Taylor Terrific as Souths race past Penrith

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have run out comprehensive 42-22 victors over a disappointing Penrith outfit in front of 11108 fans at ANZ Stadium. Queensland representative David Taylor was outstanding, along with his second-row counterpart Sam Burgess.

The opening exchanges between the two sides saw them sorting each other out with defence holding the upper hand. The Panthers had most of the ball throughout this stage of the contest, but South Sydney's goal-line defence refused to buckle as they continued to be starved of the ball early. The first try of the afternoon came in slightly controversial circumstances with South Sydney second-rower David Taylor, buoyed by his successful State of Origin debut on Wednesday night, crossed out wide. Replays suggested that there was a knock-on in the lead-up, but the Panthers appeared to be interfering in the play-the-ball. The Panthers, though, hit back almost immediately through winger Brad Tighe who took advantage of a perfectly placed grubber kick from fullback Lachlan Coote. Unfortunately for Penrith, that would be their only joy of the first half as the Rabbitohs went on a three-try rampage in just nine minutes from the 25th minute to the 34th minute. John Sutton scored the first try as he used second-rower Sam Burgess as a perfect foil, dummying to him, which saw the Penrith defence hold off, before Sutton wrestled his way across the try-line. Minutes later, hooker Isaac Luke continued on his recent purple patch of form when he took advantage of a Nathan Merritt bust and consequent quick play-the-ball to dive over alongside the posts. Fullback Rhys Wesser completed the scoring five minutes out from halftime when he threw a simple dummy which saw not a single Penrith defender lay a hand on him. Hooker Isaac Luke's conversion extended the Rabbitohs lead at halftime to an 18-point margin.

The Rabbitohs looked to put the result beyond any sort of doubt when Rhys Wesser crossed after just 90 seconds of the second half to extend the lead to 30-6, but from there the South Sydney side appeared to clock off. The Panthers rallied and scored three tries of their own in 12 minutes to close the gap to 30-22 with 25 minutes remaining through two tries to Lachlan Coote and one try to Gavin Cooper who pounced on a Luke Walsh chip-kick. Any thoughts of an unlikely Penrith victory were quashed 12 minutes from fulltime when Chris Sandow grubbered in behind the Penrith defence, beating Lachlan Coote and Michael Gordon to the loose ball. A final try to Beau Champion on the stroke of fulltime allowed the Rabbitohs to cross the 40-point mark - their highest score at ANZ Stadium after a Michael Jennings kick ricocheted into his hands as he raced 60 metres to score alongside the posts.

For the Panthers, they must now regroup to tackle a Knights side fresh from this week's bye next Saturday night at CUA Stadium. The Rabbitohs will be back at ANZ Stadium next Monday night when they clash with the Cowboys.

Match Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs 42 defeated Penrith Panthers 22
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 12 - Sunday May 30, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Bernard Sutton
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and David Munro
Crowd: 11108
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 Penrith Panthers 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Dave Taylor (1 Try)
2 Points - Sam Burgess
1 Point - Issac Luke (1 Try, 7 Conversions)

Tries: Rhys Wesser (2), John Sutton, Beau Champion, Dave Taylor, Issac Luke, Chris Sandow
Conversions: Issac Luke (7/7)
Penalty Goals: Issac Luke (0/1)

