George Burgess

South Sydney players ran 1,572 metres with the ball in Friday night's 54-10 defeat of Wests Tigers, but they covered almost as much ground celebrating their 10 tries.


Each time a Souths player scored in the club's biggest defeat of the Tigers, every other member of the team on the field at the time raced in to embrace him.


Greg Inglis scores before half-time 38-4 against the Tigers.

Tongue lashing: Greg Inglis scores one of his four tries against a dismal Tigers outfit. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Led by four-try hero Greg Inglis, the Rabbitohs crossed so often as they inflicted a record seventh consecutive defeat for the Tigers this season, it was possibly the most taxing thing some of them had to do all night.

However, it also showed the camaraderie among a team that has been gradually building towards something special since Roy Asotasi was lured to the club in 2007.


Just how good this team now is would be difficult to assess on their performance against the hapless Tigers but there was little more the Rabbitohs could do than just go about their business to the best of their ability.


This was boys against men in almost every sense of the word as Souths were just simply bigger, stronger and more experienced than their opponents – of whom seven were playing under 20s last year.


The Rabbitohs inflicted damage right across the field but it was around the ruck where it was most noticeable as hooker Isaac Luke, halfback Adam Reynolds and five-eighth John Sutton terrorised the Tigers forwards.


The trouble caused by the Souths playmakers created space for bigger men like Asotasi, the Burgess brothers Sam and George and star fullback Greg Inglis to wreak havoc in the middle of the field.


Backrowers Ben Te'o, Chris McQueen and Jason Clark also capitalised through their speed.


The missed tackle counts of Tigers forwards Aaron Woods, Sauaso Sue, Eddy Pettybourne and Bodene Thompson makes for depressing reading, as does the amount of distance the Rabbitohs were able to gain with ease.


Souths coach Michael Maguire was even able to give Sam Burgess an early shower and move Inglis to the wing late in the match to give him a rest.


The way the Rabbitohs ran roughshod over their opponents so simply put paid to the plans of Tigers coach Michael Potter to keep star playmaker Benji Marshall out of the early onslaught by starting him on the bench.


By the time Marshall was thrust into the action after 17 minutes, his side was already trailing 16-0 through tries to Nathan Merritt, rookie Dylan Walker and Inglis.


However, his five-eighth replacement Liam Fulton had been forced to make 10 tackles and that traffic would undoubtedly been sent in Marshall's direction if he had been on the field.


By half-time, the Rabbitohs had ran 964 metres with the ball – led by Inglis (130m), who sprinted 97 metres for his second try after picking up a loose ball in the 35th minute.


In comparison, the Tigers had made 385 metres – a statistic that can be largely attributed to their lack of possession caused by 20 missed tackles and conceding seven tries.


With his side trailing 38-4, there was little Potter could say at half-time except urge his team to be more competitive in the second half.