The South Sydney Rabbitohs have raced out to a 38-0 halftime lead against the Manly Sea Eagles – the club‘s biggest ever halftime lead.
For a foundation club that only missed two seasons in 2000 and 2001 when it was booted out and then readmitted into the competition, it‘s a phenomenal result.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The Rabbitohs ended up going on with it, winning 56-16 with Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans admitting he “didn’t see it coming”.
While the Sea Eagles didn‘t seem to get off the bus – or at least wished they hadn’t – the Rabbitohs, with coach Wayne Bennett back in the coaches box, showed they are not just threr to make up the numbers in the NRL this season.
The Rabbitohs win all but seals their spot in the finals with five rounds left as the club moves six points ahead of the Tigers, Dragons and Sea Eagles in equal ninth on the ladder.
Replying to a fan who said it was the biggest halftime lead since 1980, Channel 9 NRL expert and historian David Middleton corrected him.
“Biggest in their history. Beats 37-0 v Wests in 1910 and 37-0 v Penrith in 1980,” he tweeted.
It‘s an incredible performance from the Rabbitohs with almost everything going their way in the first half.
Debutant Steven Marsters scored first before Alex Johnston scored two almost identical tries in the corner.
The only real difference was the second try that saw the Sea Eagles’ Tevita Funa sin binned as he collected Johnston across the chin with a closed fist.
It was ruled an eight-point try with Funa handed 10 minutes in the sin bin.
Funa showed immediate concern with Andrew Voss admitting his concern “is to be admired”.
It didn’t stop him from spending 10 minutes in the bin.
“That’s heavy, the sportsmanship of the young bloke was something special right there but it doesn’t count,” he said.
Johnston was ruled out of the remainder of the match with concussion.
The Rabbitohs also took advantage of the extra man with Campbell Graham further exposing the left wing defence with two tries of his own.
Funa’s horror night continued when he threw an intercept straight to Latrell Mitchell just five metres out from his own line.
Adam Reynolds was also perfect with the boot, kicking seven from seven. He finished with nine from nine with Mitchell kicking the final goal to wrap up the game.
The second half was much tighter with three tries apiece but the damage was already done.
It was also the biggest score South Sydney have ever tallied against the Sea Eagles and the biggest win.