A rampaging Greg Inglis has opened Close the Gap Round by guiding the South Sydney Rabbitohs to an emphatic 42-16 win over Brisbane tonight at ANZ Stadium in front of 14,904 fans.
The Bunnies started in sketchy form, a couple of errors and poor discipline allowing Brisbane to gain the ascendency in the 10th minute, late inclusion Justin Hodges the scorer. Hodges' try was all the impetus the Bunnies needed, responding in the 16th with G.I. crossing for the first of three tries.
Errors punctuated the remainder of the half from Brisbane as they kept handing the hosts opportunity after opportunity and South Sydney didn't need any more invitation - Inglis crossing for a spectacular try after 25 minutes after a superb kick from Reynolds found him charging through - he reclaimed the ball, turned it inside for Sam Burgess who then fought off defenders to find Inglis backing up.
Chris McQueen and Lote Tuqiri both crossed as the halftime break approached, executing a near perfect run of scoring for the Bunnies, for which the Broncos simply had no answers. Ben Barba did get over the line for the visitors on halftime but was denied after losing the ball.
Trailing 24-6 at the break, it would be the Broncos who troubled the scorers first in the second half, Sam Thaiday clambering over the line ten minutes in. The same errors which prevented them competing in the first half then crept back in, with the floodgates eventually opening in the final fifteen minutes of the game. In the meantime Brisbane lost Josh Hoffman to a lower leg injury around 24 minutes from fulltime.
Inglis bagged his hat-trick try in the 64th before backing up to provide a ball off a bomb for Luke Keary to score just minutes later. The Bunnies conceded a late consolation try to Brisbane centre Jack Reed, before Kirisome Auva'a scored off an Issac Luke line break on the final siren to push his side into the 40's. Fulltime came after a Ben Lowe conversion attempt giving the Rabbitohs the final margin of 42-16.
Next weekend the Rabbitohs play at home for the fourth straight week (albeit only the second consecutive ANZ Stadium game) against the Cowboys on Saturday night. On the same evening the Broncos will host the lowly Knights where they'll be aiming to save their finals chances which were dealt a damaging blow tonight.