Round Two saw the Rabbitohs win by their biggest margin all season, winning by 48 points to six against the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium.
Decked out in their Batman v Superman jersey's, the Rabbitohs were without veterans John Sutton and Adam Reynolds who sustained injuries in Round One yet saw the return of Luke Keary at halfback and George Burgess at prop, with both players returning from suspension.
View highlights from the match in the video player above and read the Match Report below.
Words: Tom Skolarikis I Photos: Nrlphotos.com
South Sydney have scored their second win of the 2016 season after running riot over the Newcastle Knights by 48-6 in the Club’s return home to ANZ Stadium tonight (Saturday).
A hat-trick of tries to winger Aaron Gray, and doubles to Alex Johnston and Bryson Goodwin capped off a relentless effort that saw the men in Red and Green rack up their second consecutive big score following their Round 1 win over the Roosters.
Just three minutes in, the Rabbitohs asserted their authority when Luke Keary put up a final tackle kick into the Knights in-goal, with Bryson Goodwin leaping to score next to the posts. Goodwin converted his own try to give the home-side an early 6-0 lead.
The Rabbitohs almost backed up the effort off the very next set when the team went virtually 100m to come within a whisker of scoring through Inglis – the skipper unable to handle the loose-pass on the ground.
But Souths fans needn’t have worried, for from the next set, a wrap-around from Cameron McInnes that would eventually swing out to Aaron Gray would result in a four-pointer to the Souths Junior – Gray leaping into the corner to plant the ball down. Goodwin’s touch-line conversion attempt was waved away, leaving the score at 10-0 in favour of the Rabbitohs.
While the Rabbitohs dominating field-position, the Knights looked unlikely to score inside the first 20 minutes, until an error from the home-side deep in their own side of half-way invited Newcastle to chance their hand.
Mercifully, a suspected try to Akuila Uate on the back of the error was denied by the Bunker for an obstruction, leaving the Knights blowing up and the score at 10-0.
The penalty to Souths would march the Rabbitohs up-field and eventually result in Gray scoring his second in almost identical fashion to his first effort, taking the score to 14-0 – Goodwin unable to add the extras.
Souths were about to provide a magical memory for those in attendance, when Sam Burgess took a ball before hitting and spinning, passing on to Paul Carter who in turn offloaded to Keary who raced the remaining 30 metres to score a brilliant try. Goodwin added the extras to make it 20-0 with 16 minutes in the first half remaining.
Gray would then pick up a hat-trick with four minutes left – Souths going from one side of the field to the other with some bullet passing that caught the Knights short on their right hand side for the third time in the match. Goodwin was again unsuccessful with the conversion taking the teams to the break with Souths leading by a whopping 24-0.
On the resumption, despite some ill-discipline from the Rabbitohs, some brutal Hymel Hunt defence saw the side turn defence into attack, with Alex Johnston crossing in the corner to extend Souths’ lead further. Goodwin landed the conversion from the sideline to make it 30-0.
Johnston would back up the effort mere moments later when he put on a vicious step and fend before racing 30 odd metres to score his second try of the afternoon. Goodwin then made it two sideline conversions in a row to make it 36-0.
Hymel Hunt was then denied a try after his four-pointer was sent to the Bunker for review – match officials finding that Sam Burgess had obstructed the defence.
But Goodwin had no such dramas when he overpowered the Newcastle defence to come up with his second four-pointer of the night before converting it from the sideline.
Newcastle celebrated briefly after they were certain that replacement forward Danny Levi had scored. But the Bunker disagreed, and just a couple of plays later Cameron McInnes and the Bunker again denied the Knights – highlighting South Sydney’s incredible defence.
Hymel Hunt would then provide some extra sting to the Newcastle loss when he steamed onto a perfectly timed and weighted Cody Walker bomb to score a brilliant try. Goodwin converted to make it 48-0.
With two minutes of the match remaining, Knights winger Nathan Ross grabbed a consolation try by getting outside Greg Inglis on the wing to finally get on the score board.
Rabbitohs 48 (Bryson Goodwin 2, Aaron Gray 3, Luke Keary, Alex Johnston 2, Hymel Hunt, tries; Bryson Goodwin 6 goals)
Knights 6 (Nathan Ross, try; Trent Hodkinson 1 goal)