Rabbitohs deservedly down rivals Roosters

Despite missing two key men, South Sydney Rabbitohs were comfortable and deserving derby day winners at Sydney Roosters.

South Sydney Rabbitohs preyed on arch-rivals Sydney Roosters' shoddy defending to deservedly win 26-14 at Allianz Stadium in their first derby of the NRL season.

The Rabbitohs were without suspended captain Sam Burgess and the injured Cameron Murray, but they were still able to deny the Roosters their 100th victory in this fixture.

Sio Siua Taukeiaho hobbled out of the warm-up with a knee problem and the Roosters struggled in the first half, but, after Adam Reynolds kicked the opening points, Latrell Mitchell came to the fore.

Mitchell's penalty levelled the scores and a superb try in the corner – keeping his legs in the air to avoid falling into touch – followed, along with the extras, to put the home side six points up.

That lead did not last long, though, as Robert Jennings went over for the Rabbitohs, who continued to enjoy the better of the play heading into the second half.

Some messy Roosters defensive work allowed the visitors two quick tries after the restart, Angus Crichton – who will re-join the Rabbitohs' rivals in the 2019 season – pouncing on fumbles from Reece Robinson and James Tedesco before Greg Inglis towered over the Italy international full-back to pluck down a kick and cross.

Ryan Matterson touched down to reduce the deficit and denied Inglis a second with a desperate tackle, but South Sydney again hit back through John Sutton and were able to see out the closing stages.