Despite battling through injury, the South Sydney Rabbitohs Canterbury Cup side have dismantled the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36-6 in their Round 6 clash at Belmore Sports Ground.
Forwards Tom Amone and Keaon Koloamatangi laid the foundation for the side, with halfback Dean Hawkins putting in a kicking masterclass and hooker Billy Brittain terrorising the opposition with his running.
After a scrappy start from both sides, it was the Rabbitohs who laid on the first points with Billy Brittain sending Connor Tracey under the black dot to score. Mawene Hiroti's goal saw the Rabbitohs up 6-nil just after ten minutes of play.
But as the match wore on, it was their opponents who gained ascendency with their kicking, forcing back-to-back dropouts and putting pressure on the Red and Green.
Despite a leg injury seeing Kennedy head to the sheds and a hit on Tracey forcing him to undergo a HIA assessment, it was the Rabbitohs who struck the next blow, with super-sub Jack Johns breaking through and linking with fullback Leigh Higgins, who scoring a near-identical try.
The custodian swerved through defenders to score, and with a fifth-tackle penalty gifting the Rabbitohs a further two points soon after, it was the Red and Green who led 14-nil after half an hour.
Five-eighth Dean Hawkins kicking game terrorised the Bulldogs, as a last-tackle bounce saw their opponents hand over possession, with the five-eighth then sending over second rower Keaon Koloamatangi to crash over for his second Canterbury Cup try. The following conversion then saw the Rabbitohs with a 20-nil halftime lead.
Despite Tracey's successful return to the field, it was the Bulldogs who crossed first after a seven-tackle set and a penalty handed over easy possession.
But the Rabbitohs were quick to turn around, with strong kick returns from Hiroti and Higgins putting the side back on the front foot, with the side soon going over again only for the ball to go to ground.
With the weight of possession, the Bulldogs continued to place pressure through offloads and forcing a drop-out in the second half, but the Red and Green brick wall refused to let up, with great kick-pressure forcing a seven-tackle set.
While the Bulldogs were filled with errors through frantic play, the composure of the Rabbitohs shone through and soon it was Lyndon Hills crashed over to bring the side's lead back to twenty with a quarter of the match left.
An immediate penalty from the kick-off, the Rabbitohs continued to roll downfield and see the side nearly strike again only for the final pass to Hiroti to be called forward.
But the Red and Green more than made up for their mistakes, forcing a number of errors from the Bulldogs in defence with some strong one-on-one defence giving their opponents little chance of scoring.
And thanks to that defensive persistence, the side scored two quick-fire tries thanks to some clever play from Billy Brittain in the final ten minutes to record a dominant 36-6 victory.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 (Connor Tracey, Leigh Higgins, Keaon Koloamatangi, Lyndon Hills, Mawene Hiroti, Jacob Gagan tries; Mawene Hiroti 5 goals; Mawene Hiroti penalty goal)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6 (Christian Crichton tries; Fa'amanu Brown goals)