Souths flying high after thrashing Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths flying high after thrashing Raiders

By David Beniuk and Matt Sadler 14/08/2011 07:08:52 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney tryscoring whiz Nathan Merritt declared his side's confidence sky high as Rabbitohs fans buckled themselves in for a wild ride in the run home to the NRL finals.

Merritt made it eight tries in six days with a hat-trick in Souths' entertaining 47-18 disposal of Canberra on Sunday, the Bunnies' second big win in as many games.

The fullback scored five tries in last Monday's 56-6 thrashing of Parramatta, which came in the middle of Souths' first three-game winning streak of the year.

John Lang's men are now just two points outside the top eight following Newcastle's loss to the Warriors on Saturday night and will play the Knights in the last round of the regular season.

"Our confidence is sky high at the moment," Merritt said. "We don't want to think of other teams.

"We just want to keep control of what we do.

"We control our own destiny at the moment so we've just got to turn up every week."

Next weekend shapes as crucial for Souths and Newcastle.

The Rabbitohs meet North Queensland at ANZ Stadium, while the Knights will have a massive battle hosting third-placed Brisbane.

Counting against Souths, though, are a date with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in round 25 and their points differential of minus-five compared with Newcastle's 49.

That wasn't stopping halfback Chris Sandow's excitement on Sunday.

"Hopefully a few teams are shaking in their boots after that," he said.

Merritt was more circumspect.

"Friday night's going to be a big game for us to keep ourselves in the hunt for the top eight," he said.

"We know what we have to do. We've got to turn up with the right attitude this week ... It's going to be a quick turnaround."

The NRL's leading tryscorer with 21, Merritt's freakish form has coincided with a move from wing to fullback that will make it tough for the retiring Rhys Wesser to win back a spot in the side.

The Rabbitohs led 24-6 at halftime and ran in eight tries to three in a match that won't be remembered for defence.

Star centre Greg Inglis, who scored two tries, missed the second half but Lang said he could have returned if needed after an early head clash with Raiders prop Brett White.

As well as Merritt and Inglis, Dylan Farrell, Ben Ross and Chris McQueen scored tries for Souths with Sandow booting seven from nine and a field goal.

"To be perfectly honest I thought we were flat today," Lang said. "That first 20 minutes every bounce of the ball went our way.

"We didn't deserve to have the lead that we did."

For Canberra, Blake Ferguson, Josh Dugan and Reece Robinson bagged four-pointers, while Jarrod Croker kicked three from three.

"The harder we tried, the worse it got," coach David Furner said.

"The score was embarrassing but we press on for next week."

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