Souths outgun Dragons in big NRL win

Souths outgun Dragons in big NRL win

South Sydney's powerhouse attack masked defensive lapses that continue to trouble coach Wayne Bennett despite a 50-14 victory over St George Illawarra on Sunday night.

With their eighth win in a row, Souths moved to equal second on the NRL ladder, setting up a blockbuster top-four showdown with Parramatta next week.

The Rabbitohs left it late to put the burners on as the rookie Dragons exposed weaknesses in their defence that were patched over by their unstoppable attack.

The Dragons got within two points after 26 minutes before Souths ran in two late tries to go into the sheds up 24-10.

And while they scored nine tries, including a double to Latrell Mitchell, it was their defence at the other end that will concern Bennett.

Paul Vaughan's now-infamous illegal barbecue once again hurt the Dragons on their hunt for a top-eight finish with Blake Lawrie, Jack Bird, Jack De Belin and Josh McGuire all serving their one-match bans this week.

But Ben Hunt did his best to dig the Dragons out of mounting pain.

The star half set up Tyrell Fuimaono and Billy Burns for first-half tries off the boot, also forcing a drop out and booting a 40/20 to keep the Dragons in the contest.

He went within a whisker of three try-assists in the first half after Jaxson Paulo slipped trying to defuse the bomb at the end of the first set.

Mat Feagai scooped up the loose ball and planted it under the posts, but the bunker found a Corey Norman knock-on in the lead-up.

Tyrell Sloan again showed he's a player of the future with his third try in as many NRL games.

The 19-year-old bumped Matt Dufty out of the No.1 jersey this week and repaid the faith with a brilliant try in the 64th minute to narrow the deficit to 16.

Meanwhile, Fuimaono will be sweating on the charge sheet on Monday morning after being put on report twice for two dangerous tackles.

Any charge will add to his rap sheet this season having served six weeks of suspensions.

The Dragons second-rower copped a five-week ban for the high shot that knocked Ryan Papenhuyzen out in Magic Round, as well as a one-match ban for the COVID-19 breach.

For now, the Dragons remain eighth on the ladder and hope to be full strength against Canberra next week.

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