A hamstring injury to Sam Burgess has taken the shine off a huge South Sydney Rabbitohs win over the Wests Tigers.
With a chance to gain some momentum and make a statement heading into the finals, the Bunnies did just that.
Despite an average first-half, the second was where it all came to life as the Bunnies ran rampant against a poor Tigers side.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the cardinal and myrtle side as they move into second spot behind Melbourne.
Playing strongly, Burgess left the field just before the midway point of the second half but coach Anthony Seibold says he will be fine.
“Sam is fine. He could have gone back on towards the back end of the game but I just thought it was important to give him a spell – same with Greg. I brought Greg off early and then [Damien] Cooky with five or so minutes to go,” Seibold said.
“It’s just a matter of giving those guys a rest and I didn’t think they needed to go back on because of the scoreline.”
The Tigers were in the contest early and actually took the lead as veterans Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence combined.
A trademark Souths scrumplay then saw Robert Jennings continue his rich vein of try-scoring form.
Tigers winger David Nofoaluma then hit back with a try of his own but from there, it was one way traffic.
Angus Crichton would burst onto a pass and cross the line to score an easy try.
Cody Walker then extended Souths lead before the break with his nifty skills and footwork.
It went further downhill for the Tigers, as Campbell Graham, Adam Reynolds, Thomas Burgess, John Sutton and Alex Johnston all got on the scoresheet.
The numbers did not lie, with Souths comprehensively dominating every statistic throughout the entire game.
Post-game, Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary again remained adamant that he would see out his contract.
“I have a contract here and I’ve said all that I’ve needed to say,” Cleary said.
“I get [that] people want to discuss it.
“I get that there’s an agenda about various things outside the game.”
Despite concern over his hamstring, Burgess says he will find a way to play for his team.
“I’m not the only one [hurting],” Burgess said.
“I feel good; I’m alright. I know mentally I can get myself up for a game.
“I’ll play next week 100 per cent. I know I’ll play.
“I’m not too worried about it.
“I’ll find a way to get on the field and do my job for the team.”
Player of the Game:
3. John Sutton
2. Cody Walker
- Angus Crichton