The South Sydney Rabbitohs have booked their place in the Auckland Nines Quarter Finals after downing the Melbourne Storm by 24-4 at Eden Park this morning.
In what was a considered and controlled performance from the reigning Premiers, the men in red and green top the Waiheke pool and are the first team to go through to the next round undefeated.
The game stated poorly for the Storm, who dropped the ball cold off the kick-off in the in-goal, gifting the Rabbitohs possession in perfect field position. The Storm would pay dearly for the mistake immediately, when Issac Luke raced over from dummy-half. Adam Reynolds converted to make it 6-0.
The Storm hit back through Cameron Munster when the play-maker took advantage of a Rabbitohs drop-ball to score out wide for his side, making it 6-4.
Right on half-time, Luke changed the point of the Rabbitohs attack before sending the ball out to Aaron Gray who seemed certain to score. But with the ball inches from the deck, Storm defenders scrambled to knock the ball from his grasp. Chris McQueen however planted the ball down to make it 10-4 at half-time.
The Rabbitohs started their second half in brilliant fashion when Adam Reynolds booted a massive forty-twenty that set up a try for Joel Reddy out wide just two plays later. Reynolds missed the conversion from the touch-line leaving the score at 14-4.
Souths looked well in control by the time Luke set up yet another try after a simple catch and pass resulted in Angus Chricton scoring with his very first touch of the ball to make it 18-4.
The red and green’s then got possession straight back after getting a bounce of the ball from the kick off before the ball went out, and Bryson Goodwin would be the ultimate beneficiary when he ran a good line off the hip of Cameron McInnes to score next to the sticks. Reynolds converted to make it 24-4 to round out the match and the pool stage of the Rabbitohs’ tournament.
Rabbitohs 24 (Issac Luke, Chris McQueen, Joel Reddy, Angus Chricton, Bryson Goodwin, tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)
Storm 4 (Cameron Munster, try)