Roosters stun Rabbitohs with 36-10 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roosters stun Rabbitohs with 36-10 win

By Steve Jancetic 15/03/2010 10:02:42 AM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith likened Todd Carney's freakish ability to that of Greg Inglis and Billy Slater after the former Canberra bad boy returned from a 16-month NRL hiatus to lead the Roosters to an emphatic 36-10 win over South Sydney on Sunday.

Playing his first game in the tri-colours and his first match at fullback, Carney looked like he'd never left the competition as he joined halfback Mitchell Pearce in toying with the much-vaunted Rabbitohs side at ANZ Stadium.

The 26-point hiding no doubt brought down the Rabbitohs' pre-season expectations a peg or two.

But in Carney and Pearce, there is real hope in Roosterland that the wooden spoon performance of last season will be a distant memory.

Carney capped his man-of-the match performance when he brilliantly tapped back his kick that was headed over dead ball line for Sam Perrett to score and make it 20-6 just after the break.

"That's him - he's freakish," enthused chuffed coach Brian Smith, who was also in his first game with the Roosters.

"He never gives up - he sees things that certainly I wouldn't have seen.

"Not too many players (could do that). You are talking Inglis and Slater and those sort of guys."

Carney admitted to a few nerves before the game but was delighted in his first game since July 2008, when he was cut adrift by Canberra and deregistered by the NRL following a string of off-field incidents.

"There were a bit of nerves and I think a lot of that comes with playing a new position," Carney said.

"Hopefully I just keep bettering myself in that position.

"It (the Perrett try) was a bit of a fluke in the end. That's the luxury of the way the ball is shaped, it can do anything.

"I didn't give up and it popped up and I hit it as hard as I could and it ended up in our player's hands."

South Sydney coach John Lang expected the loss would bring his side back to earth and perhaps cool the expectations that had bubbled on the back of the acquisition of big forwards Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor.

While Nathan Merritt scored his first try just before the break to halve the deficit created by four-pointers from Pearce and Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Lang pointed to the flying winger's inexplicable drop with the line wide open just after Perrett's second half try as the story of South Sydney's day.

"He was away and he's dropped the ball," Lang said of the crucial moment, on the back of which Carney engineered the match-clinching try for Aiden Guerra moments later.

"It reinforced how well you have to play to win games in this competition and it was a real reality check for us I think.

"We've got to aim up as team - we bought Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess - they're not going to be the magic elixir for us.

"We've got a stronger squad with the inclusion of those two players but you can't buy two big young forwards and sit back and think it's all going to happen.

"We've got the same challenges with those guys in that we had before."

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