Red-hot Rabbitohs sound ominous finals warning
AFTER three weeks on rugby league's backburner, South Sydney were back on the boil.
An embarrassingly easy 51-10 win over a disappointing Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium ended a concerning three-match losing streak for South Sydney.
In front of club co-owner and Hollywood star Russell Crowe, the Rabbitohs ran in eight tries to two in a perfect way to enter what will be a booming finals series.
"I didn't lose faith or have any concerns about how we played in the last few weeks," Souths skipper Greg Inglis said.
"It was about getting back and refocusing on the job at hand. Our performance throughout the whole night was exceptional. I thought our starting pack really lifted.
"I'm not going to lie to you, I am confident with the side that I've got. It was just that we had to stick to what we do best and play eyes-up footy.
"It's what every team wants to do, play finals footy.
"We will enjoy the ride. Who knows what will happen in four weeks. We'll enjoy the moment."
Inglis was given an early break with 11 minutes remaining, drawing a standing ovation from the relieved and excited Souths faithful.
Warrington-bound Souths forward Jason Clark, a club favourite, landed the final conversation.
Souths coach Anthony Seibold also rested star Sam Burgess in the 55th minute.
It was originally thought Burgess had damaged his hamstring but Seibold said the plan was always to rest the big Englishmen with 25 minutes remaining.
"Sam is fine," Seibold said. "He could have gone on toward the back end of the game. I just thought it was important to give him a spell.
"The same with Greg. I brought him off early. Sam has been a bit battered and bruised the last few weeks.
"The most impressive thing for me tonight was that we stayed within our game model. I talk all the time to players about pressure and efforts and I thought we built a lot of pressure.
"We had a high completion rate, not many missed tackles and we built pressure on both sides of the footy. We got some rewards at the back end of the game.
"We have always been really confident about where we're heading."
Victory pushed Souths to 34 competition points and guaranteed them a top-four finish.
The Rabbitohs are unlikely to claim the minor premiership but can finish second or third, depending on whether the Roosters beat Parramatta Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.
Finishing second would mean Souths host a home final at ANZ Stadium.
The Roosters would more than likely finish second - and secure a home final at Allianz Stadium - by beating the Eels.
Wests Tigers finished the season on 12 wins - a sound season without, yet again, playing finals footy.
The Tigers' missed 50 tackles, but forward Elijah Taylor made a stunning 60 on his own. It was a shame some teammates didn't share the same commitment.
A try to South Sydney winger Campbell Graham 10 minutes in the second half sealed a strong Rabbitohs win.
A try and goal to halfback Adam Reynolds dragged Souths out to a 22-point lead with 14 minutes remaining.
The tries kept coming. They scored four in nine minutes during the second half.
SOUTH SYDNEY 51 (T Burgess A Crichton C Graham R Jennings A Johnston A Reynolds J Sutton C Walker tries A Reynolds 8 J Clark goals A Reynolds field goal) bt WESTS TIGERS 10 (C Lawrence D Nofoaluma tries E Marsters goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Ashley Klein, Adam Gee. Crowd: 12,037
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