Roosters blitz Rabbitohs in second half comeback

Fulltime score: Round 1 Roosters 24 v Rabbitohs 12

Match summary: The Sydney Roosters have proved too good, scoring 22 points in 16 minutes to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs by 24-12 at Aussie Stadium tonight.

Following scoreless first 20 minutes, the Rabbitohs raced away to a 12-0 half time lead, lock forward Ashley Harrison being heavily involved.

But injuries started to take their toll with front rower Scott Geddes being forced off earlier. After the break, Harrison succumb to injury before full back Adam MacDougall was forced off with concussion.

With their forwards dominating the second half, the match belonged to the Roosters with Craig Wing, Anthony Minichiello, and Jason Cayless dictating proceedings.

Score details: ROOSTERS 24 Tries: Cayless, Monaghan, Soliola, Flannery Goals: Fitzgibbon 4/5 RABBITOHS 12 Tries: Harrison, Bell Goals: Williams 2/3

Aussie Stadium Referee: Tony Archer

By the clock: 0 min: Kickoff! A big crowd at Aussie Stadium.

6 min: NEWS - Some huge hitups early in the match as both sides go at each other. End-to-end stuff.

12 min: NEWS - Front rower Scott Geddes (Rabbitohs) is stretchered off on the medi-cab with an ankle injury.

17 min: Still 0-0 with Rabbitohs on the attack and 20 metres out. A chip ahead comes unstuck as Rabbitohs' winger Luke MacDougall knocks on.

22 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Ashley Harrison scores 10m in from touch after some tremendous lead up work, plenty of hands involved with Peter Cusack delivering the money ball. Conversion Joe Williams. Rabbitohs 6-0

27 min: NO TRY - Roosters denied. Ryan Cross is called back after a forward pass.

35 min: PENALTY GOAL - Rabbitohs. Joe Williams makes no mistake. A let-off for the Roosters as South Sydney were all over them. Rabbitohs 8-0

38 min: NEWS - Roosters launch a charge at the Souths' line but good defence forces a grubber kick on the last tackle from Brett Firman. But the kick goes dead, and not for the first time.

39 min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Souths' winger Roy Bell scores after centre Lee Hookey picks up a loose ball and then kicks ahead for the flying Bell to score in the corner. Conversion from Williams is waved away. Rabbitohs 12-0

HALF TIME Rank outsiders, the Rabbitohs have put on some outstanding plays to dominate their more fancied rivals. Stand outs for Souths include Shannon Hegarty, but the man of the moment is Ashley Harrison who is proving lethal in both defence and attack. The only negative for Souths is the loss of forward Scott Geddes who rolled his ankle and looks unlikely to return, effectively leaving them one man short on the bench. The Roosters are making too many mistakes and some of their last play options leave a lot to be desired. In all, they have been forced to make 40 more tackles than Souths. With a star studded line-up, the Roosters should give the second half a shake.

Second half underway...

45 min: NEWS - A big blow for Souths as lock forward Ashley Harrison is forced off with what looks like a heavy knock to the jaw.

48 min: NEWS - Souths in further strife. Fullback Adam MacDougall is knocked out after stepping into some heavy defence from Roosters' front rower Adrian Morley. MacDougall forced to the touchline and the Rabbitohs are running out of troops.

50 min: TRY - Roosters. Jason Cayless scores next to the posts after taking a pass from Craig Wing. Conversion Craig Fitzgibbon. Rabbitohs 12-6

57 min: TRY - Roosters. Centre Joel Monaghan scores under the posts following an opportunity down the left side with full back Anthony Minichiello chiming into the backline. Conversion Fitzgibbon. 12-all

60 min: NO TRY - Roosters denied. Video ref picks up a knock-on from Fitzgibbon and Monaghan doesn't get his second.

63 min: TRY - Roosters. Interchange player Iosia Soliola scores to cap off a great match, proving the value of having a full bench. It'll only get harder for the Rabbitohs. Conversion Fitzgibbon. Roosters 18-12

66 min: TRY - Roosters. Chris Flannery gets the nod from the video ref following a skirmish for the ball. Wide conversion attempt from Fitzgibbon misses. Roosters 22-12

72 min: PENALTY GOAL - Roosters. Fitzgibbon makes no mistake. Roosters 24-12

75 min: NEWS - The Roosters finishing the stronger after bench player George Rose makes a huge run.

FULL TIME A game of two halves with the Roosters out-muscling and over-powering a depleted Souths Sydney outfit, the Roosters scoring 22 points in 16 minutes to blitz the Rabbitohs. Craig Wing was electric out of dummy half while Jason Cayless made plenty of yards, as well as putting in a huge effort in defence. Fullback Anthony Minichiello had a sensational match in attack. All the Roosters forwards were tremendous as they literally knocked their opponents out of contention. For Souths, it was gutsy effort but they were outclassed by a dominant Roosters pack. In the end, they simply didnt have enough players in reserve with three of their stars being forced off.

----------------------------------------- players of the match: 3 - J Cayless (Roosters) 2 - C Wing (Roosters) 1 - A Harrison (Rabbitohs) -----------------------------------------