«It’s a bit early to summarise it, we are just trying to get the job done each week at the moment,» Bennett said. «It was a bit of a mixed day for us today so to say I am happy about something is an overstatement. We got the job done, I was pleased with that – they’re a difficult team to play.»
Greg Inglis may have been absent but just as the Storm have Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Brodie Croft in sensational form and the Roosters have Luke Keary and James Tedesco bearing the brunt of the load with Cooper Cronk and Jake Friend struggling with injuries, the Rabbitohs’ spine puts them in a position to win each and every match.
Whether it’s Damien Cook, Adam Reynolds or Cody Walker, the decision to kick, pass or run when the Rabbitohs’ pack puts them in the opposition red zone is almost faultless.
Take their four tries last night for example.
After the Titans gave away back-to-back penalties for lingering in the ruck far too long, Walker made Gold Coast pay with a perfect attacking read.
As Anthony Don and Brian Kelly rushed in, Walker floated the ball over their heads and found Campbell Graham in stride for the first try of the evening.
It was Reynolds’ turn to set up four points next.
The star playmaker called for the ball on the right-hand side of the field, Cook hit him on the chest and as Peachey and Copley rushed infield, Reynolds floated an identical pass to Corey Allan for his first NRL try.
Walker followed suit when he scampered across field in front of transfixed Titans defenders and dropped the ball inside to Dane Gagai, who found Ethan Lowe running through a seismic hole.
Gold Coast, to their credit, hung tough thanks to a determined, burrowing effort from Brian Kelly and a clever intercept from Dale Copley on the stroke of half time, leaving the match poised at 18-8 as the half time siren rung out.
But they were without three quarters of their spine with Ash Taylor, Tyrone Roberts and Nathan Peats sidelined and it told.
Walker had set up a try with his passing and his running in the first half so it was only natural he would complete the trifecta with his kicking game to set up the Rabbitohs’ fourth try, 12 minutes after play resumed.
Graham was the beneficiary once more.
He had plenty of work to do despite a perfectly weighted kick in the left corner from Walker but he was up to the task, somersaulting and grounding the ball in one, incredibly athletic motion.
Gold Coast responded again.
First through a pinpoint Ryley Jacks kick for Kelly’s double, then through an Anthony Don strip on Ethan Lowe after a bomb was batted down by Ryan James into the arms of Kelly, who offloaded the ball just before being bundled into touch.
Souths are yet to drop a game this season and will line up against the Sea Eagles, Warriors and Bulldogs in their next three starts.
You’d be a brave man to suggest they drop a game between now and the end of that three-week stretch but they’ll have to do without Braidon Burns, who has injured his left hamstring and ankle.
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.