Souths smash Knights in the NRL

South Sydney have continued their early-season NRL onslaught, smashing Newcastle 48-6 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

The Knights were diabolical while the Bunnies continued to hum after racking up their second straight big score to be the surprise early pace setters after two rounds.

Even without halfback Adam Reynolds and back-rower John Sutton missing, the Rabbitohs crossed for nine tries including a hat-trick to Aaron Gray.

Five-eighth Cody Walker, playing just his second NRL game and only in the side because of Reynolds’ (broken jaw) absence, pulled the strings for his team, producing pinpoint cut-out passes to set up two of Gray’s three first-half tries.

The 26-year-old Walker is in a two-way battle with Luke Keary to wear the No.6 jersey when Reynolds returns in five weeks and neither could be faulted after another emphatic victory to start 2016.

It follows their thrashing of the Sydney Roosters 42-10 last week.

The Knights meanwhile were atrocious, completing just 20 of 30 sets, missing 29 tackles and making 12 handling errors.

They weren’t without their chances, getting over the line four times but were either held up or dropped it with a try begging.

Souths’ inspirational lock Sam Burgess was back to his rampaging best, producing a spectacular flick pass to Paul Carter to set up Keary after minutes earlier spiralling a sublime cut-out ball for Gray’s second.

On top of that he ran for 153 metres from 21 carries and made 25 tackles.

The game was effectively over at halftime as the Rabbitohs opened up a 24-0 lead at the break before an Alex Johnston double in the first nine minutes after the resumption sealed it.

The Knights are now under immense pressure after winning just four of their last 22 matches and questions will be asked why prop Kade Snowden and winger Sione Mata’utia were omitted as the young side struggled to match it with the Rabbitohs in every aspect.

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