South Sydney has snapped a run of two-straight defeats with a powerful 28-6 win over the Warriors at Go Media Stadium, Auckland.
Hostile conditions greeted the visitors in New Zealand, with a packed stadium and atrocious weather welcoming a Rabbitohs outfit without regular centres Campbell Graham and Isaiah Tass in the side.
Three early penalties had the Warriors on the front foot and deep in South Sydney territory, but their defence held solid despite the early tests on their line through the opening 10 minutes.
A further two infringements ensured the Rabbitohs barely got their hands on the ball, and eventually they cracked as Marcelo Montoya touched down in the corner in the 16th minute.
The visitors received a penalty and a repeat set after a knock down, giving them their first attacking set of the game after 22 minutes.
They made them pay immediately, with Cody Walker and Richie Kennar linking to put Alex Johnston over near the sideline to bring the score to 6-4 in favour of the Warriors.
The tide slowly began to swing in terms of possession, and after Cameron Murray was hit in a high shot right in front of the posts, Addin Fonua-Blake was sent to the sin bin in the 34th minute.
The Rabbitohs took the gift two points to level up the scores, giving them just over five minutes in the first half to attack at 12 men.
Cody Walker forced a mistake with a kick from the ensuing set, and soon after the Rabbitohs had their first lead of the game after Murray crashed his way over one off the ruck from close range to edge them ahead 12-6.
It was the score they would take into the sheds, a big turnaround after they struggled to get their hands on the ball early and had to turn away multiple attacking raids through most of the half.
South Sydney had all the running to start the second half as the rain came down harder, earning multiple repeat sets and building pressure on the Warriors line.
The lead was stretched to double digits after Walker and Johnston linked to perfection once again, with Cody shrugging off the rushing defence near the line, putting a perfect kick on the chest of AJ to take control of the contest.
A flutter went through their hearts after Dallin Watene-Zalezniak was awarded a try in the 57th minute, only for it to be overturned by the Bunker for a knock-on.
The conditions dictated terms through the next passages of play, with an enthusiastic South Sydney defensive line forcing mistakes.
A dream debut for winger and local junior Tyrone Munro was capped off after 67 minutes when he chased down a Lachlan Ilias chip to score his maiden NRL try and give the Rabbitohs a 22-6 lead deep in the contest.
After a questionable escort call on Kennar, the Rabbitohs defence showed they were not going to be broken, thwarting another attack.
Defence was turned into attack as Munro raced down the sideline, kicking inside for a flying Blake Taaffe to touch down and put the exclamation mark on a statement win.
A wealth of possession and penalties allowed the Warriors to score first after 16 minutes through Marcelo Montoya.
Souths struck with their first attacking set as Alex Johnston crossed to cut the deficit back to 6-4 after 23 minutes.
Addin Fonua-Blake was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Cameron Murray, which allowed the Rabbitohs to tie the scores in the 35th minute.
Murray put South Sydney in front for the first time just minutes from half-time as they took a 12-6 lead into the sheds.
Cody Walker showed his skills to break a tackle and set up Johnston for his second of the night and give Souths a 16-6 lead after 50 minutes.
Tyrone Munro completes a dream NRL debut with a try that stretched Souths’ lead to 22-6 approaching the final 10 minutes.
Munro ended the game on a high, racing down the sideline and kicking for Blake Taaffe to touch down.
Play of the Game
Cody Walker evades a rushing Shaun Johnson on the last tackle, getting himself free to put a perfect chip onto the chest of a surging Alex Johnston to give South Sydney a 10-point lead with 30 minutes left to play. The try set the tone for the rest of the second half as the Rabbitohs went on with it.
A return home to Accor Stadium awaits the Rabbitohs in round 19 action, facing off with old rivals the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Saturday night, in what is shaping as a crucial match before the bye in round 20.