South Sydney Rabbitohs 14
Tries:Alex Johnston 2, Adam Reynolds
Goals:Adam Reynolds 1/3
Melbourne Storm 27
Tries:Billy Slater 2, Sisa Waqa, Cooper Cronk
Goals:Cameron Smith 5/5
The much-hyped battleb etween Greg Inglis and Billy Slater ended advantage Slater as he scored two tries and the Melbourne Storm cruised to a 27-14 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Friday Night.
Despite a spirited second half comeback by the home side, the Storm came away with a 13-point victory, in front of 18,508 fans.
The Storm got an early jump on the Rabbitohs with a converted try to Slater, then made it 8-0 with an 18th-minute penalty goal to skipper Cameron Smith.
A try to Cooper Cronk in the 25th minute and the subsequent conversion made it 14-0 and the Rabbitohs were in danger of being blown off the park.
The Rabbitohs got on the board when a slick back line move found Alex Johnston who scored in the corner. Adam Reynolds couldn’t convert and his side trailed 14-4 after 32 minutes.
The Storm hit back on the stroke of half time through flying Fijian Sisa Waqa who benefited from a Will Chambers flick pass to touch down in the right corner. Smith converted to make it 20-4 at half time.
Three minutes into the second half, Rabbitohs five eighth John Sutton found a hole in the Storm’s defence and offloaded to his halves partner Reynolds to score under the posts. Reynolds converted his own try to make it 20-10 after 44 minutes.
The comeback continued when Dylan Walker turned the ball inside for Johnston to score his second. Reynolds missed from out wide but the Rabbitohs were right back in it at 20-14.
With the game in the balance, Slater showed his class dummying through some weak Rabbitohs’ defence and sprinting through, before another dummy fooled Inglis and he crossed for a great individual try. Smith converted to edge his side two converted tries in front with just over 20 minutes remaining.
A 74th minute field goal by Cronk put the result beyond doubt as the Storm continued their strong resent form and celebrated head coach Craig Bellamy’s 300th game in charge with a well-deserved victory.