Reynolds, Sutton injured as Bunnies smash Roosters
Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds has produced a near-perfect exhibition of general-play kicking to help his side dismantle the Roosters 42-10, but disastrously for his side the playmaker left the field with a suspected broken jaw after 60 minutes.
Reynolds was on fire in notching two try assists and a couple of repeat sets before a head clash with Roosters big man Kane Evans forced him off 20 minutes from time with blood coming from his mouth. Just two minutes from the final siren John Sutton added to his side's injury woes when he left the field clutching his left pectoral muscle.
The injuries put a serious dampener on what was otherwise a wonderful season-opener from Michael Maguire's men, who showed clinical discipline and execution to grind their opponents out of the contest early through weight of possession while taking their chances every time they were on offer.
For all the fanfare over his return Sam Burgess was solid rather than spectacular though he did make the most metres of any player with 188 from 17 powerful runs.
Debutant five-eighth Cody Walker looked well at home in the top grade and seems poised for a longer run in the NRL with Reynolds set to miss an extended period. Fullback Greg Inglis was close to best on field with some vintage blockbusting runs.
There were some positives for the Roosters; debutant winger Joe Burgess was a late inclusion for the injured Dan Tupou and scored two tries while the least experienced halves pairing in the NRL in Jackson Hastings and Jayden Nikorima never panicked despite the score card and produced some positive passages of play.
Hastings in particular showed experience beyond his years and contributed to both his side's tries while centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall shrugged past some off-field distractions to be one of his side's best along with hard-running bench forward Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
The entire first half was a clinical exhibition from Souths and a virtual capitulation from the Roosters right from the time a Hastings attacking grubber just trickled dead in goal in the second minute.
From there the Roosters gave away two penalties to hand Souths a full set at their line from where Cam McInnes's dart from dummy-half split Kane Evans and Mitch Aubusson in the sixth minute.
The Bunnies piled on the pressure with repeat sets on the back of a sublime display of pinpoint kicking from Reynolds and the second try came from a laser-like cut-out pass from debutant Walker to Aaron Gray in the 14th minute.
The Roosters gave away another penalty in the set after points and when Paul Carter showed brilliant catching skills to mark another Reynolds chip next to the Roosters' posts from the ensuing set, Souths were almost keeping pace with the clock.
A quarter of the way through the contest the Tricolours had been forced to make 101 tackles to Souths' 42, while the Bunnies had a 468-151 advantage in running metres.
Another pinpoint chip from Reynolds landed in the lap of winger Alex Johnston for the Rabbitohs' fourth try then Inglis used a brutal combination of strength and agility to make a mockery of an attempted tackle from Sam Moa and Aubusson.
The Roosters worked their way back into the half after that but weren't able to claw back a try, though they at least stopped the bleeding.
Needing to be the first to score in the second half if they were to be any chance of a miracle comeback, the Tricolours instead produced two forward passes to invite the Bunnies up their end from where Kyle Turner got his name on the score sheet.
The first of Burgess's two tries followed on the back of a nice left-side shift and he added another via a long-range break from Dale Copley shortly after but further tries to Souths centres Bryson Goodwin and Hymel Hunt pushed the Rabbitohs out to a big score.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 42 (McInnes, Gray, Carter, Johnston, Inglis, Turner, Goodwin, Hunt tries; Reynolds 4, Goodwin goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 10 (Burgess 2 tries; Mitchell goal) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: Rabbitohs 26-0. Crowd: 25,125. Injuries: Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs – jaw), John Sutton (Rabbitohs – pec).