South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold has praised Greg Inglis' resilience after he helped power the club to a 26-14 win over arch-rivals Sydney Roosters.
Inglis admitted he was embarrassed last week after being outplayed by St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken but bounced back to show glimpses on his brilliant best at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.
Inglis scored a key second-half try, leaping above Roosters fullback James Tedesco - who endured a disastrous start to the second half - to give Souths a 10-point lead they never looked like losing.
It comes in just his sixth match on return from last year's season-destroying knee injury, and after questions had been asked about his performances on the comeback trail.
The 31-year-old also looked to have scored a second try late, but was ruled to have been held up despite the centre insisting afterwards he had grounded the ball.
"I'm really proud of the way Greg has started the year," Seibold said.
"It has been challenging at times for him. We had some pretty tough conversations at times over the pre-season.
"It's a long slog coming back from an ACL. It was really good to see that big smile coming over his face.
"At times it was tough to keep progressing physically. Every now and then you'd hit a couple of hurdles and bounce up again."
Damien Cook was again dangerous out of dummy-half and was easily the Rabbitohs' best, while Thomas Burgess and John Sutton laid a powerful platform that saw Souths rack up almost 200 more metres than their rivals.
After the Roosters withstood a stack of pressure in the opening half, the match swung after the sides went to the break level at 8-8.
Tedesco first erred when Richard Kennar and Dane Gagai folded him in half in his own in-goal after he fielded an Adam Reynolds kick, forcing the ball loose.
It prompted the ball to spill free, bouncing off the three players before Angus Crichton picked it up and scored.
Inglis then made it 18-8 just moments later, before rival back-rowers Ryan Matterson and John Sutton traded tries in the last half-hour as the Rabbitohs spent most of the second half defending their own line.
The loss was the Roosters' third of the year, putting them at 3-3 after six rounds with their only highlight coming in the form of a magical Latrell Mitchell mid-air try in the corner to give them an 8-2 lead after 30 minutes.
"We wrestled it back and stemmed the ruck opening up a bit, but a bad start to the second half," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.
"We created opportunities but couldn't finish them off in the end."