The South Sydney Rabbitohs have overturned an 8-0 deficit to execute a 42-14 demolition of the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers took all the early momentum and had the field position when they took an early 2-0 lead off the boot of Nathan Cleary after Souths were penalised for being too long in the ruck by control referee Matt Cecchin. The Panthers then extended the lead soon after when Dean Whare and DWZ got on the outside of the Souths outside backs before finding Matt Moylan on the inside to score.
Minutes later controversy errupted when both Sam Burgess and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak were sin binned, the later incorrectly binned by Matt Cecchin when replays clearly showed DWZ was not doing anything other than being slapped and hit by Burgess. That was the story of the Panthers day on the wheel of NRL luck as Matt Moylan through a horrid pass minutes later which bounced perfectly for Alex Johnston who raced 90m to get his first of the afternoon.
From there it was the Souths show with the Bunnies running in 6 tries within half an hour spread on either side of halftime. The second Souths try came through former Panther Braidon Burns when he outjumped Josh Mansour to a kick to score in the corner. Alex Johnston then finished the half with two tries both off individual efforts one on the stroke of halftime when Johnson kicked for himself and got the luck of the bounce and the Bunnies ran out to a 24-8 halftime lead.
The Bunnies needed to keep their momentum up because the Panthers have been the masters of the second half comeback but that was killed off after just one set of six when Souths went from sideline to sideline on the last tackle and Alex Johnston chalked up try number four and with Reynolds masterful kicking the score went to 30-8.
Tries kept flowing off kicks for the Bunnies when Sam Burgess chased through and got the bunkers approval for yet another Souths try. Alex Johnston then capped off his afternoon with try five just short of the hour mark although he did cross for a sixth but everyone including Johnston knew it was coming back for a Knock on centre field.
The final play of the game saw Josh Mansour cross off a nice piece of play from Waqa Blake and Cleary's conversion was the end of a bad day for the Panthers.
Next week, Souths have the short turnaround with a Friday night clash against the origin depleted Roosters side meanwhile the Panthers get their first game at Pepper Stadium since round 10 when they host the high flying Manly Sea Eagles.