Rabbitohs second rower John Sutton.

The Roosters came out on top in this crucial round-22 clash which is likely to go a long way to deciding where each team finishes - both teams are considered strong contenders for the 2018 Telstra Premiership title. Here's how NRL.com rated both teams on show at ANZ Stadium.

South Sydney

1. Alex Johnston: Lasted two minutes before leaving the field with a hamstring strain and took no further part in the contest. N/A

14. Braidon Burns: Did his job after being called into the starting side and provided a superb flick pass for Hymel Hunt's try to keep the Rabbitohs in the game. 6.5/10

3 Hymel Hunt: Scored a second-half try with a standard put-down in the corner but missed a one-on-one tackle on Joseph Manu that enabled the Roosters to extend their lead midway through the second half. 6.5

4 Dane Gagai: Shifted to fullback early with the injury to Johnston and was able to roam around to churn out 145 metres but overall couldn't make an impact. 6

5. Richard Kennar: A quiet night out for Kennar who managed just nine carries with little ball coming down the right edge. 5

6. Cody Walker: Saved a certain try with a late effort on Blake Ferguson in the air and looked to threaten throughout the evening. Came up with a brilliant play to earn a repeat set late in the game. 7

7. Adam Reynolds: Scored the Rabbitohs' first try but struggled with his close-range kicking throughout the night with three efforts trapped by the Tricolours – the third leading to Joseph Manu's match-winning four-pointer. 6

8. Tom Burgess: Copped a hit on the chin and went up the tunnel in the 16th minute but later returned to lead the way for the Bunnies with 212 running metres in a dominant performance. 8

9. Damien Cook: Well contained by the Roosters, who came up with the game plan of backtracking in the defensive line to deny any chance of Cook terrorising the middle of the field. Topped the tackle count with 40 that included none missed. 7

10. George Burgess: A solid night with nine carries for 103 metres to match it with Roosters hard men Dylan Napa and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves throughout the evening. 6.5

 11. John Sutton: Linked with Cody Walker well on the left edge with 138 metres and 30 tackles in a usual creative performance. Conceded three penalties in the only negative. 7

12. Angus Crichton: Ran hard with his carries but wasn't as used as well in the second with the Rabbitohs backline struggling down the right edge in attack. Still churned out 160 metres from 17 carries and was well-disciplined. 7.5

13. Sam Burgess (c): Got through a mountain of work but overall had a horrid night making five errors and missing five tackles. Came up with a late shot on Cooper Cronk to extend the Roosters' lead out to eight before another error led to him being taken from the field. 5

Hymel Hunt touches down.
Hymel Hunt touches down. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

Interchange

15. Cameron Murray: Dangerous when he came on with some strong carries through the middle to give Damien Cook some running space up the middle. 7

16. Jason Clark: Had limited game time with five carries for 55 metres. 4

17. Junior Tatola: Only got on the paddock for nine minutes to give Sam Burgess a breather, had three carries in that time before he warmed the bench once more. 3

21. Tyrell Fuimaono: Was thrown into the centres after just two minutes and was defensively sound against the in-form Latrell Mitchell. Came up with a couple of missed tackles late before losing the final pass.

Sydney Roosters

1. James Tedesco: Equal with Ferguson in busting tackles (seven each). Scored his fourth try in four games - his eighth for the year. Left the field early (69th minute) for HIA test. 8/10

2. Daniel Tupou: Ate up the metres again (204), especially running the ball off his own goal-line. A crucial handling error in the first half dented his score, alongside a loose pass when on the attack down the touchline. 6.5 

3. Latrell Mitchell: He might not have scored a try for the first time in a month but always finds a way to score points. His fourth goal for the night hit the left upright and bounced through. 6

4. Joseph Manu: Good strike runner and scored a fine individual try in the right corner after 35-metre dash. 7

5. Blake Ferguson: The most tackle breaks for his side and the most metres with 240. Took two great high balls but gave away a needless penalty in good field position for Souths by not playing the ball correctly. 7.5

6. Ryan Matterson: Played more like an extra forward (25 tackles), rather than a five-eighth, but his defence was key. 6

7. Cooper Cronk: Took on both No.7 and No.6 playmaking roles virtually. Had some decisive kicks and slick short passes to Cordner on the Roosters left edge. Made some solid tackles right on his try line. 8.5

8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: Alongside Taukeiaho were the only two Roosters forwards to break 100 metres. 6.5

9. Jake Friend (c): Tireless again with 58 tackles. More than held his own against NSW Origin hooker Cook. 8.5

10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho: Ran for 137 metres but his 54 post-contact metres just as special. A real workhorse. 8

11. Boyd Cordner (c): Stopped Sam Burgess in his tracks with a superb one-on-one tackle late in the first half that also dislodged the ball. 8.5

12. Isaac Liu: Was everywhere in the ruck - made 33 tackles and missed none. 7

13. Victor Radley: Suffered a head knock early but stayed on and put a couple of decent shots on Sam Burgess to prove he was fine. Made 35 tackles - same as Cordner - but with less time on the field. 8.

Interchange

14. Dylan Napa: Took on all three Burgess brothers with glee, particularly rattling Sam's rib cage, in just his second game back from a month-long knee injury. 7.5

15: Zane Tetevano: As long as he keeps coming off the bench, the Roosters have good impact. But he did turn over the ball midway through the second half. 7

16. Mitch Aubusson: Ever reliable and makes metres up the middle or down an edge. 6.5

17. Sean O'Sullivan: Second straight game where he kept the bench warm all night. Coach Trent Robinson said his young half was only there for injury coverage. N/A