Western Suburbs Magpies have extended their winning streak to four with a 42-18 win against South Sydney in the first of three games at Stadium Australia.
Five-eighth Zach Dockar-Clay was a standout as he assisted two tries as well as controlling the team around the park throughout the 80 minutes, while halfback Jock Madden continued his impressive start to the 2021 season with a try and four goals.
Fullback Zac Cini also had a performance to be proud of as he scored the game’s opening try — his first of the season — before assisting another in the first half.
Jacob Liddle — who was a late inclusion after missing out on selection in Michael Maguire’s NRL side — was one of the best players on the field as he provided slick service from dummy-half.
Another highlight of the afternoon was seeing NRL player Billy Walters return to the field for the first time in eight months after recovering from an ACL injury. The utility was called upon for the final 20 minutes of the game and came up with a number of classy touches.
It was raining points in the first half at Stadium Australia with the Magpies bagging five tries to one in the opening 40 minutes to lead 28-6 at the break.
It took five minutes for the Magpies to cross the line on Saturday afternoon when fullback Zac Cini bagged his first four-pointer of the season after Michael Chee Kam broke through down the left edge before linking up with his fullback.
Cini turned from scorer to provider moment later when he beat a tackle before sending a delightful cut-out ball to Kiah Cooper to score in the corner. Jock Madden landed the conversion from touch to give the Magpies a 10-0 lead.
The Rabbitohs hit back through big man Trent Peoples to close the deficit to just four, however the flood gates opened for the Magpies.
NRL squad member Reece Hoffman scored a try in his fourth consecutive match when he pounced on a Zach Dockar-Clay grubber kick to extend the lead by 10.
Young centre Israel Ogden was impressive in the first half — and before he came from the field with a hamstring complaint — he made a lovely break down the left before placing a kick towards halfback Jock Madden, who pounced to score.
Jacob Liddle looked slick at hooker as he took multiple darts from dummy-half, and when he caught tired defenders out of position, he linked up with Edenn Rogers-Smith, who scored another try this season.
Zach Dockar-Clay continued his impressive outing after the break when he assisted another try with a grubber kick towards winger Allan Fitzgibbon, who gathered the ball and spectacularly dived in the corner to plan the ball down while remaining in the field of play.
South Sydney scored their first try of the second half when captain Troy Dargan barged over before Jackson Paulo crossed for the home side.
Chee Kam and Tom Freebairn scored late to ensure the Magpies would remain unbeaten in the past month.
Match: Rabbitohs v Magpies
Round 6 -
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney