Seven Tackle Set - 7 talking points from R21

Check out the seven biggest talking points from the South Sydney Rabbitohs' emphatic 30-20 win over the Melbourne Storm.

1. High Five

Last Friday's win over the Storm was just the fifth victory against the Victorian-based club, but wasn't it a sweet one?

For too long the Storm has had their way against the Rabbitohs, but the men in Red and Green muscled up to record a famous 30-20 comeback victory

Not only that, but they did so with plenty of adversity against them, with injuries going into the match and occurring throughout the game leaving the side with a two-man bench midway through the second half. 

2. Forward Presence

It was a battle up the middle against the Storm, and one that the Rabbitohs won considerably.

Every starting forward ran for over 100 metres, with Tom Burgess (145m), Damien Cook (190m), George Burgess (148m), John Sutton (119m), Angus Crichton (124m) and Sam Burgess (204m) getting through plenty of work in the engine room.

The side as a whole also ran 278 metres more than Melbourne, and recorded 103 more post-contact metres. 

3. The Apprentice

What a night it was for Damien Cook.

Opposing Cameron Smith - one of the best hookers in the game - Cook had an absolute blinder, mustering up 190 running metres, one linebreak, one try-assist while also scoring a scintillating try that turned the match on its head.

There's no doubt the NSW hooker is on his way to further representative football, and Friday night showed what an influence he has when in full flight. 

4. Breaking Them Open

Despite being one of the better defensive sides in the competition, the Storm's line just couldn't hold off the Rabbitohs' onslaught.

The Red and Green recorded a whopping 9 linebreaks against the Storm - the most they have conceded this season, while also putting 30 points on the Storm, just the third time a side has done so in 2018. 

Those stats are a perfect example of why Souths have the second-best attack in the league - and the best out of all the top eight teams.

5. Young Guns Fire

While there were plenty of big-name matchups leading into the contest, it was some of the youngest and least experienced players that had the biggest influence on the match.

Teenager Campbell Graham backed up his effort against the Eels with a break-out performance, constantly shutting down opposite winger Josh Addo-Carr in defence and constantly making breaks and yardage in attack. 

Utility Adam Doueihi earned his first starting spot since Round 14, making two linebreaks and scoring an important try in the second half until he tragically went down with injury. His replacement Braidon Burns, came into the contest seamlessly and brought plenty of energy off the bench.

And the efforts of Cameron Murray were awe-inspiring, as he constantly up-ended his opponents while leading the charge in defence. 

Performances like that are just another example of what bright future holds for the Grand Old Club.  

6.  Red and Green Faithful Rise To Occasion 

It was a moment of the match that brought out the best of the Rabbitohs fans.

With Campbell Graham leaping above to take a high ball in a try-scoring situation, referee Ashley Klein went to the bunker to get another look at the contest.  

With the replays clearly showing Graham had lost possession, the bunker, in a clear mishap, gave the green light. 

That didn't stop the Rabbitohs faithful in the crowd rising up to celebrate though, even Angus Crichton congratulated Graham on his 'try' as Klein was forced to embarrassingly explain the mistake. 

It just goes to show that even when there is plenty on the line, Rugby League is still a game to be enjoyed by both players and fans alike. 

7. Finals-like Performance

This match had everything - dramas, injuries, heroes and villains. 

Despite a lapse in the first half, which saw the side trail 16-6, the Rabbitohs never gave up hope and clawed their way back into the match, dominating the second half and at one point leading 30-16. 

While there were some injury scares and questionable decisions made throughout the second stanza, the defensive efforts and attacking prowess of the side shone through, buoyed by the cheering of the animated crowd.

Friday night's game was a war of attrition for 80 minutes, and a sign of things to come in finals footy in September. 

 

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