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Big win for Souths against Penrith

South Sydney have registered another two competition points and improved their for-and-against with an impressive 38-12 victory over Penrith at ANZ Stadium.
Big win for Souths against Penrith
by NRL

South Sydney have registered another two competition points and improved their for-and-against with an impressive 38-12 victory over Penrith at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs held a slender two-point advantage at the half time break, but raced in four tries in the 20 minutes in the second stanza to register their ninth victory of the season.

It was an arm-wrestle early, with the Rabbitohs looking the more dangerous and the Panthers helping the home side's cause with some ill-discipline.

It took until the 17th minute of play for hulking second-rower Dave Taylor to register the first points of the afternoon, taking advantage of a mesmerising run and dummy from halfback Adam Reynolds which set up the big unit for his ninth try of the season in his 100th NRL game. Reynolds converted to give the Rabbitohs a six-nil lead.

Five minutes later mercurial try scorer Nathan Merritt scored his first of two tries for the afternoon. A break down the right side of the field started with Taylor terrorising the defence and popping an offload to centre Dylan Farrell who found Merritt. Merritt raced away for the four-pointer, and Reynolds' second conversion extended the lead to 12.

The Rabbitohs fell into cruise control, allowing Clint Newton to cross in the 30th minute. A Lachlan Coote try seven minutes later after following through a Travis Burns bomb levelled the scores at 12-all.

The Rabbitohs edged ahead on the half time siren as Adam Reynolds potted a penalty goal, giving the cardinal and myrtles at 14-12 lead at the break.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was a willing affair which saw John Sutton put a kick out on the full, Taylor be denied a second try by the video referee, Shaune Corrigan get knocked out cold whilst attempting a tackle on Newton, Chris McQueen was denied a try by the video ref and the Rabbitohs defended their line like their lives depended on it for a ten minute period, holding the Panthers out despite immense attacking pressure.

South Sydney winger Andrew Everingham scored his tenth try of the season in the 58th minute when he found himself on the end of a fluid backline movement, registering his second try against the mountain men for 2012. Reynolds converted to take the scores to 20-12.

Nathan Peats scored his first try of the season in the 64th minute after a long break by Merritt from fullback. Peats crashed over from close range, and Reynolds' conversion extended the lead to 14 points.

Peats backed up that effort with his second try six minutes later. Issac Luke put in a cross field bomb which Farrell flew high to grab. He offloaded to Peats who registered eight points in six minutes. Reynolds converted taking the score to 32-12.

The Rabbitohs were full of confidence and it was showing in both attack and defence. Their commitment to defence was proven when the video referee denied Panthers winger David Simmons a try in the 75th minute. Simmons climbed high for a bomb and came down with the ball, with only the decidedly shorter Justin Hunt in front of him, Simmons thought he had a try, but Hunt managed to wrap the ball up and prevent Simmons from touching down, saving what seemed like a certain try.

That effort was not the end of it for the Rabbitohs, with Nathan Merritt adding to his mountain of career tries in the 78th minute. A quality backline movement to the left found Merritt, who spun, bent and contorted himself into a position to put the ball down over the line behind his head. Reynolds slotted his seventh goal from seven attempts for the afternoon to take the scores to 38-12, a good win for the home side and welcome addition to their for-and-against record.

Dave Taylor was the popular choice for man-of-the-match honours, overcoming the disappointment of being left out of the third State of Origin match for Queensland this Wednesday to have a blinder for the Rabbitohs. John Sutton led the Rabbitohs in the second half, causing havoc with his running game. Even more pleasing was the team's defence, holding out the Panthers for the entire second half.

South Sydney will now prepare to take on last-start winners the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium next Sunday 8 July at 2pm.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 38 (Nathan Merritt 2, Nathan Peats 2, Dave Taylor, Andrew Everingham tries; Adam Reynolds 7 goals)
Penrith Panthers 12 (Clint Newton, Lachlan Coote tries; Lachlan Coote 2 goals)

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