The South Sydney Rabbitohs were at their slick best as they overpowered a sluggish Brisbane Broncos side to win.
Desperate to assert some ascendancy, the Broncos did not start the game well at all.
The Rabbitohs made easy metres and the pressure would result in the first points of the game.
Adam Reynolds’ cross-field kick found Benji Marshall, who was filling in for the suspended Cody Walker.
A rare miss from Reynolds kept the score at 4-0 but two points would be added when the Rabbitohs half slotted a penalty goal.
The Broncos defence had no answer for a touch of class from Latrell Mitchell and Alex Johnston.
Mitchell’s cut-out pass found Johnston who continued his stellar try-scoring form.
Tom Dearden would have none of it, though, as he dug deep with two big plays to put the Broncos in attacking range.
First, a clean break and then a big defensive effort, it set things up nicely for the Broncos to score.
It would be Jamayne Isaako to get them on the board as he cut through some surprisingly weak Rabbitohs defence to score.
Just when it seemed the deficit would only be four heading into the break, the Rabbitohs had other plans.
Dane Gagai made a break after some average defence by Jordan Riki and found Reynolds on the inside to score the Rabbitohs third.
History would then be made as Reynolds slotted the first two-point field goal of the NRL era.
A laboured start to the second half ceased when Mitchell powered his way past five defenders to score.
The Broncos kick out on the full would lead to another Rabbitohs opportunity and they would capitalise.
Marshall was in the thick of it when a nice play from the veteran saw Campbell Graham score a meat pie.
Mitchell would grab his second when he leapt highest to pluck a Reynolds cross-field kick from the air.
To then rub salt into the wound, Mitchell slotted a field goal as the Rabbitohs rolled on and the Broncos were left to rue some average defence.
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett praised Marshall for slotting into the side well and performing when required.
I thought Benji was outstanding, he did a great job for us,” Bennett said.
“That’s what you want, you want guys coming into the team and we did it last year when we had a lot of injuries late in the season and we had guys keep turning up.”
Despite the loss, Kevin Walters felt that there were some positive elements from his team.
“I saw something different; there were some good, positive signs at different stages throughout the game,” he said.
“Souths are a good side, we need to respect that. Obviously, the result’s not great but there’s not much we can do about it now.
“Some of those kick finishes in that first half weren’t great which relieved the pressure on Souths.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Latrell Mitchell (SOU)
2. Alex Johnston (SOU)
1. Benji Marshall (SOU)