The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down 6-14 to the Melbourne Storm tonight (Sunday) in front of a crowd 11,433 supporters at their Round 11 home clash at nib Stadium in Perth.
Head Coach Michael Maguire fielded his team from 1-17 with positions imitating those from last week’s win over the Wests Tigers. The Round 11 clash recognised the Mark Hughes Foundation with all players running out onto the field in beanies.
The Storm opened the scoring early, finding space and taking the ball to the right corner to score the first four-pointer for the night. Cameron Smith’s conversion attempt was successful and the Storm had an early six point lead.
The Storm continued to put pressure on the Rabbitohs defence but the line of Red and Green jerseys didn’t back down and kept a solid force away from their line.
The commitment payed off and the Rabbitohs flipped the momentum on the field charging up to the Storms danger zone. A smooth pick up by Robbie Farah in dummy half assited to the Rabbitohs first try, floating the ball off to the left to John Sutton who forced his way through four defenders to roll over backwards and get the ball to the ground. Adam Reynolds added the extras and the Rabbitohs levelled up the scores six points all in the 14th minute.
The Storm were the first to get their second try when a well-weighted grubber by Smith on the left side of the field lined up Josh Addo-Carr who sprinted over to score in the far left corner in goal. Smith’s conversion attempt swayed to the left and the Rabbitohs fell behind six points to 10 with just under 15 minutes remaining on the clock for the first half.
Slammin’ Sam lived up to his nickname making 85 running metres in a total of 11 runs in the first half. The team held a high completion rate at 88% and an effective tackle percentage of 93.7% from 178 total tackles.
The second half saw the wet conditions have an impact on the game for both sides.
Melbourne looked like the next team to score when winger Suliasi Vunivalu caught a high ball and ran 70 meters down the field. Looking unlikely to be caught, Alex Johnston made what was an extremely impressive run, chasing down Vunivalu and forcing a knock on for the Rabbitohs to regain possession. His effort was recognised by his teammates with each player going over to him to give him a well-deserved pat on the back.
With 16 minutes left on the clock, Reynolds was taken off for a concussion test which saw Farah move into the halfback position and Damien Cook come on into hooker.
Despite the Rabbitohs increasing their possession the Storm found a gap on our right side and Vunivalu found the line to add another four points to the Storms lead. Smith's conversion missed the uprights but the visiting team extending their lead 14 points to six.
While the Rabbitohs kept up their determination to catch up, the night would end in favour of the Melbourne Storm with the win placing them back on top of the NRL ladder.
Melbourne Storm 14 (William Chambers, Josh Addo-Carr, Suliasi Vunialu tries; Cameron Smith goal)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (John Sutton try; Adam Reynolds goal)