Rabbitohs 30
Warriors 10

There are two ways to look at tonight's 30-10 loss to the Rabbitohs.

The glass half full approach might say the Warriors are still way ahead of expectations, with an eight win, four loss record.

They've got a much needed bye coming, and some key players to return.


A more pessimistic view would point to a pattern continuing for the Warriors, as they were humbled again on home soil.

Like previous losses, the Warriors were physically dominated tonight, unable to make any headway in the middle of the field.

The visitors were simply too good.

Too big, too strong, too fast. It was smash, bang, followed by wallop.

At times, it didn't seem a fair fight, as the Warriors were overpowered.

While Australian pundits like to obsess about 'those huge Warriors forwards', it's not entirely accurate. The Warriors' pack would be mid-range across the NRL, whereas the Rabbitohs have several giants.

And tonight it made all the difference. Twins George and Thomas Burgess gave Souths momentum, and the Warriors couldn't find a way to slow it.

It didn't help that the home side were guilty of going too lateral, too early on attack, but that was because they weren't profiting up the middle.


The game looked over by halftime - Souths had scored four tries to lead 22-6 - and it was iced three minutes after the break, when John Sutton crossed.

There were ominous signs early in the first half, when the visitors crossed for two tries despite being down to 12 men, with Thomas Burgess in the sinbin.

The result means the Warriors haven't won back-to-back games since round five, although their losses have come against the traditional heavyweights of the NRL.

The withdrawal of Mason Lino, and the absence of Shaun Johnson meant the Warriors lacked some direction, as all the playmaking responsibility fell on Blake Green.

It allowed the Rabbitohs to target Green, constantly cramping his time and space.

But the battle was lost up front.

"If you look at the losses, it's been the basics where we have let ourselves down," said Simon Mannering. "You have to match them [the Souths pack] and we didn't match them tonight. We wanted to get them into a grind doing some work…you have to take a bit of spark out of them."

The Warriors made a solid start, with a fourth minute Agnatius Paasi try. That came after repeated penalties, and it wasn't long before the referees lost patience, with Burgess sinbinned five minutes later.

But that was as good as it got. George Burgess' determined effort won't be pretty to watch tomorrow, as the 120kg Englishman beat four defenders on his way to the line.

From the ensuing kickoff, the Rabbitohs advanced downfield before slick work created an overlap for Robert Jennings.

The Rabbitohs' momentum continued with the return of the youngest Burgess. Greg Inglis powered over as the Warriors defence was paralysed by the movement and variation of the visitors' attack, before Thomas Burgess scored a brutal try, running over the top of two defenders.

After Sutton's try the second half was a matter of pride for the Warriors, and the fact they didn't concede for the last 37 minutes will at least be some consolation.

Rabbitohs 30 (G Burgess, R Jennings, G Inglis, T Burgess, J Sutton tries; A Reynolds 3 cons, 2 pens)
Warriors 10 (A Paasi, S Kata tries; I Luke goal)
Halftime: 22-6