South Sydney scored a 20-12 win at Brookvale Oval in Round 7 in a match that saw tempers flare and Sea Eagles forward Richie Fa’aoso suspended for eight matches for consecutive dangerous tackles on South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis.
As expected, there wasn’t much between the two sides early as some close calls and missed opportunities conspired to keep the rivals tryless. Instead, it was only an Adam Reynolds penalty goal that separated them at the break; however the Rabbitohs were quick out of the blocks in the second half as Greg Inglis broke through on halfway before pushing off the attempted tackle of Brett Stewart to score.
Just a few minutes later they were in again as John Sutton stepped through from close range to make it 14-0.
The kick-off saw Steve Matai put a huge hit on George Burgess that led to punches being thrown and in hindsight both coaches would be pleased that the new fighting laws weren’t in place at the time. But once normal service resumed it was Souths continuing their surge with an Adam Reynolds bomb being batted back by Andrew Everingham for Beau Champion to make it 20-0.
To their credit Manly didn’t give up and after Tom Symonds was denied a try by the video referee, Anthony Watmough and Daly Cherry-Evans both crossed to add some respectability to the scoreline.
Incredibly, Manly ran for 1454 metres to South Sydney’s 1161, made six line-breaks to two and offloaded 16 times to four yet couldn’t get the win.
Inglis impressed for the visitors with 151 metres and four tackle-breaks while Anthony Watmough was the best player on the field with 179 metres and 45 tackles.