Rabbitohs hop into NRL top three - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs hop into NRL top three

By Ben Horne 07/06/2010 10:18:19 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney have moved into the NRL's top three after a commanding 32-4 win over North Queensland in Monday night's match at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs will need to beat tougher opposition if they're going to challenge for the premiership, however the dominance of their performance against an inept Cowboys outfit showed the foundation club is building nicely towards the finals.

Souths continue to thwart teams down the edges of the field, with right side combination Beau Champion and Nathan Merritt both scoring doubles, and second rower Dave Taylor having another dominant game on the left.

After being talked up in the pre-season, the Rabbitohs are starting to realise their potential.

Coach John Lang's highly regarded forward pack is doing everything asked but it is his exciting backline that has suddenly kicked into gear.

Halves John Sutton and Chris Sandow controlled proceedings, centres Champion and Best were imposing out wide, while Merritt and experienced fullback Rhys Wesser injected themselves expertly.

It was Souths second win a row which sees them leapfrog the Gold Coast, Wests Tigers and Manly into third position on the ladder.

North Queensland are in second last place and showed no sign of being able to fight their way out of the deep hole they find themselves in at the midway point of the season.

Eighteen errors on Monday night gave them no chance.

It wasn't all rosy for Souths - hooker Issac Luke may be in trouble after appearing to collect Johnathan Thurston high after the Cowboys' skipper kicked in the 64th minute.

And prop Scott Geddes' season is over after he fractured his knee cap in the first half.

Souths looked crisp in the second half, and took a 22-0 lead when Merritt ran off Sutton in the 46th minute for his second try.

Wesser got away a beautiful around the corner ball in the 60th minute to Best who put Fetuli Talanoa away down the left.

Then with 14 minutes remaining, Merritt burst through the middle again and linked up with Luke who raced away to post the Rabbitohs' seventh.

Souths opened the scoring in just the seventh minute through Merritt - getting possession 25 metres out after North Queensland second rower Scott Bolton dropped the ball cold with no defender in sight.

Another elementary error from the Cowboys, this time from winger Michael Bani, gave Souths their next golden attacking opportunity.

The Rabbitohs took full advantage with Queensland Origin rep Taylor bumping off Bani and carrying Ashley Graham over the try-line to score in the right corner.

Champion scrambled over for his first, before completing his brace in the 37th minute when he took an intercept off Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston and raced 40 metres to touch down.

Ash Graham scored North Queensland's only try late in the match.

Souths coach John Lang said he's pleased with where his team is at and isn't concerned by the pressure brought on by Rabbitohs fans hungry for their first Premiership in 39 years.

"I'd rather be worrying about building the expectation than racking my brain about how to kick-start the team so it doesn't worry me to be perfectly honest," Lang said.

"Every two points is like a little gold nugget, that's the way I look at it and you've got to keep collecting them to be there at the business end of the season."

Lang said Geddes would not miss the season but 12 weeks with his fractured knee socket.

Taylor copped a knock on his hip but is in no doubt for Origin.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry said it was up to his side to prove that their season isn't over.

"It's up to us, our performances on the field will change that opinion," he said.

"We're certainly down on confidence but we've got the players to bounce back and we need to do that."

Henry was upset Luke wasn't penalised for his high shot on Thurston.

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