Rabbitohs consolidate top four berth

South Sydney have stormed back into form with a convincing 38-6 win over the Parramatta Eels this afternoon at ANZ Stadium in front of 24,121 boisterous fans.

Needing a victory to have any chance of offloading the wooden spoon, the Eels started strongly but still conceded first points, the Rabbitohs overcoming a rusty start to post two early tries and race out to a 12-0 lead.

Greg Inglis set out to dominate the clash, with imposing kick returns, great forward-like short ball runs close to the line, and bruising defence. His moment came in the 17th minute when the ball was turned back inside for him to crash over past a few Eels defenders.

On the other side of the fence, Eels firebrand Fuifui Moimoi will have a nervous wait after being put on report for a forearm to the head of Rabbitoh rookie halfback Adam Reynolds. The subsequent penalty, given up while Moimoi was in possession, saw the Rabbitohs kick away to a 14-0 lead.

Parramatta's only points of the afternoon came through retiring winger Luke Burt, who was set on a course for the tryline courtesy of a surprisingly easy mid-field break from Jake Mullaney. Burt converted his own try to reduce the margin to eight, but that's as close as the visitors got.

The second half was an exercise in dominance for South Sydney - although dotted with periods of slow footy, they put the foot down and blitzed the Eels with five second-half tries. Nathan Merritt bagged a double which equalised him at the top of the tryscoring stakes at the Redfern-based club with fellow winger Andrew Everingham - but that was rectified by young Andrew in the final minute.

Importantly for the Rabbitohs it puts them well and truly in the top four heading into their final round clash with Newcastle, while for Parramatta the loss, coupled with the Roosters win over the Tigers earlier today, sees them officially consigned to the Wooden Spoon for the 2012 NRL Season.

As mentioned, Souths travel to Hunter Stadium for a showdown with the Knights on Friday night next weekend. For Parramatta, it's the big farewell party at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night, as they say thank you and goodbye to Luke Burt and Nathan Hindmarsh against the Dragons, who also farewell Dean Young and Ben Hornby.

Tomorrow, the Melbourne Storm host the Cronulla Sharks in the final Monday Night footy clash of 2012.

Match Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 defeated Parramatta Eels 6
National Rugby League - Round 25 - Sunday August 26, 2012 3:00pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referees: Gerard Sutton and Phil Haines
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Luke Potter and Nick Beashel
Crowd: 24,121
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 Parramatta Eels 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Greg Inglis (2 Tries)
2 Points - Nathan Merritt (2 Tries)
1 Point - Adam Reynolds (4 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)

South Sydney Rabbitohs (38)
Tries: Greg Inglis (2), Matt King, Nathan Merritt (2), Dylan Farrell, Andrew Everingham
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (4/7)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)

Parramatta Eels (6)
Tries: Luke Burt
Conversions: Luke Burt (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary A thumping win by the Rabbitohs in Toyota Cup today, 54-6 over the Eels.
First grade NRL changes - Justin Hunt and Ben Lowe are OUT for the Bunnies. Eddy Pettybourne will start in the 2nd row with Chris McQueen back to the bench. Jason Clark and Dave Tyrrell round out the Rabbitohs bench.
For Parramatta, Matt Ryan will start alongside Hindmarsh in the second row, with Justin Horo dropping back to the bench.
1 min: UNDERWAY at ANZ, Eels with the ball first. They're wearing a rendition of their main blue strip with a silhouette of retiring winger Luke Burt on the front.
3 min: First penalty to the Eels, South Sydney not back onside after an Eels 20m restart.
4 min: Eels near the line... Inglis fields the fifth tackle grubber and then there's a penalty for Souths, Eels holding on too long.
5 min: Video Referee called up for a possible Rabbitohs try to Matt King. Looks okay on the third replay
6 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Matt King. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Adam Reynolds puts up a pinpoint kick finding Matt King, who dominates the contest and gets the ball down eventually. Reynolds adds the extras.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
10 min: Fuifui Moimoi is ON REPORT for a forearm to Adam Reynolds' head whilst in possession. Souths will get a penalty right in front.
PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs
Penalty goal attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8-0
15 min: Eels knock-on off a fifth tackle Rabbitohs kick in their own in-goal. Dropout...
17 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Greg Inglis takes a short ball close to the line and they won't stop him. Bang. Reynolds converts, the mountain already looking big to climb for the Eels.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
21 min: A high ball is fielded by Luke Burt on the line, and Dave Taylor is there to monster him back into the in-goal. Dropout Eels.
25 min: The Rabbitohs have several penalties but can't convert to points.
30 min: Eels with a relieving penalty, Maitua breaks through but is forced back. The ball goes wide and it's grubbered in goal, but Merritt somehow spins out.
35 min: TRY
TRY Parramatta Eels
Scored by Luke Burt. Conversion attempt by Luke Burt successful.
Mullaney splits the Rabbitohs up the middle - finds Luke Burt in support! He scores a try in his penultimate NRL match, and converts!
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-6
37 min: The Eels try to skip up field again but the quick hands see the ball go forward.
39 min: A break sees the Rabbitohs on the attack, but the kick is fielded by the Eels.
40 min: HALFTIME - Rabbitohs by eight at the break.
40 min: The second half kicks off.
43 min: Eels away through Morgan, he ducks under Inglis coming across, the visitors now on the attack.
44 min: The ball finds Inglis in-goal... he returns to the field by way of bouncing Chris Sandow off.
46 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Nathan Merritt. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.
The Rabbitohs get their fifth penalty of the night which puts them in prime position to attack... Inglis is the man who finds Merritt out wide who scores yet again. Reynolds misses.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6
48 min: Oh dear... poor Luke Burt. Spills it in-goal. Dropout Eels, Rabbitohs could skip well clear here.
49 min: Eels touch it, again Luke Burt, and it's a South Sydney scrum. Lots of pressure now.
50 min: Penalty now... a little unfair on second glance, the Eels player being held on to by the ball carrier.
52 min: Video referee called on for a Dylan Farrell try... it's not awarded. He never got the ball down. Refs call and ruled held up.
53 min: Souths force another line dropout, they continue to attack.
55 min: The ball's gone to ground and been knocked on by Souths. Parramatta will bring it back.
58 min: Souths really looking to be going through the motions at the moment. This game is not beyond Parramatta yet.
60 min: Souths with a penalty, touched as it crosses the sideline by Mullaney. Rabbitohs scrum.
62 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Dylan Farrell. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Dylan Farrell can't be denied this time - it's the Bunnies now well out in front with Reynolds converting.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-6
66 min: Errors from both sides here on either side of halfway in the last couple of minutes. Souths playing with a bit more flair now.
69 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Just like before, Inglis burst through feeble line defence to score, this is his second today. Reynolds adds two more and it's a 24-point margin.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-6
73 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Nathan Merritt. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.
Nathan Merritt's love affair with ANZ Stadium continues, he's nabbed another in the corner. Reynolds doesn't add to the total this time, his second miss of the day.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-6
77 min: Errors aplenty to round out this game, a comfortable win for South Sydney, who consolidate a top four berth.
79 min: The Bunnies will have the ball for the remaining time of the game it would appear. This loss will consign the Eels to the wooden spoon.
80 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Andrew Everingham. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.
The overlap is massive out to the right and Everingham is the tryscorer on fulltime. Reynolds' kick goes well wide. That's all she wrote!
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38-6

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