The South Sydney Rabbitohs overpowered competition leaders the Sea Eagles to claim a 23-4 victory at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground.
Not since 1985 have these teams met at the SCG, and the fans turn out as 27,062 watched the Rabbitohs do a number on the visiting Sea Eagles.
Sam Burgess was a late inclusion for the Cardinal and Myrtle and his impact was clear as he dominated the middle corridor throughout the match.
Steve Matai (Sea Eagles) failed to return after 4 minutes as he suffered a shoulder injury from a ‘chicken wing' tackle at the hands of George Burgess. The back line shift of Manly didn't see them initially flustered as Peta Hiku finished off a classy play to score first points. Manly, 4-0 leaders with Lyon's only attempt at goal missed.
South Sydney proceeded to click into gear and their defence created the foundations for their brilliant attacking raid on the Sea Eagles try line, running in 23 unanswered points.
Kyle Turner started flow of points as his speed sealed a quick fire four-pointer which caught the Sea Eagles short on the left side. Unluckily for Turner, he would later leave the field and not return due to an eye injury.
Mid-way through the first half, young gun, Kirisome Auva'a crafted another try as he capitalised, again, on a short Manly defensive line. The play started 90 metres downfield as Lote Tuqiri bolted from his own red zone to give the Rabbitohs the opportunity. South Sydney extended their lead to 12-4, a score they took into the sheds at half time.
The game settled for the first 20 minutes of the second half but the Sea Eagles failed to crack the solid defence of the Rabbitohs as their last tackle options saw their opportunities go astray.
The magic hands of Greg Inglis and Kirisome Auva'a connected as Alex Johnston racked up his 8th try in four games. South Sydney comfortably leading 16-4 inside the final 15 minutes.
In a Man of the Match performance, Sam Burgess was rewarded with the final four-pointer of the game as he surged through Manly's crumbling defence courtesy of an inside pass from Issac Luke.
South Sydney out performed the North Beaches club as Adam Reynolds secured top of the table with a field goal in the final minutes of play.
Next week South Sydney return to ANZ Stadium to host the Broncos who are in a cluster of teams fighting for a top 8 position. Meanwhile the Sea Eagles head north to the Gold Coast as they look to bounce back against the Titans on Sunday afternoon.