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South Sydney have put on a solid showing against the Storm in Perth this evening to come out 2 point winners.
The Storm were not without their moments, having several chances in the second half as a result of enterprising, brilliant attacking football. However, their finishing was off and Souths managed to maintain their lead at the siren.
Souths opened the scoring through Fetuli Talanoa after Colin Best found some space to release his winger but Justin O'Neill almost immediately hit back to lock the scores at 4 all. It remained that score until half-time.
The Storm came out of the blocks in the second half firing and after a dubious call from the referee earlier in the set Justin O'Neill pulled off a miraculous off load while avoiding going over the sideline, backhanding it to Greg Inglis who walked over.
At 10-4 the Storm then had a chance to blow the game out with what would have been the try of the year being put down by Justin O'Neill right at the end with no opponent in sight.
Less than a minute later, after a great move from John Sutton finds Dave Taylor who had his offload attempt knocked down by Brett Finch, Chris Sandow found the ball in the tryline and grounded it and a 12 point swing had Souths back in the game at 10 all.
Souths went close to scoring again soon after after Rhys Wesser and Nathan Merritt made two linebreaks in the same set. Soon after they received a penalty right in front to go 2 ahead with 25 to play.
5 minutes later after more Souths pressure Colin Best put Talanoa away and Souths had a chance to go 8 up but Luke's conversion attempt went wide.
With 9 left on the clock Justin O'Neill crossed again to give the Storm a chance to equalise but Cameron Smith missed the sideline conversion and the Bunnies kept their 2 point lead until the siren.
Both teams had many chances, the Storm particularly creating and then destroying some excellent chances. Souths had a few chances to ice the game in the last few minutes but couldn't come up with the finisher.
It didn't matter though as they held on to claim an important 2 points.
Aside from the LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match, John Sutton, Sam Burgess and Chris Sandow had good games for the Bunnies along with Justin O'Neill for the Storm.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 defeated Melbourne Storm 14
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 16 - Saturday June 26, 2010 9:30pm
Venue: ME Bank Stadium, Perth
Referee: Ashley Klein and Matt Cecchin
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Adam Gee
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 Melbourne Storm 4
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Rhys Wesser
2 Points - Issac Luke (1 Conversion, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Colin Best
South Sydney Rabbitohs (16)
Tries: Fetuli Talanoa (2), Chris Sandow
Conversions: Issac Luke (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Issac Luke (1/1)
Melbourne Storm (14)
Tries: Greg Inglis, Justin O'Neill (2)
Conversions: Cameron Smith (1/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Hello everybody and welcome to Perth for what should be a quality match between the Bunnies and the Storm. The Bunnies will be looking to reverse a losing record against Melbourne here and are definitely in with a chance. The Storm are coming off a huge win last week and will look to continue their great form.
Both sides are 1-17 as named on Tuesday.
We are underway. Bryan Norrie taking the first hit-up of the game.
5 min: Messy but probing attack from the Bunnies so far with no reward for it. The Storm have been tight and their usual unflappable selves.
7 min: The Perth fans have come out in force for this game. A crowd like this can only be a good thing for the Perth franchise bid.
9 min: Souths look a chance spreading it to the right but spill it on the last.
9 min: Rhys Wesser catches a bomb and makes a great linebreak straight up the middle to put Souths back on the front foot.
10 min: Souths go close after a Sandow kick. Slater is almost taken into touch, throws the ball back in field but Sandow puts in down with the try-line beckoning.
13 min: Sam Burgess puts it down after Isaac Luke creates some room for him. The Melbourne defender pulled the ball free legally by attacking Burgess's arms. In the ensuing set Brett White puts it down while getting up to play the ball, with help from Roy Asotasi.
16 min: TRY
15 min: Souths cross in their left hand corner after Colin Best finds some space and feeds the ball to Fetuli Talanoa. Talanoa then beats Duffie and Slater to crash over. Nice play.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 4-0
19 min: Asotasi is penalised for stripping the ball. It was a one on one tackle though. Mistake 1 from the two refs for the night. Melbourne right on the attack now.
20 min: TRY
Justin O'Neill scores a try out wide after a grubber from Smith early in the tackle count. Merritt and Wesser are left to blame each other after neither make a play at it.
