Don’t expect results to turn around anytime soon if you’re a South Sydney fan.
That’s the message coming from the rugby league experts after a demoralising 46-8 defeat at the hands of Manly
Fox Sports commentator Braith Anasta said South Sydney don’t look like showing signs of improvement and don’t have any reinforcements of note to call upon to help salvage their season.
“It was abysmal the first half,” Anasta said.
“You look at the Rabbitohs’, and sure they’re missing Greg Inglis, but they’ve only really got George Burgess out with suspension.
“That’s the main concern. Who comes back next week? — well no one. It’s worrying signs for the Bunnies.”
Anasta’s commentary partners Brett Kimmorley and Greg Alexander were equally scathing, saying South Sydney future prospects now look very bleak.
“I think they’re in another dark period again at the moment,” Kimmorley said.
“One win in the last six games, this week the performance has gone backwards. They just don’t look like scoring any tries.”
Penrith legend Alexander was bemused at the lack of commitment shown by the Rabbitohs’ players, as Manly continually broke through their defensive line.
“No coverage from the other side, no one pushing across, no urgency, it’s been a terrible night for the Bunnies. But Manly outstanding,” Alexander said.
Rabbitiohs fans joined in the chorus of discontent, taking to social media to voice their displeasure.
Eugh. Time to change the channel. Souths are rotten #NRLSouthsManly
— David Penrose (@David_Penrose) April 28, 2017
Either Souths looked at last year's fixture and sent out their under-20s for a 6pm start…or they are awful.#NRLSouthsManly
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) April 28, 2017
But it was a masterclass from Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker that led Manly to a their rout at Allianz Stadium.
The game was as good as over at halftime after Trent Barrett’s side raced out to a 30-2 lead as Trbojevic ran riot and Walker continued his devastating form. Trbojevic had a hand in four of his side’s six first-half four-pointers while Walker terrorised the Rabbitohs down the right edge and sent Akuila Uate over for four tries.
Michael Maguire’s side have now lost five of their past six with many of the 10,594-strong crowd leaving in disappointment before fulltime. Manly had heroes all over the park with Uate collecting four tries against Souths for the second time in his career — the first was for Newcastle in round 26, 2011.
The Sea Eagles took the game away from Souths with four tries in the final 13 minutes of the first half with Trbojevic the main destroyer, in a performance that would have made NSW State of Origin selectors and Blues coach Laurie Daley sit up and take notice.
The fullback finished the game with 209 metres, a linebreaks and three linebreak assists.
Trbojevic opened up the Rabbitohs defence on the left to send Jorge Taufua over in the 27th minute and then took a Daly Cherry-Evans bomb in the lead up to Uate’s first of the night.
Six minutes later he put Walker through a hole for Uate’s second and then put the cherry on the cake of a stellar 40 minutes by sending brother Jake over from close range.
It was an outstanding showing from 20-year-old Trbojevic that should put him right in the mix for a Blues debut.
Souths had the ball just three times in the final 29 minutes of the first half as they were made to make 175 tackles to Manly’s 79 in the first 40. The Rabbitohs finally got over for their first and only try in the 50th minute through Hymel Hunt.
However, Manly soon resumed the rout with Walker sending Uate over in the 59th and 69th minutes before Trbojevic split open the defence in the middle of the field for Blake Green to score.