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5 days ago
The Rabbitohs have reclaimed first spot on the competition ladder with a commanding 30-20 win over the Storm at ANZ Stadium.
The game, which was advertised as a potential Grand Final preview, certainly delivered, with a high-quality match seeing South Sydney storm back into premiership favouritism off the back of a dominant second half display.
Anthony Seibold's men opened the scoring through a second minute penalty goal. However, Melbourne were the first to cross over the line, with a short ball from Cameron Smith seeing Dale Finucane crash over in the 6th minute.
Despite an error-riddled start, the Rabbitohs worked their way back into the contest and drew level in the 14th minute when a lovely pass by Cody Walker saw Hymel Hunt stroll over.
It was a seesawing encounter early, with the Storm replying minutes later courtesy of a Josh Addo-Carr in the corner.
Melbourne claimed the first back-to-back tries of the night when Addo-Carr whizzed through the middle and sprinted away before finding Curtis Scott in support.
Just as it looked as if the Storm would race away with it, the Bunnies hit back when Damein Cook fooled the Melbourne defence before sending a rampaging Sam Burgess over in the 37th minute.
The Rabbitohs were building late but the away side hung on, with Craig Bellamy's men enjoying a 16-12 lead at the break.
Having suffered a disappointing 22-6 loss to the Tigers a fortnight ago, all eyes were on South Sydney, with many expecting them to crumble against the premiership heavyweights.
Despite a half-time deficit, the Rabbitohs quickly found their feet when Adam Doueihi stormed over out wide off a nicely executed set play. Unfortunately the youngster was later forced off the field with a suspected ACL tear.
South Sydney fans all held their breath in the 61st minute when star hooker Cook went down injured. Fortunately it was just a scare, as the New South Wales rake then split the Melbourne defence open to give the Rabbitohs an eight-point lead.
They put the result to bed in the 71st minute when Alex Johnston steamed through a hole off another great ball by Walker before a spectacular effort from Addo-Carr saw the Melbourne winger bag a late double.
The 30-20 win sees Souths return to the top of the premiership standings. They have yet another big test next week when they host the Roosters on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Storm will also prepare for a tough challenge as they return home to take on the Sharks on Sunday afternoon.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 - Melbourne Storm 20
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 Melbourne Storm 16
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Damien Cook
2 points - Sam Burgess
1 points - Campbell Graham
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (30)
Tries: Hymel Hunt, Sam Burgess, Adam Doueihi, Damien Cook, Alex Johnston
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
MELBOURNE STORM (20)
Tries: Dale Finucane, Josh Addo-Carr (2), Curtis Scott
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/3), Joe Stimson (0/1)