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Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker.

He is one of the form players of the NRL through the first 10 rounds and few have had a better view of Cody Walker's purple patch than Dane Gagai.

Walker scored one try himself, set up another, had four tackle breaks and kicked for 199 metres to help propel South Sydney to their ninth win of the season when they downed Canberra 16-12 on Saturday.

It was the type of performance that only strengthened his case to be picked as the five-eighth for NSW in the Holden State of Origin series opener.

Gagai said Walker's sizzling form was in part due to Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett taking the shackles off the talented playmaker.

"Cody has been in outstanding form and he set me up for my first try of the year and that's from him playing eyes-up footy," Gagai said

"He's one of those great instinctive players and the coaching staff have done a great job not nullifying him and trapping him to one side of the field.

Rabbitohs centre Dane Gagai.
Rabbitohs centre Dane Gagai. ©Mark Nolan/NRL Photos

"They've given him the opportunity to roam around the field, obviously he's a left side player but if he sees something there he'll try and take the chance.

"If he sees something through the middle or wherever, he'll take it and usually he comes up with the right play."

South Sydney's place at the top of the Telstra Premiership ladder looked under threat in the first half after a slew of penalties given, four of which were given up by the captain Sam Burgess, threatened to de-rail their winning streak.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Rabbitohs

However both sides showed why they are two of the best defensive units in the NRL so far this season and the Rabbitohs knew they could strike in the second half if they became more disciplined.

"In that first half we gave away a fair few penalties which is always going to make it hard when you have to do that much defending," Gagai said.

"It definitely played a big role with how fatigued we were, but in saying that, I thought the boys turned up for each other.

"Josh Papalii went through and looked like he was in for all money and the boys showed up and managed to stop him and the post did a bit of the work too, but that's footy, you use those things to your advantage."

With Walker, Adam Reynolds, Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Gagai all serious chances of being called up for Origin duty, the Rabbitohs face a tough task to stay on top through the representative period.

Gagai expected the side to dig deep without its stars as it was forced to against a dangerous Raiders outfit.

"We've just got to keep turning up for each other and the boys did a great job tonight off the back of our defence," he said.

"We didn’t have much ball in the first half but we managed to keep in range of then (Canberra) so we could come back out in the second half and make the most of the opportunities we had in the second half."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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