The Rabbitohs have put in their most dominant performance of the season, monstering the Raiders 42-22 on the back of a Sam Burgess masterclass but the English enforcer potentially faces yet another suspension.
Returning from a two-week layoff for raising the elbow into Bulldog Josh Morris on Good Friday, Burgess was simply immense against Canberra, running 203 metres with four offloads and six tackle busts and setting the tone for the win.
However a 59th-minute high shot on Aidan Sezer – with his team already up 36-12 – led to a major flare-up between the sides and saw him placed on report with another suspension potentially beckoning given his loading from two prior incidents already this year will count against him. His brother George joined him on report for a high shot on Luke Bateman in the 71st minute.
Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis continues to edge back towards his best footy, scoring another try – his fourth in successive games – this time via an 80-metre intercept play. Halfback Adam Reynolds was another key performer, producing a series of perfectly-weighted kicks to hem the Raiders inside their own red-zone.
The match saw a quick three-try burst from Souths before a mini Canberra fightback that was snuffed out when Jarrod Croker was sin-binned early in the second half for a professional foul and the Bunnies piled on two more quick tries to effectively end the contest.
Match: Rabbitohs v Raiders
Round 7 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
The danger signs started early for the Raiders when Alex Johnston cut his way through a feeble attempted tackle from Blake Austin in the third minute.
A monster Sam Burgess run to set his team back on the attack shortly after led to Cody Walker slicing his way between Austin and Siliva Havili in just the seventh minute.
Souths remained in front of the clock when a beautiful left-side set play isolated Joey Leilua and allowed Robert Jennings to glide over untouched in the left corner. A penalty goal stretched South Sydney's lead to 18-0 before the mini-fightback from the Green Machine.
An error in Souths' red zone by Angus Crichton put the Raiders in range for Nick Cotric to finish off a set move with a quality finish in the corner.
Greg Inglis plucked an intercept from a high cut-out pass to stride 80 metres and score for 24-6 but a series of quick penalties late in the half allowed Elliott Whitehead to burrow over for a 24-12 half-time score that flattered the Raiders after a dominant opening 40 minutes from the Rabbitohs.
GI extends Rabbitohs' lead
A Damien Cook line break shortly after the resumption was supported by Angus Crichton who was tackled off the ball, resulting in Croker being sin-binned and Reynolds adding another two points.
With Croker off, both Souths wingers – Richie Kennar and Jennings – cashed in on overlaps to stretch their side to a 36-12 lead.
Club veteran Jason Clark crashed over off a Cook short ball for 42-16 before late consolation tries to Croker and Whitehead – for his double – rounded out the 42-22 result that leaves Canberra struggling at 2-5 for the season while the Bunnies join fifth-placed Melbourne on eight ladder points.