Sam Burgess stars as Souths defeat reigning Premiers in Wayne Bennett’s first game

South Sydney started their 2019 NRL season with a 26-16 victory against Premiers Sydney Roosters as Wayne Bennett’s reign began in impressive style.

Sam Burgess put in a superb performance in the torrential rain at Sydney Cricket Ground as he crossed for a first half try and produced a miraculous try-saver in the second half.

Tom Burgess also had a good game down the middle for the Rabbitohs as their superior handling and kicking game won the day in difficult conditions.

With the score at 6-6 following tries by Cameron Murray and Jake Friend, Sam latched on to a Damien Cook grubber from close range to restore the Bunnies lead midway through the first 40.

They went in behind at the break though as Mitch Aubusson crossed to give the Roosters a 12-10 advantage after a error-strewn first half.

Souths were much the better team in the second half though as winger Campbell Graham put them back ahead, before Sam’s last ditch tackle on Boyd Cordner proved to be a turning point.

Moments later the game-deciding score came from Cody Walker after a sublime Adam Reynolds kick, with Alex Johnston’s four-pointer and Daniel Tupou’s consolation try rounding off the scoring.

It was a great start for Wayne Bennett against the pre-season Premiership favourites, with the performance of the two English boys likely to have pleased the Great Britain head coach.

Credit: NRL Photos