After last weekend’s chaotic golden points loss, South Sydney badly needed a comfortable win – and got exactly what they were looking for.
Such was his dominance against a disinterested Warriors side, superstar Latrell Mitchell was taken off on the hour mark with the Bunnies 38 points ahead.
“It’s a big step in the right direction,” Mitchell told Fox League after the 48-10 win.
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“Last week didn’t work out the way we wanted, but we played the way we wanted…all the boys threw another gear, which we wanted.”
As he spoke, he put an arm around halfback Lachlan Ilias and praised him for his performance – another, like Mitchell, who needed a rebound game after last week.
Ilias got the first try of the day while Mitchell collected two of his own, the first particularly impressive as he shoved past several Warriors players on his way to the line.
Then there was the basketball pass to Alex Johnston and the no-look cut ball to debutant Izaac Thompson, who crossed for a four-pointer in his NRL debut.
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But it shows how much they rely on their full back as the Rabbitohs failed to score a point in the final 20 minutes of the game after being substituted.
The only real point of interest in the dying stages came when a pitch invader delayed the final siren, as an excited bench from the Souths cheered him on, led by Mitchell.
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The decision to move games away from home can always end badly – but not here for Souths, who moved operations to the Sunshine Coast five days in advance to prepare for this game.
“I really appreciate the boys training and time,” Mitchell said.
“We came here on Tuesday to connect a bit more and I think that showed tonight.”
But with the Warriors in the rear-view mirror now, they will remain in Sydney for the final four games of the season – a line of bruisers from Parramatta, Penrith, North Queensland and Sydney’s big rivals await them.
But if Mitchell can play like that – as he has in previous wins over the Eels, Storm and Bulldogs – it’s hard for other teams to match Souths’ attacking performance, and hard to see many teams quitting. the Rabbitohs on charge in September.
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