Souths produced their most polished performance of the year as they played fast, patient, tough football to eclipse foundation club rivals Sydney Roosters 26-14 at Allianz Stadium tonight.
Both sides were playing safe footy early on, with a Reynolds penalty goal after 6 minutes and Mitchell's equaliser 15 minutes later, the only points scored, despite plenty of open play and line breaks, especially by Souths.
However it was the Bondi boys who scored the first try of the game. Tedesco made a brilliant run through the middle of the field from deep inside his own territory. The next play saw Keary put Mitchell outside the defence. Mitchell displayed a stunning piece of athleticism to score in the corner. He then converted from the touchline.
Souths hit back immediately thanks to a great dummy, draw and sidestep before passing to Jennings who scored in the corner. Reynolds converted from touch to level the scores at the break.
The Bunnies opened the half with a lucky try after Reece Robinson spilled a high ball. Tedesco cleaned up from inside his own in-goal, but he fell awkwardly in the tackle and lost the ball. Tedesco somehow managed to swat the ball away just before Gagai could plant it, but the ball bounced into the waiting hands of Crichton who scored a simple try. Reynolds was unable to convert.
The Rabbitohs struck again in the first set after the restart. Walker put up a high ball and Inglis, like a thief in the night, snatched the ball out of the waiting arms of Tedesco and dived over for a try. Reynolds slotted the conversion.
The Tricolours hit back 6 minutes later with an opportunistic try of their own when Ryan Matterson cleaned up a loose ball from a contest to catch a high ball, and he scored an easy try which Mitchell converted to reduce the deficit to 4 points.
Reynolds kicked a penalty goal shortly after to take the lead for Souths back out to 6.
With 15 minutes left in the half, Sutton drifted right and barged over between two defenders for a strong try. Reynolds added the extras.
Souths gave away a myriad of penalties in the last ten minutes of the game, but despite having the lion share of possession and field position, the Roosters attack looked all out of ideas and the match ended with no further change to the scoreboard.
Next weekend the Rabbitohs will host the Raiders at Gosford on Saturday afternoon, while the Roosters head across to ANZ Stadium on Thursday for a re-match with the lowly Canterbury Bulldogs.