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South Sydney supporters will be smiling all week after their side today showed the NRL world that in 2009 they are here to play, and to win, starting this afternoon by totally annihilating the Roosters by 52-12 at Sydney Football Stadium.
An outstanding display of rugby league by Souths had the Roosters on the back foot for the majority of the 80 minutes. The only time the Roosters came close to the Rabbitohs on the scoreboard was in the 18th minute when the score was 12-6.
The only shining light for the Sydney Roosters was Craig Fitzgibbon reaching 1500 career points when he converted Anasta's try.
Apart from that, it was a one sided affair at the SFS this afternoon.
Nathan Merrit the intercept king, scored a hat-trick. Tanaloa, on the other wing for the Rabbitohs scored an impressive 2 tries.
Sandow and Luke were outstanding with their goal kicking, netting some very difficult conversions from the sideline.
But the halves combination of Sandow and Sutton was the highlight of the match. They continually caused trouble for the stumbling Sydney Roosters defence.
Now the Rabbitohs will look to back up their fine effort today, when they face the Eels at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. The Roosters on the other hand have a tough ask as they travel down to Canberra to take on the Raiders.
Sydney Roosters 12 vs South Sydney Rabbitohs 52 Round 1 - Full Time :: March 15th, 2009 3:00pm Venue: Sydney Football Stadium Referee: Tony de Las Heras and Steve Lyons
Sydney Roosters (12) Tries: Braith Anasta, Jake Friend Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (2/2)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (52) Tries: Colin Best, Nathan Merritt (3), Rhys Wesser, Fetuli Talanoa (2), Eddy Pettybourne, Chris Sandow Goals: Chris Sandow (5/7), Issac Luke (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match
3 Points: Chris Sandow 2 Points: John Sutton 1 Point: Nathan Merritt
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
The stage is set at the SFS for a classic battle between these two passionate sides, and their supporters. The band hurriedly leaves the field as the players from both sides run on.
1 min: Issac Luke kicks off to get the game underway in sunny conditions in Sydney.
2 min: Early attacking opportunity for the Rabbitohs 30 metres out from their line, following a forward pass by the Roosters, however Kidwell knocks on in the 1st tackle.
3 min: Line dropout - Roosters Anasta puts the ball up high for the Roosters
6 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs A penalty late in the tackle count hands great field position to the Rabbitohs. Best, man on man, makes no mistake in crossing over. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
9 min: Anasta, from the kick off, puts the ball dead, much to the delight of the Bunnies fans.
10 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs A terrific offload by Sutton close to the line allows an unmarked Merritt to cross over out wide. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-0
13 min: Line dropout - Rabbitohs The Rabbitohs are on fire
18 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The Roosters finally hit back at the rampaging Rabbitohs. Sa sets up Anasta's try brilliantly by drawing the opposition. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
20 min: With his conversion, Fitzgibbon reaches the magical 1500 points in his career, a fine effort.
24 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Sandow brilliant on attack as he solely set up the try by backing his kick, with Wesser in support to score. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6
26 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs The attack from the Rabbitohs is relentless. A cross field kick by Sutton is pin point accurate and Talanoa finishes it off in style. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-6
32 min: No Try - Roosters The Roosters finally have a chance to score after the Rabbitohs have dominated the game so far. Best falls over Perret who goes into touch short of the line.
36 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs The Roosters close to scoring, are heartbroken as Merritt nabs an easy intercept to run the length of the field to score. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-6
39 min: PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs A high shot 30 metres out from the Souths line gives everyone on the field a breather as Sandow kicks for goal. South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-6
HALFTIME: There'll be some straight talking in the Roosters shed in the break I'm sure as the Rabbitohs have totally dominated the opening 40 minutes of their season.
41 min: Anasta opens the 2nd half, the Roosters hoping for better things.
45 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Sutton once again is accurate with his kicking, and Merritt say thanks for another. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-6
49 min: Sa penalised for holding a Souths player back on attack, Souths have the Roosters on the ropes again.
55 min: The Rabbitohs defence is as good as their attack as the Roosters find no way thru close to their line.
57 min: Talanoa's time to nab an intercept and now the Roosters are having to defend yet again.
59 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Finally the Roosters are on the scoreboard again, with a hole opening up for Friend close to the line. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-12
62 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs The Roosters hit back straight away with Merritt grabbing a silly offload by Anasta, setting up another try for Talanoa on the other wing. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 40-12
66 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs The Rabbitohs are unstoppable as they post their highest score against the Roosters since 1952. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 46-12
24,486 is the official crowd figure for today. Souths supporters are still streaming into the ground as the Roosters supporters are streaming out.
71 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Sandow has been on fire this afternoon and scores a superb try from a little chip kick for himself. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. South Sydney Rabbitohs 52-12
77 min: The Roosters are not surprisingly dead on their feet, the Rabbitohs could probably play another 80 minutes.
FULLTIME No more needs to be said. The Rabbitohs have made a statement.