Rabbitohs ease past Knights
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have ruined the Knights' Old Boys Day celebrations for the second time in five years following their 34-12 win on Sunday afternoon.
Led by skipper Greg Inglis and halfback Adam Reynolds (four try assists between them), South Sydney proved too strong for the inexperienced Knights in their third-straight win.
Newcastle's 22-point defeat extended their run of losses to an unprecedented club record of 17 on an afternoon where they farewelled retiring warhorse Jeremy Smith.
Inglis scored the game's first try in the ninth minute when he pulled in an Adam Reynolds grubber just centimetres from the dead ball line.
Newcastle's desperate defence held firm for the first 25 minutes– bar Inglis's freak effort – but they finally fell away in the 29th minute when Alex Johnston scored his first in the corner in the 29th minute.
A magic banana kick from Reynolds to five-eighth Cody Walker saw the Rabbitohs' half-time lead extend to 16-0, but it should've been more.
Just minutes earlier, Inglis made a huge break through the middle of the Knights line. Drawing in Knights counterpart Jake Mamo, Inglis passed to Damien Cook with 20 metres to spare. But with the try-line in sight, the hooker dropped the ball cold.
It only took the Rabbitohs four minutes to score in the second half when centre Aaron Gray pushed his way past Brendan Elliot to help put his side ahead 22-0.
The Knights' 11th debutant of the season Dylan Phythian ensured a memorable maiden outing when he scored his side's first try in the 54th minute from dummy-half.
Another Newcastle error however from the pursuing set helped Souths into good territory again, which Sam Burgess capitalised on midway through the second half.
Johnston's second try capped off South Sydney's afternoon in what was the club's first visit to Newcastle since 2012.
Knights fullback Jake Mamo's Billy Slater-esque chip-and-chase effort in the final five minutes gave the Newcastle faithful something to cheer about.
While the deficit remained 20-plus, the 15,000-strong Hunter Stadium crowd remained to the bitter end and offered co-captain Smith a standing ovation when he kicked only the second goal of his career.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 34 (Alex Johnston 2, Greg Inglis, Cody Walker, Aaron Gray, Sam Burgess tries; Adam Reynolds 5 goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 12 (Dylan Phythian, Jake Mamo tries; Trent Hodkinson, Jeremy Smith goals) at Hunter Stadium. Crowd: 15,212. Half-time: Rabbitohs 16-0.