It's been a real arm wrestle, now let's revisit all the big points from that amazing first half.
Normally when you think of Melbourne Storm the word clinical comes to mind. But early on they were more jet-lagged than anything. After we drew first blood through a penalty goal, Melbourne kicked off while Cam Smith even threw a pass from dummy half that found the turf… You don’t often see that.
They weathered the storm early though, with a number of goal line stands preventing the Rabbitohs from crossing the stripe for a four pointer until Campbell “Stretch” Graham extended his big long arms around the body of Issac Lumelume to plant the ball down in the in goal after a Cody Walker grubber in the 21st minute. Along with the points advantage, the weight of possession in South’s favour & the increased defensive workload for the Storm could play a part later in the match.
Graham manages to plant it down
Right Side Re-Shuffle
In match 200 Rabbitohs Captain Adam Reynolds would be forced from the field in the first half for a HIA assessment for an incident which occurred during the sequence that led to his sides first try. Bayley Sirronen was the man to shift defensively to fill the void, and the impact was felt immediately. Cameron Smith poured the storm down the Rabbitohs right flank at the new combination of Su’A, Sirronen, Marsters & Paulo. Keeping the storm to six points during this period was a solid effort by the makeshift flank before Reynolds would return just before the break with a beautiful try assist for Cody Walker - the second time in as many weeks that the two halves have combined for a 6 pointer!
Walker carves up the Storm
Thomas the Tank
At 28 years of age, Thomas Burgess is already a senior citizen in the Rabbitohs engine room, but in a year where he took the Burgess mantle upon his own broad shoulders, he has come into his own. In his first stint the hulking forward ran for 103 meters in 23 minutes. This brought Damien Cook into the match & helped to pin the Melbourne Storm into their own half for the lions share of the first quarter. Another big stint from Tom & fellow bookend Junior Tatola is essential for a Rabbitohs victory.
Redfern Wall Breaks… Eventually
It’s had been 110 minutes since the Rabbitohs last conceded a point. That all changed when some quick hands and the speed of Addo-Carr saw their wingman link up with Papenhuyzen. Unfortunately, Olam crossed on the stroke of half-time which meaning the clock now restarts. A valiant effort nonetheless by the Rabbitohs who will be looking to better that stat from here on out.
A Ripping and a Tearing
We all know Jayd’n Su’a loves a good shot and he’s produced a couple of beauties already in the first half, but he’s got a little bit of competition from Steven Marsters who’s shown he loves jamming in and shutting the play down… Just ask Papenhuyzen.