The Melbourne Storm have defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 54 points to 20 at AAMI Park on Anzac Day in what was a very tough outing for the Cardinal and Myrtle.

It simply was not the Rabbitohs’ day, as they were unable to overcome a first-half hat-trick from Storm winger Xavier Coates and a Ryan Papenhuyzen double.

The Storm showed their intent from the beginning, scoring two early tries through Ryan Papenhuyzen and Xavier Coates for a 10-0 lead at the 10-minute mark.

A string of errors and six again calls saw the Rabbitohs presented with an opportunity to set up camp on the Melbourne Storm line and get back into the game.

After five consecutive sets of six, it was Cody Walker who was finally able to crack the defence, sending Jacob Gagai over in the corner untouched after some deceptive ball-playing left the Storm defenders grasping at thin air.

Beautiful pass to Gagai

A seven-tackle set gifted Melbourne the chance to march downfield and reassert their dominance. That’s exactly what they did, with a Munster cut-out-ball releasing Coates down the wing to score his second of the half.

From there it was all Melbourne in the remainder of the first half, leading 32 points to 4 at the break. Will Warbrick and Harry Grant both got in on the scoring, while Coates also completed a first half hat-trick before going off the field with a hamstring injury.

The Storm were quick to pick up where they left off, with Papenhuyzen scoring his second of the match just two minutes into the second half.

Despite the big deficit there was still a hint of a comeback from Souths, who managed to score three straight tries before the hour mark of the game to give themselves a small amount of hope.

A perfectly-placed cut-out ball from Walker sent Gagai over for his second try of the game in the 50th minute.

A floater by Cody to Jacob Gagai's 2nd

Taane Milne was next to score for the Red and Green, sitting his opposite Tyran Wishart down with a big fend before planting the ball just inside the touch-in-goal line.

Then it was Cameron Murray who continued Souths’ charge, scoring as a result of a high-kick from Dean Hawkins to trail by 16 points with 20 minutes to go.

It unfortunately wasn’t to be though, with a try to Cameron Munster in the 65th minute putting the comeback out of reach for the boys from Maroubra.

Late tries to Tyran Wishart and Joe Chan added insult to injury for the Bunnies, as the Storm finished up 54-20 victors over Souths, scoring 10 tries to 4 in a dominant display.

Taane Milne with the authority!

Match Snapshot

Cameron Murray with the speed

What’s Next?

The Rabbitohs will be back at home next Thursday night at Accor Stadium to take on the Penrith Panthers, and will relish the opportunity to be back in front of their home fans for the first time since round 6.

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