The decision to take an NRL home match up the Pacific Highway has paid off for the South Sydney Rabbitohs with a big 42-22 over a hapless Canberra Raiders in front of 15,000 fans at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.
South Sydney started their roadtrip to Gosford in perfect fashion with an early try after just four minutes when the Rabbitohs identified issues in the Raiders right side defence and when Joey Leilua rushed up creating a space for Alex Johnston who crossed the line for his first of the afternoon.
The Rabbitohs added a second try five minutes later when Cody Walker ran at the same fragile defence that cost the Raiders the first try and he got the second try. Robert Jennings picked up his first try down the left side when a sweep pay caught out more defensive issues for the Raiders and extended their lead. The Rabbitohs added an extra two through an Adam Reynolds penalty goal before the Raiders closed the gap when Nick Cotric crossed in the corner after a good wrap around play.
The Rabbitohs negated the try from the Raiders with a try of their own when Greg Inglis took a 70m intercept to score. The Raiders finished the half in style when Elliot Whitehead barged his way over the try line to score the Raiders second.
The second half was all South Sydney including a period of 10 minutes when Raiders captain Jarrod Croker was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. The Rabbitohs put on 12 points in that 10 minute space including tries to Richie Kennar and a second to Robert Jennings to extend the lead to an out of reach margin for the Raiders.
Things took a worrying turn for a moment when Sam Burgess could've and arguably should've been sent off for a nasty high tackle on Aidan Sezer but the Rabbitohs big man was given a reprieve by only being put on report. The tackle didn't effect the Rabbitohs momentum with veteran Jason Clark found his way over the tryline to score a much deserved try to take the Rabbitohs out to a 42-12 lead.
The Raiders scored two late consolation tries in the last 15 minutes with Nick Cotric and Jarrod Croker crossing for tries off good attacking plays from the Raiders but it was all about putting some respectability in the scoreline.
The Rabbitohs will take confidence from their 4th win in 5 matches when they host the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night whilst the Raiders will need to head back to the drawing board as they travel to Townsville to take on the Nth Qld Cowboys on Saturday night.