Despite a sloppy performance, the Sydney Roosters ended up winning 20-6 in a comfortable fashion to go 4-0 to start the season.
In control from the outset for much of the game, errors and sloppiness crept into the Roosters game that could have seen more points scored.
Souths were not at their best in attack and it showed, as they were repelled often and could not gain any ascendancy on the other side of the ball in defence either.
The signs from Cody Walker continue to be encouraging, though, as yet again, he was the club’s best player despite the loss.
Indecision and poor judgment was the Bunnies downfall, with back-line players often caught on the last tackle running the ball.
The Bunnies started the stronger of the two teams before the Roosters wrestled back the momentum and completed an impressive 19 of 21 sets in the first half.
Two quick tries then followed for the Tricolours with in-form halves Luke Keary and Mitchell Pearce both involved before Michael Gordon slotted a penalty goal to give the Roosters a 14-0 lead at the break.
The loss of Sam Burgess due to a concussion ended up being one of the telling factors as Souths lost crucial go-forward in light of other forwards performing poorly.
Souths did start the second half strongly as debutant Sitiveni Moceidreke scored a try but the Roosters scored again later in the half through Daniel Tupou.
Despite execution not at its best, the 4-0 start is the Roosters best to a season in 21 years.
Not one to beat around the bush, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was tough on his side for a lack of execution.
“We were exceptional in ‘D’ and average in attack,” Robinson said post-game.
“We worked hard to defend what they were going to throw at us.
“They had lots of options and I thought we defended it well [but] we were in a rush in the second half to get our attack on when we needed to be a bit more patient, build it for five minutes. We wanted to defend on our line like that then try and score at the end of that set.”
With a lot of discussion recently about concussion and teams being fined for breaching the rules in place, the Bunnies followed the protocols and thus Sam Burgess did not return to the field.
“Sammy was obviously concussed there,” his coach Michael Maguire said after the game.
“The assessment was made. He came off after they assessed him and had an understanding of what went on [from] the sideline. We checked him again at half-time and the doctor basically came and said he won’t go back out so that was the call.”
Player of the Game:
3. Michael Gordon
2. Latrell Mitchell
- Luke Keary
Sydney Roosters 20 (Mitchell, Gordon, Tupou tries; Gordon 4 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (Moceidreke try; Reynolds goal) at ANZ Stadium. Half time: Roosters 14-0.