The South Sydney Rabbitohs defeated the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 38 points to 18 in front of a crowd of 10183 at Brookvale Oval tonight (Saturday).
The night would see the Rabbitohs scores a total of six tries with Alex Johnston scoring his 50th and 51st NRL tries while both Robert Jennings and Robbie Farah added a Rabbitohs try next to their names.
Manly were the first to add a four pointer to the scoreboard sending the ball smoothly down their backline and finding a gap on the far right side of the Rabbitohs defence. An unsuccessful conversion attempt by Dylan Walker saw Manly lead four points to nil, five minutes into the game.
It wouldn’t look good for the Rabbitohs in the next ten minutes with Manly dominating the field with possession and finding the line on two more occasions.
Despite a strong hold in defence by the Rabbitohs, Manly were too quick and found a gap and the line for their second try through Brian Kelly. The home side again gave their fans something to cheer about when a Cody Walker grubber was picked up by Manly’s Akuila Uate who made a break and with a clean pass off to teammate Tom Trbojevic saw Manly add their third try and extended their lead 12 points to nil.
But the Rabbitohs were not giving up nor backing down. The less than ideal start was quickly squashed in the 17th minute when Souths were rewarded with their persistence with a try to Rabbitohs debutant Robert Jennings.
The Rabbitohs speed and rhythm started to come together and the aggression on the field started to lift. Manly were the first to fault and Blake Green was sent to the bin after tripping Kyle Turner who was on his way to a grubber in goal from Jason Clark.
It didn’t take long for the Rabbitohs to take advantage and steal the spotlight from Manly when Cody Walker found his way to the try line after faking a dummy and slipping right through Manly’s defence. The three missed conversions from Manly’s centre, Dylan Walker looked to make an impact as a second successful conversion brought the Rabbitohs score level at 12 points each.
The Rabbitohs would break ahead for the first time in the match when an offload from Cody Walker fell into the arms of John Sutton who dived over the line under the uprights for his first 2017 try. The Rabbitohs led 18 points to 12 going into the sheds at halftime.
The second half saw both teams ramp up the aggression but Manly would be the team to find the line first with a try to their captain, Daly Cherry-Evans. A successful conversion levelled the scores for the second time in the game, 18 points each.
But not long after, an error from Manly deep in their own half saw a dropped ball picked up by an offside player rewarding Souths with a penalty. Reynolds successful penalty goal kick took his side into the lead 20 points to 18.
With 13 minutes left in the game and nerves still trembling at the sight of the close scores, an individual milestone was met when Alex Johnston found himself scoring his 50th NRL try.
As the clock ticked down, the Rabbitohs momentum lifted. Damien Cook made an impact, making metres and offloading to Jennings who ran the field with Robbie Farah by his side, floating it to his teammate who would score his first try with the Rabbitohs.
A try scoring machine, Johnston didn’t stay at his 50th try for long picking up a well-weighted grubber by Farah and slamming the ball down for his second try for the night. Both tries were converted by Reynolds finishing off the game 38 points to 18.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 (Robert Jennings 1, Cody Walker 1, John Sutton 1, Alex Johnston 2, Robbie Farah 1 tries, Adam Reynolds 7 goals)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 18 (Akuila Uate 1, Brian Kelly 1, Daly Cherry-Evans 1 tries; Dylan Walker 1 goal)