Tries: Brad Tighe, Lachlan Coote (2), Gavin Cooper
Conversions: Michael Gordon (3/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary 1 min: And we're underway here at ANZ Stadium. The Rabbitohs will have first use of the ball.
2 min: Penalty Penrith. Luke penalised for tackling Walsh after he put the kick in. The Panthers on the attack now.
3 min: The Rabbitohs have repelled the first Panthers' set in attack. Great goal-line defence from Souths. Walsh's last-tackle option kick was disappointing.
5 min: An entertaining opening five minutes in this one. The Panthers have had plenty of ball early, but the South Sydney defence is holding for the moment. The Panthers have a scrum feed 10m out from the Rabbitohs goal-line.
6 min: Waterhouse has thrown the ball away on the second tackle - a sign the Panthers are frustrated by the resolute Rabbitohs defence. Souths, buoyed by the crowd have received their first penalty.
7 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible South Sydney try. Sandow hoists the bomb high and Gordon appears to have knocked on.
7 min: No Try. Talanoa is ruled to have knocked the ball into Gordon's hands, before Sandow picked up the scraps and dived over under the posts.
11 min: The Panthers have knocked the ball on trying to keep it alive. Defence has dominated attack in the opening 11 minutes of this encounter and there doesn't appear to be much between the two sides.
12 min: Penalty South Sydney. Penrith penalised for being inside the ten metres. They'll go on the attack.
12 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible South Sydney try. Taylor appears to have dived over from around the marker position, but referee Archer wants to have another look.
13 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Dave Taylor. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
Taylor dives over out wide after some scrappy work from Wesser who got into dummy half in the nick of time. Taylor then received the ball and dived over, although replays suggest there was a knock on in the lead-up.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
15 min: South Sydney successfully complete their set after the try and work the ball all the way down to the Penrith line and will look to muscle up in defence.
16 min: Walsh puts up another high bomb which was taken well by Wesser who raced upfield and passed to Merritt who knocked the ball on. Penrith will go on the attack here.
18 min: Penrith force a goal-line dropout after Burns kicked into the in-goal and looked to regather, but South Sydney centre Beau Champion got there in time to bat the ball over the deadball line.
20 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Brad Tighe. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Penrith hit back and score yet another try through a kick after Coote put a well-weighted grubber kick into the in-goal which found an unmarked Brad Tighe.
6 all
21 min: Burgess with a beauty of a tackle has dislodged the ball and the Rabbitohs will look to put their noses in front.
22 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible South Sydney try. Lachlan Coote has spilt the bomb, but the referee wants to check to see if Coote was tackled in the air.
22 min: NO TRY. Best has knocked the ball into Coote's grasp, but Taylor has been taken out and South Sydney will receive the penalty.
23 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by John Sutton. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
John Sutton wrestles his way across the Panthers' try-line. Burgess was used as a perfect decoy, forcing the Panthers defence to hold off on their own line and Sutton subsequently forced his way over.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
27 min: Sutton's kick on the last tackle for Talanoa rolls over the deadball line.
29 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Issac Luke. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
South Sydney stretch their lead after a scintillating bust by Nathan Merritt. A great try saving tackle from Gordon delayed the inevitable, but Luke took full advantage of the quick play-the-ball to dive over alongside the posts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6
31 min: Penalty South Sydney. Michael Gordon gives away possession with an obstruction.
32 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Rhys Wesser. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
Wesser scores the Rabbitohs third try in nine minutes with a simple show-and-go and the Panthers defence did not lay a hand on him. South Sydney are white hot and the Panthers have no answers at this stage.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-6
34 min: Sutton again caps off a near-perfect set of six from a try for the Rabbitohs. Penrith will have to work the ball off their line and not come up with another error.
37 min: The Panthers razzle-dazzle on the fifth tackle comes up empty with Iosefa's kick trickling over the touch-in-goal line.
39 min: Lewis' kick for winger Michael Gordon sees Talanoa beat him to the ball before batting it over the touch in goal line. The Panthers will have a few tackles before halftime to close the gap.
40 min: Halftime. The Panthers, through Iosefa are tackled millimetres short of the goal-line as they pressed for their second try of the afternoon.
40 min: And the second half is underway. Penrith have knocked the ball on in just the second tackle and the Rabbitohs now have a perfect opportunity to put the game beyond any doubt.
42 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Rhys Wesser. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
Rhys Wesser crosses for his second try of the afternoon. The Panthers defence on this occasion was embarrassing and this scoreline could blow out in a big way.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-6
44 min: The Panthers show some enterprising play, with Jennings trickling a kick into the in-goal. The Panthers, to have any chance in this one, must score in this set.
45 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Penrith try. Coote looks like he may have scored the Panthers' second try of the afternoon.
46 min: TRY
Coote grubbered into the in-goal and is awarded a puzzling "Benefit of the Doubt" try. There looked to be no doubt and the Panthers may start a comeback here.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-10
47 min: Jennings has had a disappointing afternoon and come up with another error, gifting the Rabbitohs another opportunity to extend their lead.
48 min: Sutton's kick into the in-goal has found Tighe and Penrith have the ball.
54 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Gavin Cooper. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Cooper scores another try for the Panthers courtesy of a kick. Cooper is in the right place at the right time to close the gap and give this encounter an interesting final quarter.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-16
56 min: Penrith are muscling up in defence and the Rabbitohs are starting to walk, but Sandow's kick on the last gets them out of trouble for now.
57 min: Penrith are caught on the last tackle in possession and instead of making the Rabbitohs work the ball off their own line, they surrender possession on halfway.
58 min: Tighe scoops up Sandow's fifth-tackle kick and gets the ball back into the field of play.
61 min: The Panthers are throwing caution to the wind and throwing the ball around, which is causing all sorts of trouble for the South Sydney defence.
62 min: Sandow's kick on the last lands half a metre in from touch and trickles over the sideline, which will help slow the clock down.
63 min: Penalty Penrith. Pettybourne penalised for a high tackle on Lewis and the Panthers will now need to score from this set to set up a thrilling finale.
64 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Penrith try. Lachlan Coote has dived over beside the posts, but referee Archer wants to look at the grounding.
64 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Lachlan Coote. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
The Panthers are coming home with a wet sail here at ANZ Stadium which is quite fitting as the storm clouds start to roll in. Coote's try sets up a very interesting finale this afternoon.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-22
68 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Chris Sandow. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
Chris Sandow finally puts the final nail in the Penrith coffin. Sandow grubbered in behind the Panthers defence, scooped up the ball and dived over beside the posts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36-22
69 min: South Sydney receive the ball from the Penrith short kick-off.
70 min: Coote knocks on Sutton's towering spiral bomb and Champion also knocks on. Souths will feed a scrum and look to kick clear again.
72 min: Big Dave Taylor charges onto Rhys Wesser's pass, but Archer rules the pass was forward. From the subsequent scrum, the Panthers again knock on so the Rabbitohs will again go on the attack.
74 min: Sam Burgess looks to bang the ball down, but unfortunately for him, has knocked the ball on.
78 min: Penalty South Sydney. Isaac Luke will look to kick his seventh goal of the afternoon.
79 min: Luke's penalty goal is unsuccessful and Penrith will have the ball for the final moments of this match.
Penalty goal attempt by Issac Luke unsuccessful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36-22
80 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible South Sydney try to Beau Champion.
80 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Scored by Beau Champion. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful.
Beau Champion scores the final try of this match through a ricocheted kick from Michael Jennings. Champion picked up the loose ball and races 60 metres to score alongside the posts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 42-22
80 min: Fulltime here at ANZ Stadium where the Rabbitohs have run out eventual 42-22 victors over a disappointing Penrith outfit.

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