Bunnies’ back-up bid a pointless exercise
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.