Coming off back-to-back wins against the Penrith Panthers and the North Queensland Cowboys, the Rabbitohs secured a spot in the Auckland Nines Quarter Finals with a resounding 24-4 victory over the Melbourne Storm at Eden Park on Day 2 of the competition.
After grinding and well-deserved wins on day one of the tournament, the men in red and green dominated the opposition in a display of free-flowing yet controlled football, providing them with an undefeated start to the competition and top spot in the Waiheke Pool.
A Melbourne handling error from the kick-off gifted South Sydney with ideal field position, allowing the Rabbitohs to apply pressure early on in the game. Isaac Luke made the most of the opportunity, racing over for a four pointer from dummy half. Adam Reynolds converted to make it 6-0.
The Storm didn’t take long to hit back though, with Cameron Munster taking advantage of a Rabbitohs drop ball to score out wide, making the score line 6-4 in South Sydney’s favour. Those would be the only points posted by the Storm, as the men in red and green put on an attacking showcase for the remainder of the game.
On the stroke of half time, Isaac Luke linked up with Aaron Gray, who seemed certain to score, but had the ball knocked out of his grasp by the Melbourne defenders leaving Chris McQueen to claim the honours and plant the ball down for a try to make it 10-4 heading into the break.
Souths started the second half on the attack, picking up from where they left off in the opening stanza, with Adam Reynolds kicking a forty-twenty that led to Joel Reddy crossing for a try out wide two plays later. Reynolds was unable to kick the conversion, leaving the score at 14-4.
The Rabbitohs continued to assert their dominance over their opposition when Luke set up another try with a simple catch and pass – Angus Crichton scoring with his first touch as a result to stretch the lead out to 18-4.
Possession was re-claimed by the red and green’s after their kick-off hit the turf and went out and Bryson Goodwin made the most of the situation, running a good line off the hip of Cameron McInnes to score next to the sticks. Reynolds made no mistake with the conversion, rounding out the game 24-4 and guaranteeing the Rabbitohs progression into the Quarter Finals.
The men in red and green would take on the Newcastle Knights in their next match.
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