South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved back into the top four following a 31-10 success against the New Zealand Warriors tonight at Mt Smart stadium.
A pair of tries from Cameron Murray in each half bookended a result from the Rabbitohs which also featured tries from the returning Alex Johnston and Dane Gagai. Adam Reynolds kicked seven from seven and a field goal as the Rabbitohs started to look themselves again.
Following the 14-6 defeat to Canterbury on August 17th, Wayne Bennett described his side's season as "almost terminal" but the side that romped to victory tonight looked full of life. The return of Sam Burgess in the backrow and the constant buzz of Damien Cook and Murray had the Warriors left clutching at air.
The Rabbitohs sprung to a 14-nil lead in the first half, thanks to Murray's slippery effort followed by a standard winger's finish from the returning Alex Johnston just showed the extra touch of class, the cardinal and myrtle has lacked in the last month.
Warriors showed some fight to make it 14-10 at the break, Adam Pompey got his first NRL try then a slashing effort from Kodi Nikorima gave Ken Maumalo his 17th try of the season, equal with Sydney Roosters Latrell Mitchell.
That was where the joy ended. Rabbitohs turned the screw in the second half. Adam Reynolds nailed a pair of penalty goals to stretch the lead to eight before Murray once again wriggled past the defense to make it 24-10.
From there, Dane Gagai added a late long-range effort from a sublime short pass from John Sutton to help the for-and-against. The result puts the Rabbitohs back into the top four which may have Wayne Bennett dancing in the changing rooms again.
Next week each side's regular season campaign ends - the Warriors travel to Canberra in their last hurrah for 2019, while Souths will have finals come early when they face rivals the Roosters at ANZ.