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A second half glut of points helped the Rabbitohs to a 36-18 victory over the Warriors in front of 6,213 fans at Stadium Australia.
It was the Alex Johnston show once again for the Rabbitohs, as the fullback scored a hat-trick in a six tries to three victory for the cardinal and myrtle, who ran over the top of the listless Warriors in a second half bonanza.
Johnston looked a class above on the pitch, as he raced to 22 tries for the season. The fullback made some class athletes in the Warriors team (including Roger Tuivasa-Sheck) look like four foot turtles as the Rabbitohs sprinted away from the Warriors with a 24-point effort in the second half.
The game started off rosy for the Warriors, Tuivasa-Sheck collected his first against the Rabbitohs then Simon Mannering crashed across to make it 12-6 in the early stages. Once the Rabbitohs got hold of the ball the momentum swung.
From the quick service of Damien Cook, the Rabbitohs forwards, including youngsters Angus Crichton and Cameron Murray set the platform for the backs to shine. Murray himself got himself across for his maiden score in the 34th minute.
Adam Reynolds had an off night with the boot as he wasn't his usual steady self with the tee but a penalty goal just before the break took us to 12-all at the break.
Tuivasa-Sheck made it double delight for 18-12 lead, Warriors were much more circumspect with the football. They competed their sets well but the absence of Shaun Johnson meant they lacked the polish on their sets.
It was a different story for the Rabbitohs though, Johnston polished off two good attacking moves to complete his hat-trick. Once they found the next gear, the visitors were unable to match them. Johnston turned provider for five-eighth Cody Walker to balloon the scoreline out to 36-18 and three straight for the Rabbitohs.
With both sides well out of the finals equation, an interesting final fortnight awaits. South Sydney face two finals-bound sides with clashes in Melbourne and back at ANZ against the Eels, while the Warriors face finals-bound Manly at home next week before hitting Leichhardt for a date with the Wests Tigers in the final match of the season.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 - Warriors 18
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Warriors 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Alex Johnston
2 points - Damien Cook
1 points - Roger Tuivasa-sheck
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (36)
Tries: Alex Johnston (3), Adam Reynolds, Cameron Murray, Cody Walker
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (4/6)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (2/3)
Tries: Roger Tuivasa-sheck (2), Simon Mannering
Conversions: Issac Luke (3/3)