Infotainment Factory: Souths stun NRL Premiers in 'heated' clash

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Souths stun NRL Premiers in 'heated' clash


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It was a predictably feisty clash between old rivals South Sydney and the Roosters on a wet Friday night at the SCG.

Wayne Bennett has celebrated his first match as Rabbitohs coach with an impressive 26-16 takedown of reigning NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters. The Rabbitohs were down 12-10 at halftime in their season-opener at the patched-up SCG but made their arch-rivals pay for an error-riddled display.

Adam Reynolds twice set up tries by grubber-kicking into the upright and sealed the victory with a third try assist for Alex Johnston in an eye-catching effort.

Tempers flared not long after the try when Cody Walker pushed Cooper Cronk in the chest after taking exception to some words from the Roosters veteran.

"The game got a bit heated there. It was a great reminder of the rivalry between us. We're so close together, just five minutes away from each other, Walker said of the exchange after the game.

"I can't remember [what Cronk said]. I shook his hand after the game and that's where it stays, on the field."

Soon there was blood spilt after Latrell Mitchell and Dane Gagai, who were at each other's throats for most of the night, clashed heads late in the contest.

Mitchell's pours from Mitchell's head

But in the end it was the Rabbitohs who claimed a knockout win in front of a crowd of 24,527 who braved the miserable weather.

Both teams struggled to control the ball in the slippery conditions, however the Roosters shot themselves in the foot with mistakes deep in their own half. All up, Trent Robinson's side only completed just over half their 58 sets.

And while the Rabbitohs still spurned another four opportunities, the weight of possession was simply too much for a gallant Roosters defence.

The visitors took the lead when Campbell Graham beat Cronk's cover tackle in the 48th minute to kickstart a telling 12-minute spurt.

Graham gets across

The Roosters should've regained the advantage not long after when Boyd Cordner found himself in the clear, but the ball was dislodged by Sam Burgess.

Walker sealed the win when he pounced on one of Reynolds' kicks before Johnston put the finishing touches on a statement victory.

Much of the build-up centred on the changes Bennett made to his line-up, including Greg Inglis' move to the right edge.

Murray opens the scoring

However while the Rabbitohs skipper was solid, it was Sam Burgess' shift to the same flank, together with Cameron Murray's starting call-up that paid off.

Both players grabbed a try each in the first half, and were influential in what, on first impressions, is quickly becoming a formidable outfit.

The 26 points is the most the Roosters had conceded since going down to Brisbane, formerly coached by Bennett, in May last year.

- with AAP

It was a predictably feisty clash between old rivals South Sydney and the Roosters on a wet Friday night at the SCG.

Wayne Bennett has celebrated his first match as Rabbitohs coach with an impressive 26-16 takedown of reigning NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters. The Rabbitohs were down 12-10 at halftime in their season-opener at the patched-up SCG but made their arch-rivals pay for an error-riddled display.

Adam Reynolds twice set up tries by grubber-kicking into the upright and sealed the victory with a third try assist for Alex Johnston in an eye-catching effort.

Tempers flared not long after the try when Cody Walker pushed Cooper Cronk in the chest after taking exception to some words from the Roosters veteran.

"The game got a bit heated there. It was a great reminder of the rivalry between us. We're so close together, just five minutes away from each other, Walker said of the exchange after the game.

"I can't remember [what Cronk said]. I shook his hand after the game and that's where it stays, on the field."

Soon there was blood spilt after Latrell Mitchell and Dane Gagai, who were at each other's throats for most of the night, clashed heads late in the contest.

Mitchell's pours from Mitchell's head

But in the end it was the Rabbitohs who claimed a knockout win in front of a crowd of 24,527 who braved the miserable weather.

Both teams struggled to control the ball in the slippery conditions, however the Roosters shot themselves in the foot with mistakes deep in their own half. All up, Trent Robinson's side only completed just over half their 58 sets.

And while the Rabbitohs still spurned another four opportunities, the weight of possession was simply too much for a gallant Roosters defence.

The visitors took the lead when Campbell Graham beat Cronk's cover tackle in the 48th minute to kickstart a telling 12-minute spurt.

Graham gets across

The Roosters should've regained the advantage not long after when Boyd Cordner found himself in the clear, but the ball was dislodged by Sam Burgess.

Walker sealed the win when he pounced on one of Reynolds' kicks before Johnston put the finishing touches on a statement victory.

Much of the build-up centred on the changes Bennett made to his line-up, including Greg Inglis' move to the right edge.

Murray opens the scoring

However while the Rabbitohs skipper was solid, it was Sam Burgess' shift to the same flank, together with Cameron Murray's starting call-up that paid off.

Both players grabbed a try each in the first half, and were influential in what, on first impressions, is quickly becoming a formidable outfit.

The 26 points is the most the Roosters had conceded since going down to Brisbane, formerly coached by Bennett, in May last year.

- with AAP

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