Rampant Rabbitohs blow Broncos away
A second half try-scoring blitz by the Bunnies has blown the Broncos away 36-6 in the opening game of the 2015 NRL season at Suncorp Stadium.
With the pre-match hype centred on Corey Parker's 300th NRL match and Wayne Bennett's return to the Broncos' helm, the Rabbitohs piled on four tries in the second stanza to send the majority of the 36,057 crowd home disappointed.
Only trailing 10-2 at half-time, Brisbane soon had the game snatched from their grasp when the visitors scored three quick-fire tries between the 44th and 57th minute before Joel Reddy iced the result 11 minutes from fulltime.
Luke Keary, Issac Luke and Adam Reynolds were particularly dangerous for South Sydney with the latter slotting eight from eight with the boot.
Errors and penalties were evenly shared between both sides, although the Rabbitohs did enjoy 61 percent of possession and made over 500 metres more than the Broncos.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire was pleased with the way his side built pressure in the second half which eventually led to a glut of points scored by his side.
"The boys in the first half had opportunities at times but we weren't clinical down close to the line. I thought in the second half they started to take those [opportunities]," Maguire said.
"Obviously the pressure built and we were able to complete our sets and the boys scored some good tries off the back end."
Maguire was particularly complimentary of his halves combination of Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds, who were a constant danger throughout the match with the latter booting eight from eight goals.
"[Adam] is growing and growing as a senior player on our team. He's played plenty of footy now and he understands the game and he's got a great partner in crime there with Luke Keary.
"Luke Keary and Adam [Reynolds] really stood up tonight – particularly in that second half.
"I thought Glenn Stewart chimed in really well with John Sutton in the back-row.
"So we've got that difference about us now whether it's through the middle or up an edge."
On the other side of the ledger, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett lamented the fact that his side couldn’t build pressure in the same vein as their opposition.
"South Sydney were extremely good and there's a lot of lessons in that. We need to realise what the good teams do compared to the teams that aren’t so good," Bennett said.
"The game is too clinical today to make the mistakes we make in our game and think we can compete with the top teams.
"At half-time they had 20 sets and we had 13 and we paid a price for that in the second half.
"You can't have the best team in the competition seven sets in front at half-time because of penalties and repeat sets that they weren’t giving away.
"We needed a game one... We needed to come out here to see where we are really at.
"You don’t know until you get put under pressure and they put on more pressure than any other team in the comp.
"So in a cynical way I'm pleased we did play them tonight because at least we know how far we need to go."
Before the game had even started there was a drama, with a blackout in the western stand affecting the change rooms and also causing the pre- game entertainment to be cancelled.
Once the on-field action commenced it was the Rabbitohs who opened the scoring after five minutes courtesy of a Reynolds penalty goal.
Reynolds slotted the easy two points on offer from directly in front after the Broncos conceded successive play-the-ball infringements.
The Broncos squared the ledger three minutes later when 300-gamer Parker slotted a penalty from right in front.
After a conservative start by both sides, a blatant forward pass by Jordan Kahu at dummy-half allowed the Bunnies another crack at Brisbane's line.
Souths earned themselves back-to-back sets but failed to take advantage and moments later they lost Tom Burgess to a shoulder injury, with debutant Chris Grevsmuhl replacing the England international.
It took until the 28th minute for the opening try to be scored and it was a defensive error by Jack Reed which allowed Dylan Walker to weave his way over the line from close range.
Reynolds' conversion was on target, handing the visitors an 8-2 lead 10 minutes out from the break.
The Rabbitohs received their seventh penalty of the match in the closing minutes of the half and Reynolds successfully nailed his long-range attempt to hand his side a 10-2 lead at half-time.
Kahu's shaky night went from bad to worse when the Broncos fullback spilt a spiralling bomb which led to John Sutton scoring under the posts in the next set.
The Bunnies extended their lead to 20 points in the 48th minute after quick hands by Issac Luke and Luke Keary allowed Alex Johnston to cruise down the sideline and deliver a clever inside ball for Greg Inglis to latch on and score.
Reynolds made no mistake from the sideline to hand Souths a 22-2 lead.
Just as the Broncos looked down and out, new skipper Justin Hodges sent Matt Gillett over the line to hand the home team some hope with the scoreboard reading 22-6 after 55 minutes.
Any chance the Broncos had of mounting a comeback evaporated seconds later when Luke scooted from dummy-half, dishing off to Inglis who then passed to an unmarked Keary to take the score out to 28-6.
The Bunnies continued to ride roughshod over the Broncos with another try in the 69th minute when winger Joel Reddy crossed unmarked out wide.
Reynolds' golden night with the boot continued when he nailed yet another penalty after the fulltime siren all the way back at halfway to hand South Sydney a 30-point victory.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 (Dylan Walker, John Sutton, Greg Inglis, Luke Keary, Joel Reddy tries; Adam Reynolds 8 goals) def. Brisbane Broncos 6 (Matt Gillett tries; Corey Parker 1 goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Rabbitohs 10-2. Crowd: 36,057. On Report: James Gavet (Broncos); Ben Lowe (Rabbitohs).