Match Report: Melbourne Storm v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Melbourne Storm go two wins from two after scoring 14 unanswered points in the second half to bury the wasteful Rabbitohs in front of a healthy AAMI Park crowd of 15,872 fans. The hero on the night, Billy Slater, again!
It was by no means a perfect day for ‘The Kid’, he started off poorly, but his freakish athleticism to ground the ball before being taken into touch in the 55th minute was the turning point.
He was directly involved in the first two tries, assisting to Dane Nielson on the left, then for winger Matt Duffie on the right. It was 10-0, but Souths hit back late in the first half with a 29th minute try to Chris Macqueen. And then a rampaging Sam Burgess (gee, that guy is strong) try just before half time saw South Sydney go into the break with the momentum, scores level though, 10-10.
They continued that momentum early into the second half with great field position but squandered a few opportunities. Fetuli Talanoa almost scored but replays revealed his knee was taken into touch by Widdop before he grounded. Slater then did what Talanao couldn’t. And that was followed up by a cracking conversion from Cameron Smith right on the touchline. That made it 16-10, just the break Melbourne needed, and they never looked back. Slater was involved in every try for the night, passing out to the left, for five-eighth Gareth Widdop to assist centre Dane Nielson for his second. There was some icing on the cake as Nielson grubbered into the in-goal for Slater to pounce onto.
So the final score was Melbourne 24-10 Rabbitohs, 5 tries to 2. The Storm join Manly and Canterbury as the only three teams to go through the first two rounds unbeaten.
It certainly wasn’t the perfect display by Melbourne. They lost the penalty count 7-2, and made more errors than Souths, which in way, makes this an even more satisfying win knowing their best is yet to come. Souths will be infuriated after being beaten with two Roosters tries in the last three minutes last Monday night, and certainly had their chances in this game.
Next round, Melbourne travel up the Gold Coast to play John Cartright’s Titans at 5:30pm on Saturday night. The Titans were the most impressive side in the opening round with new recuit Jamal Idris shining, but came to earth after losing to an impressive Canberra on Saturday.