South Sydney continued their stellar start to season 2013 with a 28-10 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in front of 15,972 fans.
Surprisingly it was the Cowboys who started strongest, opening the scoring after ten minutes with a try to Antonio Winterstein. Poor execution was to cost the Cowboys later in the half, with back-to-back tries to Sam Burgess and Bryson Goodwin seeing the hosts leapfrog their opponents to take a 12-4 lead, which they'd maintain through to halftime. North Queensland appeared to be on the receiving end of some contentious video referee decisions, but on review they'd have little to complain about.
The second half started with a flurry, Greg Inglis pouncing late on a John Sutton grubber which Johnathan Thurston had tried to let roll dead. The Cowboys struck back quickly through Winterstein's second try and reduced the margin to eight, and continued to dominate possession for large parts of the second half.
South Sydney's defence held true, leaking no points from that point despite plenty of attention on their own line from the visitors. After absorbing that pressure, quick hands enabled Nathan Merritt to score in the corner and extend the Bunnies' lead to 12, before the man everyone came to see, Greg Inglis, scored a 60-metre runaway try with five minutes to go.
The Rabbitohs have another Friday night ANZ clash next week, against the lowly Tigers in Women in League round, while the Cowboys face another stern test when they host the Roosters in Townsville next Sunday.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 North Queensland Cowboys 10
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Burgess
2 points - George Burgess
1 point - Greg Inglis
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (28)
Tries: Sam Burgess, Bryson Goodwin, Greg Inglis (2), Nathan Merritt
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (4/5)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (10)
Tries: Antonio Winterstein (2)
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Interchange: 14. Nathan Peats 15. Jason Clark 16. Ben Lowe 17. George Burgess 18. Jeff Lima 19. Justin Hunt
Cowboys: 1. Matthew Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston (c) 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matt Scott (c) 9. Rory Kostjasyn 10. James Tamou 11. Tariq Sims 12. Gavin Cooper 13. Dallas Johnson
Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Glenn Hall 16. Joel Riethmuller 17. Ashton Sims 18. Scott Bolton 19. Scott Moore
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
A simple overlap on the left hand side of the field sees Antonio Winterstein cross in the corner. Thurston with a difficult kick from the sideline, and it's waved away.
North Queensland Cowboys 4-0
Scored by Sam Burgess. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
And Sam Burgess runs over the top of Thurston and Gavin Cooper, and plants it down next to the posts. An easy kick, and it's put over the black dot.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-4
Scored by Bryson Goodwin. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
And the video referee rules it's a try. The benefit of keeping the ball alive on the last is evident, and Goodwin profits. Adam Reynolds adds the extras from the sideline.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-4
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
And the video referee rules a try! Inglis chases through a Sutton grubber - Thurston attempts to watch the ball go dead, but Inglis swoops in and dives on the ball.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-4
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
And we have a try! Thurston kicks across field for the corner. Everingham is underneath it, but Winterstein outjumps him and comes down with the ball for a try. Thurston, from the left corner of the field, hooks the ball over the posts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-10
Scored by Nathan Merritt. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.
And now the Rabbitohs have scored another try. Some quick hands through the left side of the field sees Merritt cross in the corner. Brent Tate rushed up on Inglis, which caused an overlap out wide. A quick catch pass, and Merritt gets his first of the night. Reynolds hits the upright, and his kick is unsuccesful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-10
And scores the try. Shut the gate, Inglis has bolted. A 60 metre sprint sees Inglis plant it under the posts. No one was within 20 yards of him. An easy kick for Reynolds, and he converts it from straight in front.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-10