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New recruits go wild - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 01 Mar 2009 08:17:00 GMT
South Sydney's new recruits dominated the post-match accolades following their team's impressive 18-6 charity shield win over St George-Illawarra.

Rated as one of the worst buys of the off-season in a rugby league magazine this week, new Rabbitohs fullback Rhys Wesser quickly disproved silly media theories that his best days are behind him.

Wesser -who threatened the opposition line all night with his speed and determination - set up the first try of the evening to winger Nathan Merritt.

The opening try came just eight minutes into the match after the
Rabbitohs were given a repeat set off the back of a penalty against new Dragons
recruit Jeremy Smith.

The Rabbitohs then sent the ball wide with John Sutton getting
the ball out to Rhys Wesser who then delivered a cut-out pass to Merritt who stepped inside Jason Nightingale to slide over in the north-eastern corner.

The 29-year-old appears to have rediscovered the famous spring in his step that helped lead the Panthers to a premiership under former Penrith coach and now South Sydney football consultant John Lang.

Former Dragons star Colin Best also had a wonderful night, scoring two tries off a brilliant combination with five-eighth John Sutton.

Best - who scored a four-pointer two weeks ago in Coffs Harbour - snatched the first one from a Sutton grubber kick to give the Bunnies a 12-6 lead in the 45th minute.

Further points were added when Sutton and Best kept a good partnership going, with the Rabbitohs centre running through a hole to take a well executed pass from the former Kensington Coogee Wombats junior.

GRL Chief Editor Josh King - unable to attend the game live last night - said the performance provided him with enough starch to declare South Sydney a dark horse in this year's competition.

"People will probably want to lock me up in the looney bin for saying this but I don't care,"King said.

"If Jason Taylor can get the Rabbitohs to play like that for eighty minutes every week and keep his squad healthy, why couldn't they challenge for the premiership?

"Clearly forwards coach Gordon Tallis has given the Bunnies enough extra toughness while the new guys - who have had an immediate impact - are the sorts of players who can win you close games.

"Write them off at your own peril is what I'd say to the so-called experts."

South Sydney 18 (Merritt, Best tries; Luke 3 goals) def St George-Illawarra 6 (B Scott tries; M Head goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referees: T Archer, G Badger. Crowd: 25,871
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