Latrell Mitchell was struck down by a hamstring injury but South Sydney still made an NRL premiership statement with a 38-0 thrashing of Parramatta at the Western Sydney Stadium.
- Latrell Mitchell will have scans to reveal the full extent of his hamstring injury
- The Rabbitohs scored seven tries, with Campbell Graham crossing for a double
- They move up to fifth place on the ladder courtesy of the win over the Eels
Mitchell’s injury is a major concern for the Rabbitohs a week out from their heavyweight encounter with the Melbourne Storm.
With the fullback’s leg up in the air trying to save a try, Rabbitohs teammate Jaxson Paulo collided with Mitchell and extended his hamstring well beyond its natural limits.
Mitchell stayed down but was eventually able to slowly limp around the edge of the field with the assistance of trainers. He will have scans to reveal the extent of the injury.
The incident was the only sour note for the Rabbitohs, who claimed their first big scalp of the year in style while moving to fifth place on the ladder ahead of the completion of round 16.
A week after putting 38 points on Manly in the first half, the Rabbitohs were arguably even more impressive in the opening 40 minutes against the third-placed Eels when they went to the break leading 22-0.
The win all but assured the Rabbitohs a finals spot, given they will likely finish the round just one win outside the top four.
Eels five-eighth Dylan Brown finished the night on the sidelines, after initially playing on with an ankle injury in the first half.
The Rabbitohs were dynamite on their left edge and still pretty dangerous on their right, with the Eels found wanting as they conceded seven tries.
And this was from a Rabbitohs backline missing Dane Gagai, Alex Johnston, James Roberts and Braidon Burns.
Their first try in the fifth minute set the scene, courtesy of a lovely left-edge move that had Mitchell’s quick hands put Corey Allan over.
Mitchell was having a field day before his injury.
At one stage he looked set to be trapped in his in-goal when a bomb bounced but he stepped, swerved and bumped his way out before Souths were eventually tackled on the halfway line.
The Rabbitohs’ halves were just as impressive.
They combined brilliantly for one first-half try when Adam Reynolds drifted across field and found a gap for Cody Walker to charge through from 30 metres out.
In the next set, Walker broke down the left edge to put the Rabbitohs on the attack, allowing Reynolds to grubber for Jaydn Su’A to score a few plays later.
Reynolds had one of his own later in the match when he ran the ball on the last for Paulo, before the winger got it back in for the Rabbitohs halfback to score.
Campbell Graham also bagged a double and Paulo scored one try.