Dave Taylor ran riot over Penrith for the second time this season as Souths eventually outclased the Panthers 38-12 at ANZ Stadium today.
Taylor was brilliant in a man of the match effort that saw him finish with 131 metres gained, a fantastic try, a try assist and a try-saving tackle when the Rabbitohs were clinging to a two point lead in the second half.
The late inclusion of Travis Burns and Josh Mansour gave Penrith a pre-match boost, but Burns’ kicking game was poor against a Souths side that always looked like they’d win when everything clicked.
Taylor scored Souths’ first try in the 18th minute and when Nathan Merritt crossed for the first of a double just five minutes later, it looked like Souths would demolish the visitors.
But Penrith showed some fight late in the first half, with Clint Newton reaching out to score 10 minutes short of the break and Lachlan Coote bagging a spectacular try to level the scores at 12-all soon after.
Souths crept ahead 14-12 right on half-time thanks to an Adam Reynolds penalty goal.
Penrith almost grabbed the lead early in the second half when Josh Mansour crossed, but the final pass was ruled forward.
Souths had a try denied in the same manner just moments later, but there was no stopping the Rabbitohs when everything eventually clicked.
They crossed in the 57th, 64th and 70th minutes to wrap up the match, with Merritt scoring his second just before full-time to put the icing on the cake.
Penrith were dealt another halves blow when Blake Austin suffered a shoulder injury in the first half.
But the biggest blow will come to Ivan Cleary when he looks at the stats sheet following the game.
Not one Penrith forward ran more than 100 metres – in fact it was up to the backs to make ground, with Coote, Uaisele, Tighe, Simmons and Mansour all clocking past the century.