Rabbitohs steamroll struggling Dragons

The Josh Dugan centre experiment proved to be a failure as the Rabbitohs flexed their muscles to take out the Dragons 29-10 in front of 11,771 fans at ANZ Stadium on Monday.

While Dugan was named in his preferred fullback position, he played at right centre and the NSW hopeful demonstrated that he should stick with No.1 as the Rabbitohs ambushed his side of field in their five tries to two victory.

Rabbitohs duo Joel Reddy and Greg Inglis combined twice for tries as Souths - who had hooker Issac Luke back from a shoulder injury - made Dragons coach Paul McGregor's NRL debut one to forget. With the Rabbitohs making things easy for themselves, Queensland back-rower Chris McQueen didn't bother entering the fray until the 50th minute when the game was out of reach for St George Illawarra.

While fans were treated to some Benji Marshall magic circa 2005 late in proceedings, with a no-look flick pass on the break to Jason Nightingale, the new Dragons halfback had an error-riddled game in his second appearance in the Red V jumper.

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With the Rabbitohs up 18-4 at half-time, the beginning of the second stanza saw a knock-on-athon from both teams.

Though it took the Bunnies 22 minutes into the second half to add points, they extended their lead when halfback Adam Reynolds caught his own ricocheted grubber to push the margin to 18.

Four minutes later, Rabbitohs centre Dylan Walker put the game out of reach for the Dragons with a sneaky run back inside his opposition defenders. With Reynolds down with a knee complaint, Walker converted his own try to push the scoreline out to 28-4.

With 11 minutes remaining in the game, the Dragons threw caution to the wind through a Benji Marshall bomb. With his halves partner Gareth Widdop flying though, the five-eighth outjumped the willing defenders before throwing it back to teammate Tyson Frizell for the Saints' second and final try of the evening.

A Reynolds field goal pushed the lead out to 19 points in the 74th minute as the game became absolutely out of reach for a Red V resurgence.

While Souths secured the two points, the momentum was arguably in the Dragons' favour in the first quarter of the game, yet the Rabbitohs kicked off the scoring proceedings after several pedestrian sets from the away side.

With two men holding onto him, barnstorming Bunnies prop George Burgess crossed the try-line in the 18th minute. With the on-field referee Shayne Hayne indicating a try, video referees Steve Chiddy and Luke Patten thought otherwise, judging that Burgess was short and knocked the ball on in the process of scoring.

Though it wouldn't worry the home side. Off a beautiful set play down the short side, Rabbitohs fullback Inglis managed to throw a nice cut-out pass to his waiting winger Reddy in the 22nd minute to post the first points of the game.

With the Rabbitohs failing to stick to the golden rule of completing their set after points, Dragons winger Peter Mata'utia went as close as possible to hitting back for the Red V. With a beautiful stab kick into the in-goal from Widdop, the winger spectacularly appeared to score - though the men in the video referee box again pressed the 'no try' button as the winger placed the ball on the sideline.

With a possible Sam Burgess try following in the 29th minute, the Rabbitohs lock's efforts proved third time's a charm for the video referees as the Bunnies went up 12-0, and the momentum began to swing well and truly in the home team's favour.

The right side defence of the Dragons became problematic once again three minutes later. Utilising a similar play they employed for their first try of the evening, Inglis again chimed into the Rabbitohs set play as the fullback produced another perfect pass out-wide to Reddy for his second try of the game.

Dragons fans found some solace in the dying stages of the half as centre Gerard Beale dummied his way over the line for an 18-4 half-time scoreline.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 29 (Reddy 2, Reynolds, S Burgess, Walker tries; Reynolds 3, Walker goals; Reynolds field goal) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 10 (Beale, Frizell tries; Widdop goal) at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 11,771.