Rabbitohs in the hunt for top-four spot after thumping Warriors

There’s a difficult road ahead but South Sydney’s top-four ambitions remain intact following a ruthless 48-10 victory over the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday afternoon.

The Rabbitohs made easy work of a hapless Warriors outfit at Sunshine Coast Stadium, effectively having the contest put to bed when they scored six tries to one in the first half.

Adding two more to their tally in the second stanza, star fullback Latrell Mitchell was given an early rest with 18 minutes to play after a perfect game off the tee.

Mitchell kicked all eight conversions, adding two tries and two try assists to go with two line assists and two line breaks. Perhaps the pick of his contributions was the sliced cut-out pass that found Izaac Thompson on debut to score his first NRL try and the Rabbitohs’ seventh of the afternoon.

Skipper Cameron Murray was one of nine Bunnies players to run for over 100 metres and had three try assists in the first 16 minutes before putting Lachlan Ilias over in the third minute. He also linked up with hooker Damien Cook off a midfield linebreak to set up the hooker for Souths’ second.

A deft offload to Tevita Tatola gave the Bunnies their third before Murray put a strong shot on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 25 metres from the Warriors’ line to win back possession.

Latrell Mitchell celebrates scoring a try with Rabbitohs teammates.Credit:Getty

It led to Ilias setting up Keaon Koloamatangi as Souths piled on 24 points in the first 21 minutes of the match.

Edward Kosi hit back for the away side in their first and only real opportunity of the opening half, but Jai Arrow then found an offload through three tacklers for Mitchell to crash over. The fullback then put Alex Johnston in for his 23rd try of the season as the Bunnies enjoyed a 36-6 advantage at the break.

It marked the fifth straight game South Sydney had scored 30 points or more against the Warriors.

Their dominance continued in the second half with the only blight coming through Shaun Johnson’s try in the 50th minute in a rare attacking opportunity inside South Sydney’s 20m line.

Victory over the Warriors saw the Rabbitohs leap-frog the Roosters and Broncos to move to sixth on the ladder, their dominant win also their biggest of 2022.

But the run into the finals is tough for last season’s grand finalists. Four games against top eight sides remain for Souths who face Parramatta, competition leaders Penrith, North Queensland and the Roosters to round out the regular season.

AAP

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