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.
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.
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.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 23 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Burgess
2 points - Adam Reynolds
1 point - Lote Tuqiri
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
LATE MAIL: South Sydney - Sam Burgess has overcome injury to take his place in the starting side. Luke Burgess, Bryson Goodwin and Joe Picker drop of the extended bench to give Souths a 1-17 starting side.
LATE MAIL: Manly Sea Eagles - No changes for the visitors to the SCG tonight, 1-17.
FULL TIME in Holden Cup, Under 20s action - South Sydney have fought off the Sea Eagles, 28-14 after three players were sin binned for throwing punches.
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited.com's LIVE coverage from the traditional home of Rugby League in Sydney as the Rabbitohs host the Sea Eagles at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. Many are touting this game as a Grand Final preview as this top of the table clash between 1st and 2nd plays out with just 5 rounds remaining.
Sam Burgess is a big inclusion for the Rabbitohs after being sidelined by a shoulder injury. Meanwhile for Manly, they retain some strike power on the wing with Jorge Taufua cleared to play. Kick off is slated for 7:45pm
1: We are UNDERWAY here at the SCG as Rabbitohs kicks off, Brenton Lawrence takes the first hit up for the Sea Eagles
1: Cherry-Evans completes the first set with a towering kick, it's taken by Greg Inglis easily on the try line.
1: UNFORCED ERROR SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Ben Te'o makes an unforced error.
Ben Te'o fails with the play of the ball as he tried to play it quickly. Chance for the Sea Eagles 30 metres out with a scrum feed.
3: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Matt Ballin makes an unforced error.
Matt Ballin took a sneaky dive for the try line on last tackle from acting half, but he failed to hold onto possession. Good defence from the Rabbitohs under pressure early.
5: Penalty to the Sea Eagles, meanwhile Steve Matai is down after taking heavy contact in a multi-man tackle. DCE finds the sideline and Manly attack 10 metres out
6: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Peta Hiku. Kick to come.
Peta Hiku draws level with Semi Radradra as the NRL's leading try scorer as he dives over as Manly shift to the right wing through Tom Symonds and Jamie Lyon. Kick from out wide to come.
7: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Jamie Lyon from the sideline on the western sideline is unable to slot the extras and the score remains.
10: First penalty to the Rabbitohs, Tom Symonds holding down in the ruck too long. Kick for touch comes and the Rabbitohs march up to their 30 metre line.
13: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Kyle Turner. Kick to come.
TRY TIME for South Sydney! Green lights are awarded to Kyle Turner as he steamrolled into the hole presented by the poor Manly defence via a bullet pass from Adam Reynolds.
14: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Adam Reynolds with the conversion from next to the uprights slots the points to give the Rabbitohs the lead
17: Cherry-Evans rolls a kick long and it's too much, 20 metre tap for the Rabbitohs.
18: Souths lost their way in attack as they tried to offload continuously believing it was last tackle, the messy play sees Manly come up with possession
19: Lote Tuqiri catches the markers offside as he charged into the defence. Penalty gives the Rabbitohs possession on half way
22: Ben Te'o penalised for holding in the ruck too long after the held call. Sea Eagles come up with a touch finder which gives them a full set 40 metres out from the Rabbitohs try line.
23: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Kirisome Auva'a. Kick to come.
Kirisome Auva'a finishes off a surging length of the field try from the Rabbitohs which started with a 70 metres run from Lote Tuqiri. Souths sweep quickly and spread to the left side to bring up the Rabbitohs 2nd try
29: Kick rolls dead off the Rabbitohs come up with a 20 metre tap
32: Penalty to the Rabbitohs, offside is the call. Souths attack 10 metres out
32: UNFORCED ERROR SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Alex Johnston makes an unforced error.
Alex Johnston unable to take a floating kick to the corner off boot of Luke Keary. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres out from the try line.
33: Rabbitohs through Ben Te'o concede a penalty with a hold down in the ruck. The Sea Eagles kick ahead and attack 10 metres inside the Rabbitohs half.
40: HALF TIME at the Sydney Cricket Ground sees the Rabbitohs in control with brilliant defence leading the Sea Eagles 12-4.
41: Second half is UNDERWAY here at the Cricket ground as the Sea Eagles kick off
41: Strip ruled and it's a line drop out for the Sea Eagles. Repeat set for the Rabbitohs... Ben Cummins seems to have got that one wrong.
43: Incredible passage of play from the Sea Eagles, Lyon kicking long down field from the base of the scrum, Stewart gets the bounce and the Sea Eagles have possession 10 metres out
43: Once again poor play from the Manly side, Kirisome Auva'a cleans up and the Rabbitohs have possession.
46: VIDEO REFEREE for the Rabbitohs, NO TRY for Chris McQueens. Looks to be a knock on in goal as he looked to dive on the loose ball.
46: NO TRY and it's RED LIGHTS for Chris McQueen as he knocked on in goal, Sea Eagles 20 metre tap as a result.
47: FALCON! DCE provides a face ball to Horo and it's still possession for the Sea Eagles.
51: Scrum packs for the Sea Eagles as DCE feeds it following a mistake from the Rabbitohs.
52: DCE manages to get a stabbing kick on last tackle as the Sea Eagles last tackle option failed again. Greg Inglis cleans up in goal to return back into the field of play
55: South Sydney defence is brilliant as the Sea Eagles are trapped in their 10 metre zone. Manly out on their feet.
55: 40/20 MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Daly Cherry-Evans kicks a 40/20.
DCE nails the 40/20 from deep inside his own half and the Sea Eagles have possession 20 metres out
57: Incredible passage of play from the Sea Eagles but their last tackle options missing, the play broke down as Lote forced the attack to compress at the death. Souths with possession.
60: Forward pass denies the Sea Eagles again as they broke free of the defence through Jorge Taufua and Tom Symonds. Unlucky as they rushed the play in broken play. Scrum Souths 20 metres off their own line.
63: Another set of six for the Rabbitohs via a line drop out as DCE grounds the ball in goal.
64: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Alex Johnston. Kick to come.
Alex Johnston makes it 8 tries in his last 4 games as he sailed over in the eastern corner as the Rabbitohs overlap is created by Greg Inglis. Brilliant.
68: UNFORCED ERROR SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Adam Reynolds makes an unforced error.
Adam Reynolds brings up the RED LIGHTS for Kirisome Auva'a as he just got a touch on the chip kick from Kirisome. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres out from their own try line.
69: Cherry-Evans is forced over the sideline in a monster tackle, Souths will pack a scrum 30 metres out from the Manly try line.
70: TRY SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Scored by Sam Burgess. Kick to come.
Sam Burgess puts the icing on the cake as he darted through the try line to post the Rabbitohs fourth try. The long passes catches the defence napping as Luke provides the final pass.
73: DCE puts in a short kick but it's all over for the Sea Eagles as Issac Luke takes possession deep in their own half.
75: Penalty goes to the Rabbitohs, they attack on half way
76: Adam Reynolds' short grubber kick is collected up at the mouth of the posts but Manly are forced back in goal. Line drop out and repeat set for the Rabbitohs.
77: Sam Burgess bolts up and takes down Lyon who soccered ahead... but it all ends with a knock on. Scrum for the Sea Eagles.
79: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Field goal attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
Reynolds snaps for a field goal to ice the Rabbitohs' victory cake.