while they have certainly missed the New Zealand international - he is sidelined with a shoulder injury - the 21-year-old Fijian rep was another standout for Souths.

It was not the Dragons' evening and they will surrender their surprise spot on top of the premiership ladder, but they were able to ensure they didn't leave the famous venue scoreless when Jack de Bellin crashed over in the final six minutes. 

 

29 comments so far

  • Rugby League is dying.

    Commenter
    Fon star
    Date and time
    April 05, 2014, 10:18PM
    • You remind me of a good mate who supports the Swans. In 1998 he told me that Rugby League would no longer be played in 5 years. I took his bet. I took his money.

      We are all dying, but the important thing is when. If Rugby League is dying, I'm sure it will outlive both you, and I.

      Commenter
      Roger
      Location
      Surry Hills
      Date and time
      April 05, 2014, 10:41PM
    • As much as I love my Rabbitohs and the game and have been a League player and follower for fifty five years I have to agree. I believe the game is being micro managed out of existence. I find the media sorts, all those ex-players making a living out of the game excruciating as they try to package up what we are being dished up as League and tell us it is great, it is not. The game has lost its spontaneity and the individual instances of brilliance are interspersed with countless minutes of pure dreariness. The whole thing is getting a bit like the parable of Emperor’s New Clothes.

      Commenter
      RTP
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      April 05, 2014, 10:51PM
    • Um, 26-6 and you blame the refereeing??? Bahahahahaha !!!!

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 7:39AM
    • I totally agree Fon Star, I was flicking through all four sports last night and the League had the most boring game to go along with the most empty seats in the background. Not the best look for "THE GREATEST GAME OF ALL".. Better off to stick to the small grounds so it looks as if people care

      Commenter
      FC of Sydney
      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 10:40AM
  • The Dragons copped an absolute caning from the refs. The period midway thorough the first half summed it up. Souffs dropped the ball cold and the refs incredibly said it came off Thompson despite replays showing he didn't get anywhere near the ball. Two tackles later Souffs dropped the ball cold again and Souffs got a penalty! The refs at this stage knowing it was getting ridiculous called Creagh out to get 'a warning' and thereby showing there was no bias at all. At least showing to the weak minded but no one else. Souffs scored a few tackles later.

    Full marks to supercoach Price for giving Quinlan a chance in the halves but now we know it's a nonstarter. Widdop to half and Stanley to 5/8 is your only chance supercoach.

    Commenter
    Reyter
    Date and time
    April 05, 2014, 10:53PM
    • What's wrong with Josh Drinkwater?
      He has become the invisible man.

      Commenter
      Zycononclast
      Date and time
      April 05, 2014, 11:29PM
    • There's a good reason Josh Drinkwater is not playing first grade for the Dragons this year: he isn't a Dragons player. He plays for the London Broncos.
      In the four 1st grade games he played for the Dragons last year, he failed to impress. Now the Dragons are spoiled for choice for quality half backs, Despite Quinlan getting the nod this week, I think Sam Williams is the best choice for hlaf. Leave Widdop at 5/8th

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 9:46AM
  • Oh yeah! Thats the Souths we all know! Cop that youse haters. Youse just know that come the business end of the season, the mighty Rabbits will destroy your mobs. How dominant were the Brothers Burgess? Best forwards in the world. And once Isaac Luke is back, I cant see any team stopping us. Premiership coming up, and parties on the streets of mighty Redfern tonight!

    Commenter
    Bouncing Bunny of Struggle Street
    Date and time
    April 05, 2014, 11:46PM
    • just like last years finals series? and the other 42 seasons before that?

      Commenter
      peeeko
      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 2:07AM

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