The South Sydney Rabbitohs NYC side has defeated the Melbourne Storm in emphatic fashion by 36-8 at ANZ Stadium tonight (Friday).
The Rabbitohs enjoyed a 26-0 lead at half-time, out-playing their higher ranked opponents in all facets of the game.
It took 13 minutes for the teams to draw first blood, but when they did, it was in style. Tom Hughes took a Storm kick on his own try-line before proceeding to run the length of the field, bumping off three defenders in the process to score out wide. Irae Simone converted to give the Rabbitohs an early 6-0 lead.
The Rabbitohs backed up the effort just two minutes later off the ensuing set when a John Olive break saw the centre draw and pass back on the inside to a flying Aaron Gray – Gray running the remaining 20 metres to score adjacent to the posts. Simone added the extras for the Storm to find themselves down 12-0.
It seemed to be raining tries for the Rabbitohs, when Tom Hughes pounced on a kick into the Storm in-goal to grab a double. Simone made no mistake with the conversion to make it 18-0.
Nine minutes from the break, front-rower Jack Gosiewski powered over in the far corner to extend the Rabbitohs’ lead capping off some enthusiastic attack. Simone again added the extras to make it 24-0 – a penalty-goal right on half-time making it 26-0.
On the resumption, it took 10 minutes before Eden Syme crashed over again to extend the Rabbitohs’ lead to 32 points with Simone’s conversion.
The Storm blew opportunities close to the Rabbitohs line on a number of occasions, releasing the pressure valve from Souths before firmly parking themselves within the Storm’s side of half-way.
Ten minutes before full-time, the Melbourne side finally got on the board through Suliasi Vunivalu who raced over in the corner to make it 32-4. Minutes later, the Storm’s Junior Kirisome nearly notched up another four-points for the visitors in the opposite corner, only to be denied by some strong Rabbitohs defence.
The Rabbitohs found themselves down a man when hooker Aaron Booth was sin-binned, and with the Souths defensive line stretched, the Storm went in again through Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
But the Rabbitohs weren’t done, when winger Sam Young raced over just inside the touch-line to score an impressive try. Simone missed his first conversion of the night leaving the score at 36-8 in favour of the Rabbitohs to round out the match.
Rabbitohs 36 (Tom Hughes 2, Aaron Gray, Jack Gosiewski, Eden Syme, Sam Young tries; Irae Simone 6 goals)
Storm 8 (Suliasi Vunivalu, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, tries)