South Sydney have recorded a rare victory at Brookvale oval in a blockbuster encounter, 20 points to 12 in front of 20,510 fans tonight.
The pre-game billing touted this as heavyweight battle and it didn't disappoint the fans. Both teams were doling out the big hits in a quick opening twenty only stopped periodically by penalties.
The defensive credentials of the two sides showed that they were teams to be reckoned with later in this season. There was some niggle with Fa'aso and B.Stewart put on report for a dangerous tackle and slight elbow respectively.
South Sydney through all their possession were unable to penetrate it. Following a fifth straight penalty they opted to go for the two and Reynolds from 40 metres slotted it for a lead.
Manly roared back in the later stages of the first half but weren't able to break through despite throwing almost everything at the Rabbitohs. 34 players relished the halftime whistle in a tough encounter.
From the bruise to the flair in the second half as the key playmakers for each side entered the fray straight from the break. Greg Inlis hit a hole and went through Brett Stewart to open the try-scoring in the contest.
John Sutton stepped his way across from close range after being examined for obstruction but it was green lights. South Sydney were leading 14-0 away from home and dominating Manly on their own turf.
Steve Matai joined Richard Fa'aoso on report after an accidental high tackle on George Burgess that bounced up from the ball. It lit the touch paper though and Sam Burgess went in to protect his brother.
It would get better for the red and green faithful on the hill after Manly were denied a try to Tom Symonds for a Matt Ballin obstruction. Beau Champion crossed less than a minute later in the 55th minute off a Reynolds bat back. At 20-0 it was a long road back for Manly at home.
Rarely Manly are held scoreless in games especially at Brookvale where they boast a proud record. It took until the 71st minute when Anthony Watmough juggled and fumbled his way across for Manly's first points.
Daly Cherry-Evans pounced on a loose ball in the 73rd minute to give South Sydney fans a nervous wait until the final siren. Manly though weren't able to prise through again with Williams going close but knocking it on.
South Sydney won a tough, bruising encounter that went a long way to putting them right below the reigning premiers, Melbourne in the premiership contention.
Manly though didn't lose many admirers and there will be another meeting between these two in September or maybe the first weekend of October.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs 20
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Anthony Watmough
2 points - Greg Inglis
1 point - Sam Burgess
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (12)
Tries: Anthony Watmough, Daly Cherry-Evans
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (2/2)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (20)
Tries: Greg Inglis, John Sutton, Beau Champion
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Interchange: 14. Richie Fa'aoso 15. David Gower 16. Jamie Buhrer 17. Jason King
Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Beau Champion 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Andrew Everingham 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. David Tyrrell 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi 11. Chris McQueen 12. Ben Te'o 13. Sam Burgess
Interchange: 14. Nathan Peats 15. Jeff Lima 16. Ben Lowe 17. George Burgess 18. Michael Crocker 19. Justin Hunt 20. Jason Clark
MAN: Glenn Stewart IS BACK! Tom Symonds goes to the bench with David Gower dropping off completely.
SOU: Jeff Lima is absent due to personal reasons with Jason Clark coming in on the bench.
Penalty goal attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
26th Minute: Reynolds nails it. Rabbitohs have first points.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 2-0
Scored by Greg Inglis. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
43th Minute: That was quick! Greg Inglis burst into a hole just looking for support but goes himself for the opening TRY of this game. Adam Reynolds with a tough assignment for this conversion, swings it over.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8-0
Scored by John Sutton. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
47th Minute: GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! John Sutton using a left foot step, slices through and scores! Reynolds besides the posts, slams it through.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-0
Scored by Beau Champion. Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.
55th Minute: GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Kick from Sutton is touched by Reynolds backwards into the gleeful hands of Champion who gets an easy try. Adam Reynolds with a wideish conversion, splits the uprights.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-0
Scored by Anthony Watmough. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
64th Minute: Manly are on the board! A juggling act from Watmough dazes the defense allowing him to bounce over the Sea Eagles first score of the game. Lyon nails the conversion.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-6
Scored by Daly Cherry-Evans. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
73rd Minute: Well, well well.. game on here at Brookvale. A loose pass is bouncing around, scooped up by Cherry-Evans who keeps on going until he finds the line! Lyon converts quickly.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-12