Usually tight, close affairs between the two sides, it was anything but at niB Stadium in Perth, as the South Sydney Rabbitohs comprehensively defeated a poor New Zealand Warriors side 36-4.
The win marks three consecutive wins for the reigning premiers as they find their feet again in the competition. Slowly gaining form and momentum, they are building towards another successful campaign.
In front of a vocal Perth crowd of 20,272 people, a great sign for rugby league in Perth, they were treated to a master-class by the Bunnies as Dylan Walker and his team-mates overran a lacklustre Warriors side.
Their forwards stepped up and made themselves known, particularly Tim Grant, Chris Grevsmuhl and George Burgess, who all performed strongly off the bench.
It was a different story for the Warriors, though, as it appears they left their spirit on the plane trip to Perth, as they looked disinterested at times.
It was errors galore from them and no fluidity to their attack, which cost them, as Souths ran rampant and the Warriors players just had to sit back and watch the beating they were being given.
Despite the big win, Bunnies coach Michael Maguire hosed down any talk that it was their best game of the season.
“I’m pleased with the way we played,” Maguire said.
“Our completion rates were high and that creates opportunity.
“The way we defended was a step-up from where we’ve been but we need to make sure we’re improving on that as a team once again.”
“We’re growing as a team and there’s a lot of footy to be played.”
As for the Warriors, there was no beating around the bush from coach Andrew McFadden, just sheer honesty.
“It was obviously pretty ordinary to be fair. I thought the opposition were pretty good and we were pretty poor,” he said.
“It was an opportunity for us tonight to come up against a very good side and make our mark on our season and we fell short tonight. I guess it’s a bit of a reality check.”
With many vocal in their efforts to get a rugby league team in Perth, both coaches and Souths captain Greg Inglis would like to see continued efforts in raising the game in the area.
“We got a record crowd, so it’s great to see the people of Perth turn out and the atmosphere was great,” Michael Maguire said.
“It’s great it’s a great atmosphere we’ve got a lot of support over here as well as Souths,” said McFadden.
“It was terrific,” Inglis said.
“We’ve been coming over here for a number of years now and we see a crowd like that every time.”
Player of the Game:
3. Dylan Walker
2. Tim Grant
1. George Burgess
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 (Dylan Walker 2, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Grevsmuhl, Tim Grant, Alex Johnston tries; Issac Luke 6 goals) defeated Warriors 4 (Manu Vatuvei try). Crowd: 20,272.