Panthers 2 Rabbitohs 18

Wet and wild: Panthers centre Jamal Idris is stopped in his tracks by Adam Reynolds, Sam Burgess and Dylan Walker.

Wet and wild: Panthers centre Jamal Idris is stopped in his tracks by Adam Reynolds, Sam Burgess and Dylan Walker. Photo: Getty Images

Nathan Merritt became South Sydney's most prolific tryscorer on the same night two Rabbitohs rookies notched up the first tries of their careers in the 18-2 win against Penrith.

Kyle Turner and debutant Kirisome Auva'a helped South Sydney post back-to-back wins for the first time this season after grinding out a hard-fought victory against the Panthers at a wet and miserable Sportingbet Stadium on Friday night.

Last week John Sutton became South Sydney's most capped player when he overtook Bob McCarthy with his 212th game for the Bunnies at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Merritt reward: South Sydney players congratulate Nathan Merritt after the winger scored his 145th try for the club, taking him past Benny Wearing's previous record.

Merritt reward: South Sydney players congratulate Nathan Merritt after the winger scored his 145th try for the club, taking him past Benny Wearing's previous record. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
PEN
Score
2
Team
SOU
Score
18
Penrith versus South Sydney
View Match Statistics
Players Tries 0 Tries 3 Players Auva'a, Merritt, Turner
Players Conversions 0 Conversions 2 Players Reynolds 2/3 (66%)
Players Soward 1/1 (100%) Penalty goals 1 Penalty goals 1 Players Reynolds 1/1 (100%)
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

This week it was Merritt's turn to etch his name into the famous club's record books, notching up try No.145 for the Rabbitohs in the second half to break a five-game drought to surpass Benny Wearing's previous club record.

Don't let Penrith's two-point tally fool you - they had more opportunities than their opponents to win this game of rugby league, with South Sydney forced to make more tackles.

However it was an incredible display of goal-line defence from the Rabbitohs which continually denied the Panthers, who couldn't find a way through the red and green wall despite several repeat sets attacking the line in both halves.

The win takes South Sydney to three wins from six games, equal with Penrith, who take on competition frontrunners Gold Coast at Sportingbet Stadium next Monday night.

As it did last week at the foot of the mountains, the rain tumbled on to Sportingbet Stadium before kick-off, turning an already heavy track into a slippery slide in front of a crowd of 11,674.

Given South Sydney's size in the engine room, a battle of the forwards was always going to play into their hands, however their inability to control the ball - as well as their indiscipline - saw the Panthers camped down their end of the field for the majority of the first half.

The Rabbitohs completed just 11 of 17 sets and were on the wrong end of an 8-5 penalty count in the first half, but their inpenetrable defence on their own line saw the visitors go into the sheds at half time with the scores locked at 2-2.

It was a penalty against Brent Kite in front of his own line which gifted South Sydney the first points of the match, with Reynolds making no mistake with his penalty goal from right in front of the posts.

After 28 tackles in South Sydney's 20 metre zone and repeated sets of six trying to penetrate the Rabbitohs line, the Panthers finally registered points through a penalty goal to Soward in the 31st minute.

South Sydney debutant Auva'a, who was a late replacement for Joel Reddy (knee), was hardly called upon in the first half.

The 22-year-old Samoan was one of four rookies in South Sydney's side on Friday night - including Apisai Koroisau, Kyle Turner and Cameron McInnes - marking the memorable milestone with a try early in the second half.

Merritt then created history when he finished off a sweeping backline play to give South Sydney a 12-2 lead after a sideline conversion from Reynolds.

A mistake from Josh Mansour trying to contain a bomb allowed Greg Inglis to pick up the crumbs and offload to Turner to score his first try after four games in the top grade.

Jamie Soward was put on report for coming into contact with the head of Merritt, while George Burgess could find himself in hot water after what appeared to be a trip on Matt Moylan in the third minute.

Adam Reynolds was also placed on report for a chicken wing tackle on Jamal Idris in the 28th minute.