The South Sydney Rabbitohs have recorded the first victory in the 2014 Telstra Premiership with a 28-8 defeat of the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium. A relatively low crowd of 27,282 was in attendance for the ‘blockbuster’ season opener.
A series of rule changes saw the speed of the match increased as the South Sydney pack rampaged over the Bondi Wall to run in 4 tries to 1.
The tricolours only four-pointer came 11 minutes into the contest and it was truly against the run of play as Daniel Tupou came up with a deflection. Tupou managed kicked the ball 90 metres downfield for Michael Jennings to race in the only Roosters try.
South Sydney were the true performers as Man of the Match, Greg Inglis claimed a hat trick of tries, courtesy of his speed and power. His first came in the 23rd minute as the Rabbitohs locked the game up at 6-all as he managed to fend off three Roosters defenders to plant the Steeden down.
The Rabbitohs continued to mount pressure on the Roosters goal line with Dylan Walker and Luke Burgess almost crossing for points, however, after a tiring forty minutes both sides headed for drinks at 6-all.
A slight advantage in possession saw the Roosters gain an early in the second half lead, 8-6, with a successful penalty goal to James Maloney in the 43rd minute.
However, the lead was short lived as Greg Inglis darted into a yawning defensive gap as the Roosters crumbled under the pace of the South Sydney pack. The Rabbitohs’ marched ahead to a 12-8 lead.
Adam Reynolds opted to extend the lead to 16-8 in the space of five minutes as a string of defensive penalties conceded by the Roosters allowed the Rabbitohs some breathing space on the scoreboard.
The Rabbitohs closed out the contest with a further two tries as Bryson Goodwin flew over the Roosters defence to score via a John Sutton bomb and Greg Inglis sealed his hat trick thanks to the skills of the speedy hooker, Issac Luke.
The Redfern club chalked up the first competition points of the new season with a convincing 28-8 victory over the Sydney Roosters. There are a few concerns for both clubs out of the match with Ben Te'o and Sonny Bill Williams to face the NRL Judiciary with shoulder charge offences. Meanwhile on the injury front, Chris McQueen left the field late in the second half with a possible foot injury, and referee Luke Phillips sustained a calf injury which saw him replaced during the match by Grant Atkins.