Souths embarrass sorry Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths embarrass sorry Eels

Ian McCullough 08/08/2011 10:04:29 PM Comments (0)

Five tries from Nathan Merritt helped a rampant South Sydney humiliate a woeful Parramatta 56-6 in a one-sided NRL contest at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.

Merritt became the seventh Souths player to score five tries as the Rabbitohs achieved their biggest win over a Parramatta team, who are in danger of claiming the wooden spoon for the first time in 39 years.

John Lang's men were also boosted by barnstorming performances from Queensland State of Origin pair David Taylor, back from a five-game suspension, and Greg Inglis, who scored twice, as the Rabbitohs outscored the sorry Eels by 10 tries to one.

Souths are now just four points off a top-eight spot, but must play high-flying North Queensland in addition to visiting Brisbane and Newcastle in three of their last four matches.

However, they will head into Sunday's clash with Canberra full of confidence after following up last week's comeback victory over St George Illawarra with a blistering display.

Inglis opened the scoring after three minutes, brushing aside feeble challenges from Casey McGuire and Luke Burt to breeze his way to the line.

Merritt then ran in two tries in three minutes, before Inglis hauled in a Chris Sandow chip-kick to effectively end the game as a contest in the 28th minute as the Queensland centre and Taylor continued to destroy the Eels' left side.

Merritt completed his hat-trick on the half-hour mark following some terrible defending from the Eels, and matters got worse for Stephen Kearney's side five minutes before the break when Sandow added a sixth try.

Sandow, who will join the Eels next season, gave their long-suffering fans some encouragement for 2012, with a 40-metre burst, sidestepping Burt to score, before kicking his fifth goal of the half to open up a 34-0 interval lead.

Second-bottom Parramatta are now just a single point in front of Gold Coast and their clash with the Titans in round 26 is shaping up as a battle to avoid finishing last.

The start of the second half followed on from the first when Dylan Farrell scored his seventh try in four games, when once again the Rabbitohs were able to throw the ball wide with ease.

The Eels finally troubled the scorers in the 56th minute when Burt dived on a Hayne kick that clipped the crossbar.

However, it proved to be the only positive moment for the visitors, when Merritt raced through for his fourth after another powerful run from Taylor 15 minutes from time.

Chris McQueen rounded off a strong performance with another four-pointer three minutes from time, before Merritt wrote his name in the history books on the siren.

Souths coach Lang hailed the display of five-try hero Merritt and praised his side's ruthless performance that kept alive their slim finals hopes.

"It was great for the points for and against. It was a really good team performance," Lang said.

"We were looking to play out the full 80 minutes and we did it pretty well.

"Nathan's got the instinct of all great try scorers. It doesn't happen by chance and it doesn't happen because you're quick or because you're strong.

"It happens because you've got that feel for the game. That's what Nathan's got."

Merritt said his achievement had not yet sunk in but he was very proud to become the joint record holder for most tries in a match in Souths history.

"It's a great personal achievement. It's something I will look back on when I finish my career and soak it in then and enjoy what I've done," he said.

Parramatta coach Kearney said his side's performance was not acceptable but skipper Nathan Hindmarsh was more critical, accusing the players of lacking commitment.

Hindmarsh also said no excuses could be made for their lacklustre display, despite a difficult month that has seen the Eels lose three close games.

"Some of those tackles we missed were really poor, it comes down to attitude," Hindmarsh said.

"We were not yahooing and carrying on before the game thinking it was going to be easy, but we were very quiet in the warm-up, we just carried that out on the field.

"It is tough for everyone, it is a tough competition, you just have to turn up every week, we didn't tonight, it's not good enough, its a long comp, it is not an excuse that it has been tough.

"It is one of the worst feelings (I've had) in a long time, it is not the scoreline itself, but the way they scored their tries, they were really soft tries.

"Some were just basic one-on-one tackles, if we do that against Manly they will put double on us."

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