Bunnies continue to look in top-form in the NRL as the season heats up.
It might have been departing Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall’s 200th NRL game but that mattered little for the South Sydney Rabbtiohs as they ran out 14-point winner at Allianz Stadium.
In what was a milestone match for a different reason, the Burgess clan, Sam, Luke, Tom and George became the first set of brothers to play in the same side in the 103-year history of the competition.
It was Sam’s return from a two-week suspension for his notorious ‘Squirrel Grip’ hold on Melbourne’s Will Chambers that enabled history to be made.
But within just four minutes the second-eldest of the clan was back in the bad books after when he was controversially sin-binned for holding down James Tedesco.
Desperate to christen milestone games for Benji Marshall (200) and Robbie Farah (club record – 202) with a shock victory, the Tigers raced in three unanswered tries in his absence.
Pedestrian and predictable for most of this season, the Tigers re-discovered the razzle dazzle of yesteryear against a depleted opponent that was also well down on intensity.
The Tigers did not trouble the scorer after Burgess returned, with Souths crossing twice to draw within a converted try by halftime.
Burgess then atoned by levelling the scores shortly after the break, but it took until the 67th minute for Souths to finally claim the lead via a long range Adam Reynolds penalty goal.
Their battle for dominance was largely due to a rare off-night with the boot for Reynolds and skipper John Sutton, both of whom failed to force a single line drop-out.
Without their customary doses of repeat sets, Souths were never in command until the final ten minutes when Nathan Merritt and the eldest Burgess scored.
Luke’s try was even more momentum, given all four brothers were on the field at the time and had taken all the hit ups in the set.