2023 NRL Magic Round: Rabbitohs 28, Storm 12

South Sydney secured a first ever away win over the Melbourne Storm with a 28-12 win in a dominant performance for the final Saturday match of Magic Round.

Result

South Sydney Rabbitohs 28
Tries: (5)
Alex Johnston 46th, 51st; Cody Walker 5th; Jacob Host 18th; Isiah Tass 66th
Goals: (4) Latrell Mitchell 6th, 20th, 53rd, 66th

Melbourne Storm 12
Tries: (2)
Reimis Smith 35th; Bronson Garlick 75th
Goals: (2) Nick Meaney 36th, 76th

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South Sydney opened the scoring after five minutes when Latrell Mitchell put in a grubber close to the line from dummy half. He found space and Cody Walker was first on the scene for the perfect bounce. The conversion secured an early 6-0 lead.

Melbourne looked to have opened their scoring in the 13th with a Xavier Coates leap for the ball that wouldn’t look out of place in the AFL, but was denied by a scrambling Rabbitohs defence, as was the subsequent repeat Storm attacks on their line. The Rabbitohs then extended their lead not long after when Jacob Host ran off a probing Walker close to the line.

The Storm finally got their first try of the evening with four minutes until half-time when a towering bomb by Cameron Munster eventually fell to Reimis Smith who scored under the posts. Although the Rabbitohs argued Walker was interfered with when taking the catch. The Bunker and referee disagreed and the margin was reduced to six points: 12-6 was the half-time score.

South Sydney started the second half poorly, giving up possession on the first set, but it didn’t stop getting back on top within the first 10 minutes of the second half when Mitchell laid on another grubber kick close to the line, this one towards the corner for the ever-reliable Alex Johnston to score. The sideline conversion missed for a 16-6 score line.

Johnston secured a double in the 52nd minute with Walker and Isiah Tass involved in the lead up as they simply went through the hands to score. Mitchell converted this time from the sideline and Souths were well on top at 22-6.

The game started to get a little nasty halfway through the second half, with a few scuffles breaking and the captain warned as the Rabbitohs remained firmly on top of the clash.

South Sydney went further ahead and effectively ended the contest with 12 minute to go, and again through a grubber kick, this time Walker laid it on for Tass to score.

Melbourne got a consolation try through Bronson Garlick to give their fans something to smile about, but it was slim pickings overall as they were dominated by South Sydney.

For South Sydney their fifth win in a row was good enough to lift them into second position on the ladder, two points clear of a logjam of six team on 12 points. It was also the Rabbitohs’ first away win over Melbourne ever in 19 attempts. Although they are still yet to win in Melbourne.

For Melbourne it was their fourth loss in five games at Suncorp Stadium as they were outmuscled and out-enthused by South Sydney for most of the night. They are with a group of six other teams from third to eighth on 12 competition points.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Cody Walker (Rabbitohs)
2 – Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)
1 – Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs)

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