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Scoring seven tries in a 34-6 demolition of Manly, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have recorded their first win under rookie coach Anthony Seibold in the first game of the ANZ Stadium double header.
Coming into the match after losing their opening two fixtures, the Rabbitohs were dominant across all facets of the game from the opening whistle, while the Sea Eagles were handed a huge reality check in the wake of their huge win over Parramatta last week.
Wasting little time in asserting their dominance, the Rabbitohs posted first points inside two minutes following a classic wingers finish from Robert Jennings.
Continuing their impressive start to the match, South Sydney fullback Alex Johnston (11th minute) posted his first try of 2018 in iconic fashion by streaking the length of the field, while off-season purchase Richie Kennar (29th minute) chimed in with his own effort to give the Rabbitohs a commanding 14-0 lead at the change of ends.
With the Sea Eagles having limited opportunities to score in the first half and often squandering the few chances that were presented to them, the need to post points early in the second half failed to bring about the change sought by coach Trent Barrett.
Bundled into touch in opening set after the resumption of play, the Sea Eagles were powerless to prevent Robert Jennings (45th minute) extending the lead, however is a rare moment of respite for the visitors, interchange utility Jackson Hastings (52nd minute) burrowed over from close range to give Manly the faintest of chances.
Having had their defensive line penetrated, the Rabbitohs tightened up and rammed home their authority by posting two tries in quick succession to Richie Kennar (56th minute) and Robert Jennings (60th minute) to secure the match with a quarter remaining.
Rounding out the performance with a try to Hymel Hunt (77th minute), the Rabbitohs produced one of their finest performances in recent years to run out 34-6 victors.
Among the best performers for the home side, Sam Burgess was inspirational with a number of his charges and competitive streak epitomising the Rabbitohs success, while winger Robert Jennings enjoyed a personal best night in posting the first hat-trick of his career.
Next week the Rabbitohs host the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in the annual Good Friday afternoon fixture, while the Sea Eagles will be hoping to reverse their fortunes at Lottoland on Saturday night against the winless Raiders.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Burgess
2 points - Robert Jennings
1 points - Alex Johnston
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (34)
Tries: Robert Jennings (3), Alex Johnston, Richard Kennar (2), Hymel Hunt
Conversions: Adam Doueihi (3/7)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (6)
Tries: Jackson Hastings
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (1/1)