South Sydney has made a huge statement defeating Parramatta by 26-0 at CommBank Stadium tonight to move into 5th place on the NRL ladder and have the league leaders looking over their shoulder as the finals season approaches.
Last year's Grand Finalists were clinical, scoring five unanswered tries but more impressively keeping the Eels scoreless at CommBank Stadium in a superb display. It was the Bunnies stars in Latrell Mitchell and skipper Cameron Murray who led the way for the home side, while prolific tryscorer Alex Johnston registered two more tries to take his season tally to 25 tries.
South Sydney came into the match needing to continue their late season momentum if they were to challenge for a Top 4 finish. The visitors didn't disappoint, when they scored the first try of the night through Cody Walker who ran onto a deft pass from Damien Cook at dummy half close to the line. Latrell Mitchell converted and it was 6-0 in as many minutes.
Souths continued to keep the Eels defence scrambling, with Walker going within millimetres of scoring his second try. However, it was in form backrower Keaon Koloamatangi was the pivotal man minutes later, with a superb tap on for rookie winger Izaac Thompson who raced over to score in the corner. Mitchell missed the conversion from out wide but it was all South Sydney by 10-0 after less than 20 minutes.
Alex Johnston then scored South Sydney's third try, after Walker and Isaiah Tass combined on that familiar left edge. Mitchell again missed the conversion but it was all the Rabbitohs at they took a convincing 14-0 lead into halftime.
The Eels came out a different side after the break and were camped on the Rabbitohs line but the home side just couldn't convert their chances. South Sydney proved they only needed one, when off the back of a piggy back penalty downfield by the Eels, Walker and Mitchell combined for Johnston to touch down for his second try of the night to extend their lead to 20-0.
After earlier being denied his second, Cody Walker then iced the game by taking his next chance when he cleaned up the scraps off a cross field kick from rookie halfback Dean Hawkins to take the lead out to 26-0 following Mitchell's conversion.
South Sydney's win now sets up an epic Grand Final re-match with Penrith next Thursday night at Accor Stadium, while Parramatta return home to face arch rivals Canterbury on Saturday afternoon.