Rabbitohs 36 Warriors 18
The misery continues for the Warriors after South Sydney consigned them to a seventh straight NRL loss with a run-away 36-18 victory in Sydney tonight.
The Warriors looked up for the contest early and went to the sheds with the scores at 12-12 before the Rabbitohs dominated the second-half to clinch a six-tries-to-three victory at ANZ Stadium.
The Warriors have conceded 72 points in their last two outings and are now staring down the barrel of equalling a club record eight-straight losses with two games remaining against Manly and Wests Tigers.
Along with the growing tally of defeats, the Warriors injury toll also continues to climb, with front-rower Jacob Lillyman's 250th career game ruined by a season-ending bicep injury, while a recurring back problem saw five-eighth Kieran Foran exit play late in the match.
Coach Stephen Kearney admits his side is in a hole and says results over the last month have exposed the fact that some of his younger players are out of their depth in the NRL.
"There was some really good effort out there again, a bit like last week, but at this level I just think we've got some individuals that aren't quite ready for it," said Kearney.
"The reality is this is where we're at and there's no quick fix and it's been highlighted extremely in the last three weeks.
"I know where we are and there's no sugar coating that. There's no point blaming or pointing the finger. This is where we are, let's fix it."
Souths fullback Alex Johnston starred for the hosts with three tries extending his lead as the competition's top try-scorer with 22 for the season, while rookie lock Cameron Murray, and halves Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker also scored, with Reynolds adding four conversions and two penalty goals.
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck nabbed the first try in each half with lock Simon Mannering claiming their other four-pointer, while hooker and former Rabbitohs premiership winner Issac Luke kicked three conversions in his first game against his former club.
The Warriors enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory in the opening 15 minutes with Tuivasa-Sheck finishing off a sweeping play out to the left to help them to a 6-0 lead.
The visitors looked impressive carting the ball off their line and controlled the ball well but their brittle confidence was exposed after Johnston ran through untouched for Souths first points after 15 minutes.
Three straight penalties allowed the visitors to build pressure before Mannering barged over under the posts to help extend the Warriors lead to 12-4 in the 27th minute.
Souths then capitalised on a seven tackle set with Murray running in their second four-pointer and Reynolds' conversion and a penalty saw them level at 12-12 at the break.
Tuivasa-Sheck's second try helped push the Warriors six points clear but they again fell away as the Rabbitohs ran in four tries in the final 30 minutes.
"That's the NRL, a team is going to come back at you and you've got to be more resilient," said Kearney.
"You can use every excuse in the world - we've got a number of guys out and we lose a State of Origin front-rower before halftime - but the reality is we've got some individuals who aren't quite ready for that yet.
"I've been in this position before but it's still understanding that you still have an opportunity to improve yourself, regardless of any situation you find yourself in.
"That's the only way to look at it, there's no easy way out."