NRL 2022: NZ Warriors thrashed as Latrell Mitchell, South Sydney Rabbitohs run rampant

NZ Warriors have fallen to their fourth successive loss and 11th defeat from their last 12 matches, beaten 48-10 by South Sydney Rabbitohs at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

A rampant first half saw the Rabbitohs run in six tries, before the Warriors were able to halt their opponents' charge towards the record books in the second half, slipping to a 15th defeat of 2022.

Fullback Latrell Mitchell was the Warriors' nemesis, scoring two tries, creating two more and kicking a perfect eight from eight conversions, to finish with half the Rabbitohs' points, as his side ran in their biggest victory of the season so far.

Latrell Mitchell was the thorn in the Warriors' side.
Latrell Mitchell was the thorn in the Warriors' side. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Defeat leaves the Warriors 13th on the NRL ladder, with five victories so far this year and four regular season games to play.

The Rabbitohs have boosted their top-eight aspirations, leapfrogging Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters into sixth place.

The Rabbitohs needed less than six minutes to open the scoring, as halfback Lachlan Ilias spotted a gap on the Warriors tryline to score against the posts, before hooker Damian Cook added the second in the ninth minute, when he completed a runaway effort started by Cameron Murray.

Murray was involved again to set up the Rabbitohs' third, offloading to Tevita Tatola, as Keaon Koloamatangi went over for a fourth, scoring on the right edge to give Souths a 22-0 lead midway through the first half.

A try in the corner to winger Edward Kosi - his fourth in the last two games, after a hat-trick against Melbourne Storm last week - gave the Warriors hope of a comeback, but the Rabbitohs landed two more blows before the break.

Aaron Pene.
Aaron Pene. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Mitchell slipped through the Warriors defence to score under the posts, while winger Alex Johnston had the Rabbitohs' sixth of the first half, with a try on the left flank.

Down 36-6 at the break, the Warriors were at risk of falling to a new club-record defeat, after the 70-10 Anzac Day drubbing by the Storm earlier this year.

The Warriors largely stemmed the flow of Rabbitohs tries in the second half, but the gap between the two sides' scorelines was too large for the Kiwi outfit to overcome.

The second half didn't bring an immediate change to the Warriors' fortunes either, as Mitchell sent Izaac Thompson over in the corner for his maiden NRL try, putting the Kiwi side further behind at 42-6.

The Warriors managed a second try of their own, as Johnson slipped through to score, but his effort was cancelled out by Mitchell's second, as the Rabbitohs' eighth and final try of the afternoon.

The Auckland side's cause was hit, when young hooker Taniela Otukolo was placed on report for a neck roll on Rabbitohs centre Isaiah Tass, and he will await his fate from the NRL judiciary.

The Warriors will hope to end their losing run next week, when they travel home to Auckland to face the resurgent Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 48 (Ilias, Cook, Tatola, Koloamatangi, Mitchell 2, Johnston, Thompson tries; Mitchell 8 conversions) NZ Warriors 10 (Kosi, Johnson tries; Johnson conversion)

Join Newshub from 8pm Friday for live updates of the Warriors v Bulldogs NRL clash