Rabbitohs slaughter Roosters 52-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs slaughter Roosters 52-12

By David Beniuk 15/03/2009 07:42:14 PM Comments (0)

The Rabbitohs found their attacking mojo to destroy the Sydney Roosters 52-12 in an NRL massacre at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

With halves John Sutton and Chris Sandow inspirational and winger Nathan Merritt bagging a hat-trick, Souths piled on nine tries to two in their season opener against a woeful Roosters side.

It was Souths' largest winning margin against the Roosters in 57 years and their biggest score against any team since 1980.

The Rabbitohs' attack has been toothless in recent seasons but Sutton's move to No.6, the emergence of halfback Sandow and try-scoring buys Colin Best and Rhys Wesser appear to have provided the solution for coach Jason Taylor.

Man-of-the-match Sutton had a hand in four tries, two with pinpoint cross-field chips, while veterans Best and Wesser each scored on debut for their new club.

"I've been training there (at five-eighth) all pre-season and I'm enjoying it there and it's feeling all right," Sutton said.

"I've been doing a little bit (of extra kicking practice), probably not as much as I should ... I'm just trying to step it up in the kicking department." Taylor said he had never had any doubts about Sutton's move from the forwards, even with injured utility Craig Wing still to come back.

"I've never had any question that that's the way for us to go, no one at the club has," Taylor said of the 24-year-old pivot.

"It was an easy decision and I'm comfortable with it and we'll have some days where the boys don't do so well and we'll have some days where they do well.

"Those two guys (Sutton and Sandow) are really high quality players and I think the club's in really good shape in key positions." Merritt scored two first half four-pointers, including a 95m intercept, and one five minutes after the break to shatter the Roosters' spirit and send plenty of the 24,486 fans to the carpark.

The livewire Rabbitohs scored five first-half tries and led 30-6 at the break.

The Roosters pulled one back in the 59th minute through Jake Friend to get to 34-12 before Souths scored three more, including a deft chip and chase from Sandow in the 71st.

Taylor, though, was going out of his way to keep his side's feet on the ground.

"We've been there, done that, we've learnt a lot over the last couple of years," he said.

"It's one game, it's a good performance." Shell-shocked Roosters coach Brad Fittler was at a loss to explain his side's performance.

"In front of 24,000, we always whinge we've got no people following us so that was really disappointing and we can't complain if 8,000 turn up next week," he said.

"We got beaten by 50 in a trial so we've got some form there.

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