On paper, you would back the Sydney Roosters to win. However, games are not played on paper as it was the South Sydney Rabbitohs who came away with victory.
In a rivalry that dates back to the inaugural season in 1908, the two sides have been at each other’s throats for years.
With bickering and pot shots taking place on social media, it was the Rabbitohs who got the last laugh with the 26-14 win.
It was a horror show from James Tedesco that ultimately led to the Roosters demise after two crucial mistakes gave Souths the impetus they needed.
The first one, Tedesco failed to grab a loose ball with Rabbitohs back-rower Angus Crichton scoring.
Before the second saw the Roosters fullback outmatched and out-leaped by a flying Greg Inglis.
A late try to Ryan Matterson did little to stem the tide as the Roosters have bigger problems.
Losing Sio Siua Taukeiaho with a knee injury in the warm-up, the Roosters forwards lost the ruck and failed to aim up.
Torn apart through the middle by Damien Cook, the live-wire Rabbitohs hooker continues to press his Origin claims.
The end product was a start contrast to the opening stanza of the game as a penalty each had the scores at 2-all.
The first four-pointer eventually came via Latrell Mitchell, as he evaded Souths defenders with ease before an acrobatic put-down.
In the end, try as they might, the Roosters lack of execution cost them with their attack never really clicking.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson lamented his side’s disappointing start but praised Tedesco despite his errors.
“That start of the second half was disappointing,” Robinson said.
“That was disappointing there for Teddy but then when it came to his ability to play after that he was the one that kept probing.
“That was a real positive there about his involvements and attacking the ruck, I thought that was good.”
Slowly getting back to his best, Souths captain Inglis drew praise from coach Anthony Seibold.
“I’m proud of the way Greg’s started the year,” Seibold said.
“It’s been challenging at times for him, we had some pretty tough conversations at different times over the pre-season.
It’s a long slog when you’re coming back from an ACL so I’m really proud of where he’s got himself to.”
Player of the Game:
3. Damien Cook
2. Latrell Mitchell
- Greg Inglis