Rabbitohs begin title defence by crushing Broncos

South Sydney carried on where they left off against St Helens eleven days earlier when they put Brisbane Broncos to the sword, winning 36-6 in the NRL’s opening game of the season at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Leading 10-2 at half-time in sweltering conditions, with the temperature touching 40 degrees, the Rabbitohs pulled away from the Broncos in spectacular fashion in the second half with three tries between the 44th and 57th minute from

It was a disappointing result for returning Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett in front of 36,057 spectators.

The Rabbitohs, with their halfback combination of Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds, looked more creative and fitter than their opponents.

Reynolds and Corey Parker swapped penalties early in the game before the opening try on 28 minutes, when a mistake by Jack Reed allowed Dylan Walker to to score from close range. Reynolds converted and added another penalty before half-time.

John Sutton and Greg Inglis scored converted tries early in the second half to open a 20-point gap, and although the Broncos replied through an unconverted try by Matt Gillett, that was as good as it got for them, as the Rabbitohs cut loose again.

They added two further tries from Keary and Joel Reddy, with Reynolds again converting both and adding a penalty on the hooter for a margin that emphasises that they are intent on defending their title against all comers in 2015, even without the departed Sam Burgess.

A full report and photos from this match will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.