The Courier-Mail

Bun­nies’ back-up bid a point­less ex­er­cise

- PAUL CRAWLEY ROOST­ERS

SOUTH Syd­ney fans should thank their lucky stars their club broke its 43-year premier­ship drought last year.

Be­cause it is go­ing to take a mir­a­cle from here for the reign­ing pre­miers to pick them­selves up in time to make an im­pact in this year’s fi­nals se­ries.

The Syd­ney Roost­ers last night made it 12 con­sec­u­tive wins as they se­cured their third straight mi­nor premier­ship with a com­pre­hen­sive 30-0 thump­ing of a Rab­bitohs side that looks as good as dead.

The Roost­ers pro­duced a mag­nif­i­cent first-half per­for­mance as they stormed to a 30-0 lead.

While they failed to score any sec­ond-half points, they had al­ready proved be­yond ques­tion why they are the team to beat in this year’s ti­tle race.

But for the Rab­bitohs last night’s carve-up comes on the back of the pre­vi­ous week’s 47-12 thump­ing by the Bron­cos and the week be­fore that the Bun­nies were belted 32-18 by the Bull­dogs.

That’s a to­tal of 109 points con­ceded in three games with only 30 points scored.

They will now go into sud­den death next week­end in a match against ei­ther Cronul- la or Can­ter­bury depend­ing on re­sults in matches to be played to­mor­row.

With Souths most likely to fin­ish sev­enth, they should play the sixth-placed team in week one of the fi­nals, while the Roost­ers will play the team that fin­ishes fourth, but not in an elim­i­na­tion con­test.

While a lot has been said about the ab­sence of Greg Inglis, Is­sac Luke and John Sut­ton, the Roost­ers have not missed a beat in re­cent weeks with­out Mitchell Pearce and Jared Waerea-Har­g­reaves.

But with the mi­nor premier­ship now con­firmed, the Roost­ers will be sweat­ing on the match re­view charges to see if James Maloney has a case to an­swer for throw­ing out a leg in what looked to be an at­tempted trip.

A grade one trip­ping charge only equates to a 75point penalty which would free Maloney to play next week­end, but if the in­ci­dent is viewed as dan­ger­ous con­tact it car­ries a 100-point penalty which is a one-match ban.

Dy­lan Napa could have a prob­lem af­ter he was put on re­port late in the game for a crusher tackle, although it did not ap­pear de­lib­er­ate.

The first quar­ter of the match was a de­mo­li­tion job by the Roost­ers.

A tur­bocharged Michael Jen­nings got the score­board tick­ing in the eighth minute be­fore fur­ther tries to Blake Fer­gu­son (11th minute) and Boyd Cord­ner (15th minute).

Cord­ner then laid up a su­perb ball just cen­time­tres from the turf to put Jake Friend over in the 21st minute. In the count­down to the break Ai­dan Guerra pushed the mar­gin out to 30 points.

 ??  ?? CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: The Roost­ers’ Michael Jen­nings scorches past South Syd­ney’s Joel Reddy last night. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: The Roost­ers’ Michael Jen­nings scorches past South Syd­ney’s Joel Reddy last night. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages
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