NRL: Rabbitohs 30, Vodafone Warriors 13

South Sydney produced 24 unanswered second half points to end the Vodafone Warriors five-match winning sequence in Sunday nights 17th-round NRL clash at nib Stadium in Perth.


After putting together the best football of the first half to lead 13-6, the Vodafone Warriors battled gamely to hang onto a 13-12 lead but ultimately a three-try assault in the last 13 minutes enabled the Rabbitohs to nail a 30-13 victory.


They dominated possession and territory throughout the second half to go four points clear at the top of the table on 30 points.


The loss sees the Vodafone Warriors slip a place to 11th on the ladder but they remain only two points off eighth spot (five teams sit just above them on 18 points filling sixth to 10th place).


The Vodafone Warriors face the long trek home on Monday to start their second bye week before resuming their campaign with their 19th-round match against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Friday, July 19.


While the end result was a disappointment they provided plenty of memorable moments in a high-quality first half.


In their opening sets they made good ground and iced them with good kicks yet, despite the pressure exerted, it was South Sydney which opening the scoring in the most fortuitous manner.


On a repeat set after a penalty, the Rabbitohs went to their right. When Adam Reynolds was thrown a terrible pass he couldnt possibly have caught, he stuck out a foot instead. The speculator spewed right, bouncing straight into winger Andrew Everinghams arms for what was one of the luckier tries ever seen.


Down 0-6 after just seven minutes, the Vodafone Warriors quickly set about getting back into the grind. They did it well, too, building patiently over the next 20 minutes before clinically unlocking South Sydneys left edge defence. Shaun Johnson went to the line, threw a no-look pass and there was captain Simon Mannering steaming onto the ball on a perfect line to score. With Johnsons conversion it was all level after 28 minutes.


The high point of the half came in the 36th minute as the wrecking ball Konrad Hurrell was unleashed, shunting through and over the top of his ex-Kiwi opposite Bryson Goodwin and scattering three other defenders including Greg Inglis to score. With Johnsons conversion and a field goal from the same man the Vodafone Warriors went to halftime 13-6 ahead.


The second half started as intensely as the first had been throughout but it was South Sydney which eked out the advantages.


First John Sutton scored off a contested kick in the 48th minute to draw Souths within one point 12-13.


There it stayed for a term, the Vodafone Warriors scrambling impressively on defence to repel the nominated home side. For almost 20 minutes they managed to protect their one-point advantage but in the 67th minute the wall was breached, a clever last tackle play producing a try for centre Bryson Goodwin when he pushed through a grubber out wide and re-gathered.


Still just 13-18 behind, the Vodafone Warriors pressed and set up to their right but when a pass went astray Goodwin was there to snaffle it and race away for his second try. At 24-13, the Rabbitohs were in position to secure their biggest win in history against their opponents and ensured that would be the case with the last try of the match through Chris McQueen.


The 30-13 margin gave a lopsided look to what had been a pulsating encounter. It was no consolation whatsoever for the Vodafone Warriors as their five-match winning streak was stopped in front of a 20,000-plus ground record crowd (and a strongly pro-Warriors one it was too).


After producing two memorable tries in the first half, the Vodafone Warriors were unable to score in the second spell, only the second time theyve been denied in the second spell this season (the other occasion was against the Bulldogs in Wellington).


While they ultimately conceded 30 points, they restricted South Sydney to just two line breaks with three of the Rabbitohs tries coming from kicks.


The Rabbitohs , on the other hand, underlined their 2013 credentials as they extended their streak to five wins on end. Their strengths are many and varied, Sutton involved in so much of their play and Inglis illustrating yet again why he is viewed as the best player in the game at the moment. Sam and George Burgess were monsters in their pack.


In defeat the Vodafone Warriors could look to Nathan Friends heroic defensive effort a provisional 60 tackles and big outputs from Elijah Taylor with 41 tackles, Jacob Lillyman with 35 and Mannering with 32.


The back five came up with big numbers in terms of runs and metres gained, four of them making more than 100 metres and Kevin Locke going close. Hurrell made 175 metres from 17 carries, Ngani Laumape 158 from 15, Glen Fisiiahi 149 from seven, Dane Nielsen 122 from 12 and Locke 94 from 12.


Charlie Gubbs big day on debut didnt end favourably but he contributed well in the middle stages of the contest, carting the ball up 11 times and making 84 metres plus 12 tackles.


The match was notable for flawless goal-kicking, Johnson and Adam Reynolds nailing seven attempts between them. With his two goals, Johnson extended his run of consecutive success to 17.


Try-scoring record holder Manu Vatuvei was ruled out of the match, not quite recovered from the shin injury he picked up against Brisbane.


Match details:


Nib Stadium, Perth

South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 (Bryson Goodwin 2, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Chris McQueen tries; Adam Reynolds 5 conversions).

Vodafone Warriors 13 (Simon Mannering, Konrad Hurrell tries; Shaun Johnson 2 conversions, field goal).

Halftime: 13-6 Vodafone Warriors.

Referees: Ashley Klein and Dave Munro.

Crowd: 20,221.


Vodafone Warriors: Kevin Locke; Glen Fisiiahi, Konrad Hurrell, Dane Nielsen, Ngani Laumape; Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson; Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Jacob Lillyman; Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c); Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux, Charlie Gubb.