Inglis stars in Rabbitohs victory
A rampant Greg Inglis has bagged a hat-trick, cranked the Rabbitohs juggernaut into warp speed, and obliterated the Broncos' finals hopes all in the course of a 42-16 demolition at ANZ Stadium.
Inglis is already a star in the stuff of Brisbane's nightmares after scoring that try – the 90-metre rampage that people will be telling other people's grandchildren about for years to come – against the Broncos on Anzac Day.
With a treble of tries, to which he could quite easily have added a fourth, and one of the most dominant individual performances of the year, Inglis put in a compelling audition for a recurring role.
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The coup de grace of a scarcely believable performance came with the game hanging in the balance at 6-all after 27 minutes, as Inglis reached up and plucked another four-pointer from the very top shelf.
Having already barged his way over from close range to bag the Bunnies first try, Inglis took off in pursuit of a chip-kick lobbed over the defence by halfback Adam Reynolds.
The Kangaroos superstar first gathered the pill, then absorbed a collision with Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman that would've sunk the Titanic before offloading for Sam Burgess. And that should have been the end of it for him.
But with Burgess's legs stuck in the desperate Broncos cover defence and the big man waving the ball about in the air like he just didn't care, it was Inglis again belting through in support to cross for his second try of the night in a phenomenal display of athletic brilliance.
The Broncos' night had earlier started with so much promise, with skipper Justin Hodges making a welcome return from a hamstring injury to gather up a Ben Hunt grubber and give the visitors a surprise 6-0 lead after 11 minutes.
Once Hurricane Inglis struck however, a stunned Brisbane outfit then conceded a follow-up four-pointer to second-rower Chris McQueen eight minutes later, blowing the Bunnies’ advantage out to 12.
When Dylan Walker galloped 60 metres downfield from the ensuing kickoff the Broncos’ night looked uglier than a room full of ex-girlfriends. And when 34-year-old winger Lote Tuqiri touched down within two minutes, scooping up a dropped bomb by opposite number Daniel Vidot, it somehow got uglier.
A penalty against Kirisome Auva'a for taking out a kick chaser in the shadows of halftime gave the visitors a sliver of hope, only for Inglis to prove just as adept at stopping tries as scoring them, holding up a desperate Ben Barba to close out a scarcely believable first 40 minutes.
The Broncos had to be the first to score after the break, and Sam Thaiday's fourth try of the year after a handy outside-inside play from Ben Hunt and Matt Gillett drew them back to a 24-12 deficit at the 50 minute mark.
Having been on the receiving end of the blowtorch for the best part of an hour, the Broncos revelled in a run of possession in the Rabbitohs’ half as the Bunnies took their foot off the pedal in attack.
But if Souths had shelved their attacking guns, the red and green wall that has proved the strongest in the league remained nigh on impenetrable, turning the Broncos away time and again from their line.
Putting the match beyond doubt in the 64th minute was who else but Inglis, flying high to collect his third of the night from an Adam Reynolds bomb to stretch the lead beyond three converted tries.
Adopting the 'if it aint broke don't fix it' mantra, eight minutes later Inglis again leapt through the air, and could well have had a fourth for the night only to unselfishly offload for Luke Keary trailing in support.
Late tries to Brisbane centre Jack Reed and Auva'a kept the final margin to 26, a hefty blow to the for and against the Broncos will now have to rely on along with three wins from their remaining three games if they're to jag what is now an unlikely finals spot.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 42 (G Inglis 3, C McQueen, L Tuqiri, L Keary, K Auva'a tries; A Reynolds 6, B Lowe goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 16 (J Hodges, S Thaiday, J Reed tries; C Parker 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 14, 092