The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Sydney Roosters in the final Round of the NRL Premiership by 30-0 at Allianz Stadium, the Roosters taking the Minor Premiership and the Ron Coote Cup in the process - the men in red and green finishing seventh.
In front of 25,109 Members and supporters, the Rabbitohs managed to keep the Roosters scoreless in the second half, but struggled to post points themselves after leaking 30 first-half points in the opening half hour of the match.
The game started poorly for the Roosters, who knocked on in just the second tackle of the match on their own 20 metre line, gifting Souths possession in prime field position.
A mistake from the Rabbitohs coupled with a string of penalties to the Roosters though was all that was need for the home-side to get a leg-up in the field-position stakes, with Michael Jennings eventually finishing off a movement to grab first points. Maloney converted to give the Chooks the lead eight minutes in.
Mere minutes later, a cross-field kick from Maloney to Blake Ferguson on a last tackle play, saw the centre swoop in and score the side’s second of the night. Maloney added the extras to make it 12-0.
The cross-field kick was again proved to be a dangerous ploy when Jackson Hastings hoisted a kick to the wing of Joel Reddy, who couldn’t secure the ball. The Roosters’ Boyd Cordner made no mistake though in picking up the crumbs before Maloney added the extras to make it 18—0 after as many minutes.
Cordner was at it again in the 20th minute when he attacked from short-range before passing off the ground to a flying Jake Friend – the hooker scoring 10 metres away from the posts. Maloney converted to make the score 24-0.
While everything was going the Roosters’ way, Maloney was placed on report for tripping after a Rabbitohs player collected the five-eighths drop ball.
With seven minutes in the first half remaining, the Rabbitohs got their first meaningful use of the ball when Adam Reynolds put a grubber-kick into the in-goal that forced a line-drop-out, but the Roosters defence would ultimately hold strong.
Aidan Guerra added his name to the scorecard with the first half winding down, with Maloney adding the extras to take the score to 30-0 at the break.
After the first half avalanche of points, the Rabbitohs managed to stem the tide defensively, but were unable to post points themselves. The Tricolours weren’t losing much defensively either with Sam Moa pulling off a number of big hits in quick succession on George Burgess and Glenn Stewart, the latter of which left the field.
Things went from bad to worse for the Rabbitohs when a long-range break beginning inside their own in-goal and finishing just one metre short of the try-line, was stopped by Chris McQueen. But McQueen laid on the tackle too long and found himself in the sin-bin – the Rabbitohs now a man short.
With just under two minutes remaining in the match, Jackson Hastings raced through a yawning gap to seemingly score the first points of the second half, but the video referee deemed that Hastings lost the ball over the line.
The Roosters finished the match with their third consecutive Minor Premiership and the Ron Coote Cup.
Roosters 30 (Michael Jennings, Blake Ferguson, Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Aidan Guerra, tries; James Maloney 5 goals)