Despite scoring three tries apiece, the Melbourne Storm managed to get on top of the Rabbitohs in their second clash of the 2016 Nines tournament – the boot of Cameron Munster proving the difference.
Munster was in tournament-best form with the boot, slotting all three conversion attempts from all angles, while the Rabbitohs were unable to get the extras on all three occasions – a familiar occurrence for most teams on Day 1 of the tournament.
After what seemed like an eternity in the abbreviated format of the game, Ken Bromwich opened the scoring for Melbourne in the third minute before a successful conversion to Munster sent the Storm ahead by 6-0.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona was the next to score out wide for the Storm mere moments later, with Munster again making no mistake with the boot to make it 12-0.
With the Rabbitohs under pressure to post points, a quick change in direction from dummy-half close to the line saw John Olive take a pass from Cody Walker to slide over just inside touch to open the Rabbitohs’ account for the match. Walker was unable to convert leaving the score at 12-4 heading into the break.
On the resumption, some fluent lead-up work from Cody Walker and Damien Cook saw Hymel Hunt charge straight through the Storm markers to claim the side’s second try of the afternoon to narrow the gap to 12-8.
The Storm looked likely to score another try not long afterwards, but were stopped over the line by some brilliant Rabbitohs defence that saw the men in red and green put hands under the ball as the Storm attempted to plant it down.
But Storm playmaker, Blake Green, boosted the chances of his side when he kicked a booming forty-twenty that set up a try for Curtis Scott to make it 18-8.
Damien Cook grabbed himself a consolation try for the Rabbitohs to make the final score 18-12 to round out Day for the men in red and green. They will now play the Parramatta Eels tomorrow morning.
Storm 18 (Kenny Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Curtis Scott, tries; Cameron Munster 3 goals)
Rabbitohs 12 (John Olive, Hymel Hunt, Damien Cook, tries)