The Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs battled out a Golden Point thriller on Saturday night at AAMI park as Cameron Smith slotted a 40 meter penalty on fulltime to tie the match up and then piloted a Golden Point field goal through to hand Melbourne victory.
DEFENSE WINS COMPS: The Souths Sydney Rabbitohs should have found themselves further than 6 points in front at half time if it wasn’t for the stoic defence of the Melbourne Storm. The Storm sit a clear #1 in the NRL in 2016 with a defensive record that is second to none. It has kept them in matches when their attacking has been flat (like against the Rabbitohs on Saturday night) and becomes a demoralising burden on opponent as matches wear on and they can find no way through the great purple wall. The last side to rely on a defence as good as that of the 2016 Melbourne Storm (the 2010 St George Illawarra Dragons) went on to win the competition based on their impenetrable wall, I wonder if this will be the case again in 2016?
CAMERON SMITH: The Storm Hooker has had some brilliant seasons in a glittering career, 2016 may not match some of his feats in the past but it will be looked back on as one of his most defining if Melbourne go on to win the premiership. His transformation from star players, to captain, to inspirational leader, to legend will be complete. The vision and control Smith has over a game is something few before him have had. He creates opportunities with and without the ball and has the ability to lift players to another level, as has been the case in most of his career at Melbourne. Saturday night at AAMI Park he put these skills on display again as he led the Storm side to a second half surge to defeat a brave Rabbitohs outfit. Star players use individual brilliance to make their teams stronger, great players make those who play alongside them better. Cameron Smith is the latter.
WEEK TO WEEK: Less than 7 days after putting in their worst performance in the last four or five year South Sydney have backed up with, despite the loss, was one of their best performances of 2016. Evening battling the fundamental errors and deficiencies that have plagued them all year they still pushed the Melbourne Storm to the brink on a ground where they have never recorded a NRL victory. It does beg the question as to what has changed so much in the last week. South Sydney fans would like to walk away from a disappointing 2016 with memories of the 2016 Rabbitohs that reflect the level of performance they put forward against the Storm in this match, unfortunately there have been too many other poor performances which will overshadow memories of 2016.
GREG THE REDEEMER: South Sydney are a much more exciting prospect with Greg Inglis in their side, and more specifically at fullback. His presence on Saturday night after an absence through injury was a noticeable contribution to the vast improvement the Souths side showed against Melbourne. There have been a raft of sub-par matches in this year’s NRL, it goes to show that something needs to be done to keep the Greg Inglis’ and Jarryd Haynes’ of the NRL on the field. The matches are more exciting when players of this calibre are involved which creates a more attractive proposition for fans and stronger product for the NRL to sell into the future.
MELBOURNE STORM 15 (M. Koroibete, C. Blair tries Cameron Smith 3 goals; C. Smith field goal) defeated the SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 14 (A. Johnston, A. Crichton tries, A. Reynolds 3 goals) at AAMI Park, Melbourne.
Half-Time: 6-0 South Sydney.
|Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia|