Melbourne Storm (16)16
Tries: Jesse Bromwich, Will Chambers
Goals: Cameron Smith (4/4)
Field Goals: nil
South Sydney Rabbitohs (2)12
Tries: Alex Johnson, Aaron Gray
Goals: Isaac Luke (1/2), Bryson Goodwin (1/1)
Field Goals: nil
Cameron Smith could come under scrutiny from the NRL Match Review Panel in Melbourne Storm’s 16-12 victory over South Sydney at AAMI Park.
In a game that flared up on a couple of occasions in the second half, Smith lashed out at Isaac Luke when he was tackled in his own half with fifteen minutes left on the clock. It appeared Smith kicked out twice in an attempt to get back to his feet. There will be nervous days ahead for the Queensland captain as he awaits his fate by the match reviewers.
It was an unhappy night for Smith as he kicked out on the full several times but he did manage to be the difference with a perfect night from the boot which proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Tim Grant will also come under the eye of the committee after his heavy work on Cooper Cronk after he kicked down field six minutes into the second half.
South Sydney trailed 16-2 at the break and made a good fist of it in the second half to get within four points. Aaron Gray created an opportunity late for the Bunnies but the play broke down with Marika Koroibete holding onto a cross field kick.
Bryson Goodwin kicked a penalty goal from close range to open the scoring for South Sydney after five minutes. Four minutes later Chris McQueen provided one of the rare first half opportunities but dropped the ball in trying to score.
In a sign that both sides were preparing for a tough encounter, Smith took the opportunity to post two penalty goals in the space of five minutes to put the Storm ahead 4-2.
Finally after twenty-one minutes Jesse Bromwich went through some soft Rabbitohs defence from close range and put the Storm ahead by eight. Just before the break Melbourne’s lead went out to fourteen points when Billy Slater created the overlap for Will Chambers to crash over.
Alex Johnson got the visitors back in the game thanks to an accurate kick from Luke Keary. Keary having been involved in the previous set by the Melbourne Storm to prevent Koroibete from scoring.
Within fifteen minutes of the second half the Bunnies trailed by four when winger Aaron Gray crossed out wide. Luke’s kick hitting the right hand uprights from the sideline.
South Sydney again coming up short without Adam Reynolds to steer the side around. A quiet night for Greg Inglis against his former club.
Melbourne again showed why they are dominant at AAMI Park as they grinded out victory. Dale Finucane suffered head knocks at different stages of the game, finally replaced with half hour left to play.