South Sydney centre Matt King claimed David Taylor was one of a kind as the departing juggernaut gave a glimpse of what the Rabbitohs will be missing next season with a barnstorming display in his side’s 20-16 NRL win over North Queensland.
Taylor and Australian teammate Greg Inglis combined brilliantly as they punished a Cowboys side that looked like it was still operating in daylight savings time and failed to show up in falling behind 20-0 in as many minutes at ANZ Stadium.
Three second-half tries gave the visitors a peek at snatching a late comeback win, but they were unable to haul in the early advantage created by South Sydney’s dynamic duo – who scored two tries in the early onslaught.
“When you give Greg Inglis some room to move … it’s awesome for the whole stadium to watch,” King said.
“I’ve got the best seat in the house watching those two boys go to work.
“Dave Taylor comes up with some freaky things.
“I honestly think he’ll go down as the most unique forward this game’s ever seen.”
It would have been a bittersweet sight for the Rabbitohs faithful, however, with Taylor headed to Gold Coast in 2013 in a recruitment miss the club could live to regret.
Taylor matched substance with style against the Cowboys, with his 158 metres from 16 runs testament to his dominance over proceedings.
He ran only two metres to score under the posts, capping an early rush that should have put the game to bed after Inglis had powered over after just seven minutes and Issac Luke dragged four defenders over from dummy half.
“They’re very good players but our start to the game gave them that bit of room to move and they made us pay for it,” Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston said of Inglis and Taylor.
“We didn’t move up on one side of the edge and tried to tackle Inglis two metres off your tryline – he’s going to score every time.
“We were just behind the eight ball and you just can’t do that in this competition.”
While the Cowboys were none too impressed with their start, South Sydney’s finish left a lot to be desired as well as they were left tackling for their lives over the closing minutes.
James Segayaro scored seven minutes after the restart, before a double to winger Ashley Graham – who took his tally to nine from eight games in 2012 – closed the gap to just four.
But the Cowboys were made to pay for their poor start – with two tries coming directly off the back of offside penalties, while their goal-line defence was dreadful.
Capping a disappointing night for the visitors, back-rower Tariq Sims was put on report for a late tackle on John Sutton, but Cowboys coach Neil Henry didn’t seem to be too concerned about it attracting a charge.