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Rabbits stew the Eels - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sun, 25 Mar 2007 21:24:00 GMT
New South Sydney coach Jason Taylor left Eels fans with more regrets on Sunday afternoon after his side easily dismantled the visitors 31-6 at Telstra Stadium.

A week after former Parramatta fullback Wade McKinnon helped steer the Warriors to a convincing victory across the Tasman, it was another former blue and gold personality who helped leave the Eels without a win after two rounds.

The back-to-back victory – a first by South Sydney at the start of the season since 1999 – places the Redfern based outfit in 3rd spot on the NRL ladder heading into round 3.

For Taylor however beating the side he once played for and coached was not the real reward from his side’s performance.

“It’s only round two and it was always going to be an important victory if we won today,” Taylor said.

“They really turned up to rip into us today and the fact that we got over the top of them in the end was what’s pleasing about it.

“Not the other stuff.”

Looking to add further credence to their win over the Roosters, the meaner and faster looking Bunnies scored the first points for a second consecutive week.

For a moment the Eels appeared to be on the verge of finding some of the spirit that was missing last weekend when Rugby union bound centre Timana Tahu touched down.

But then the Bunnies regained the ascendancy when Paul Mellor ran over just before half-time to give the former cellar dwellers a handy 12-6 lead.

Unfortunately for coach Michael Hagan, the Eels then played musical chairs and chose to save their worst period of football this week for the second half.

Parramatta continued to throw intercept passes while a momentary lack of protection for Brett Finch saw the Eels five-eighth get floored with a huge hit-up by Roy Asotasi.

“Roy can do that kind of stuff. I’d rather him on my team then playing against him,” Rabbitohs five-eighth Jeremy Smith said after watching the big hit back on replay.

South Sydney however were on a roll and it took them only four minutes into the second term to extend their lead when Nathan Merritt scored his second try of 2007.

Last year’s leading NRL try scorer had also previously defused an Eels try by taking winger Joel Reddy into touch with a brilliant cover tackle.

A penalty goal and a four-pointer to second-rower David Fa’alago then gave the Bunnies an unassailable 24-6 lead after an hour of action.

Following a Joe Williams field goal, Nigel Vagana then scored his third try with his new club to give the red and green gang an excellent for and against at the end of round 2.

For the Eels it was a horrible day at the office with Ian Hindmarsh making two handling errors while halfback Tim Smith was penalized for an obstruction.

Nothing could go right for a side which look disjointed in attack, low on confidence and in a league of their own.

South Sydney will look forward to their clash with Cronulla next Saturday night while the winless Eels will be desperate to defeat the Wests Tigers at home on Friday.

An exclusive interview with Jeremy Smith plus the some of the post match press-conference will be available on Global Rugby League later tonight.

SOUTH SYDNEY 31 (N Merritt 2, P Mellor, D Fa’alogo, N Vagana tries; J Williams 5 goals; 1 field goal) def PARRAMATTA 6 (T Tahu try; L Burt goal) at Telstra Stadium.
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