Rabbitohs nearly pull a defeat out of the hat
Imposing figure ... Greg Inglis. Photo: Getty Images
Greg Inglis, retaining the No. 1 jersey despite the return of Nathan Merritt, was particularly imposing. The Maroons ace took only three minutes to score. What is it about him always coming into peak form around Origin time? It must be a coincidence.
For the past three seasons South Sydney have finished only one win outside the top eight.
These are the games they must win to reverse the trend. They got there in the end, as you would expect after such a hot start, but only just. Tariq Sims, having pressed his Origin claims with a tremendous City-Country performance, was placed on report for a late shot on John Sutton.
This should have been over as a contest a quarter of the way through. Souths clocked up 20 unanswered points in as many minutes. All of their big guns – Greg Inglis, Issac Luke and the biggest bazooka of them all, Dave Taylor – ran riot. You can forgive the Cowboys for not being able to stop a rampaging Taylor from bursting over from three metres out. Nothing can. But the way four of them couldn't stop Issac Luke from close range . . . there will be some northerners cringing in their next video review session. This should have been a carve-up. Instead, the Cowboys fought back in the second half but unfortunately for the visitors, they gave the Bunnies too big a start.
WHAT THE RESULT MEANS FOR SOUTHS
Plenty of positives. A quick start, a successful return for Merritt and a win that puts them back into the top eight for now. While their defence held firm in the first half, coach Michael Maguire will be disappointed it was breached so easily in the second.
WHAT THE RESULT MEANS FOR THE COWBOYS
The Cowboys thrived in Darwin last start, notching 50 points against the Roosters. But they find the going tougher on their travels south, winning just five of their 31 matches in Sydney. They can't play all their games at home. An abysmal start cannot be repeated against the Dragons at home on Friday night.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Rabbitohs host Cronulla next Monday. It promises to be a terrific contest. Cowboys stars James Tamou and, match review pending, Sims will be hoping to further press their Blues claims against the Dragons on Friday.
WHAT SOUTHS SAID
“Obviously the Cowboys came at us fairly heavily in the second half; we couldn't quite get control the way we did in the first half." Souths coach Michael Maguire
WHAT THE COWBOYS SAID
“I agree that Souths have some resolve in their defence and they have improved". Cowboys coach Neil Henry