22 min: Talanoa drops a kick and Storm go back on the attack with a full set inside the offensive zone.
23 min: We go to the video ref here after Souths make a mess of a kick defusal and Duffie puts a hand on it. Unfortunately for the Storm, Billy Slater clipped the ball in flight. Souths with a play the ball 10 out.
26 min: Justin O'Neill skips out a tackle after gathering a clearing kick and makes it all the way to the Rabbitohs 40 metre line. The ensuing set comes to nothing after the attacking cross field bomb is spilled over the sideline by O'Neill.
26 min: Luke Stuart, Roy Asotasi and Dave Taylor all leave the field at the same time for the Bunnies. Odd tactics from Lang here but we shall see what happens as a result.
35 min: Game is in a grind mode here. Storm receive a penalty after the Bunnies knock it out of Slater's hands from dummy half. Not the right call again. Mistake 2.
38 min: I think Nathan Merritt has scored here. Billy Slater tried to shadow a Beau Champion grubber across the dead ball line but it looks like Merritt may have got his arm around to ground it. NO TRY. Merritt unfortunately has got a small touch to the ball before the put down. Would have been a great try.
39 min: Finch puts through a grubber for Justin O'Neill to chase through. Wesser slides across to claim it but after the pick up keeps on sliding and puts a foot into touch.
39 min: Melbourne force a goal line drop out right before half-time. They should get the last say in this period.
40 min: Cooper Cronk takes a long range field goal attempt but it's waived away. Half-time here and it's 4 all. A pretty high quality game with some good defense. The scoreline could have easily been 18-18 but some of the finishing has been a little sub-par.
40 min: Souths have looked more dangerous with the ball in hand but the Storm's completion rate is a fair bit better at this stage and thus we find ourselves deadlocked.
41 min: Back underway here for the climax of what is shaping up to be a good contest.
43 min: Going to the video ref for a possible Storm try. There was a pretty poor refereeing decision in the lead up that gave the Storm a repeat set after Talanoa was taken out while defending a kick. That aside Justin O'Neill looks to have come up with a miracle off load to put Inglis in.
44 min: TRY
Greg Inglis scores in the corner. There was a pretty poor refereeing decision in the lead up that gave the Storm a repeat set after Talanoa was taken out while defending a kick. That aside Justin O'Neill has come up with a miracle off load to put Inglis in.
Melbourne Storm 10-4
46 min: Rhys Wesser goes within a whisker of allowing Slater to score a try with me sloppy hands. Saves it at the death.
48 min: Burgess charges in to Aiden Tolman at 100 clicks but comes off second best for once. Maybe he really can only put big hits on backs.
51 min: Justin O'Neill has just bombed what would have been easily the try of the season. The Storm move from left to right, multiple kicks, oh it had EVERYTHING. Finch puts a kick up to the corner and there is NOBODY home at all. O'Neill puts it down over the tryline.
53 min: TRY
To compound the O'Neill bombed try, Sandow has scored at the other end after Sutton makes a great break and combines with Taylor who has the ball knocked forwards out of his hands by Brett Finch. Sandow eventually dives on the loose ball in the in-goal area.
55 min: Rhys Wesser with another great kick return. He is having a huge game. Nathan Merritt then goes close. Rabbitohs right on the attack now.
56 min: Rabbitohs receive a penalty pretty much right in front twenty out and will take the shot at goal.
56 min: PENALTY GOAL
Souths take back the lead after a successful shot at goal.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-10
59 min: Dave Taylor comes up with a one on one strip right in the attacking zone. Souths on the attack here. Then Todd Lowrie knocks the ball forward out of Issac Luke's hands at dummy half. Souths still have possession.
61 min: TRY
Souths spread it to the left and Colin Best draws the winger to put his winger away again. Good work from Best there.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-10
62 min: Off the restart Dave Taylor loses the ball over the touchline after the Storm defenders showed good strength to push the big man towards the edge.
64 min: Brett Finch puts far too much on the final tackle kick, Souths ball.
66 min: Souths will get a good chance to extend their lead after Cronk puts it down under no pressure.
66 min: Champion then puts it down from the scrum win after a good hit by Billy Slater and co.
67 min: Souths can count themselves lucky there after Melbourne looked certain to score from a typical Cronk banana kick for Slater. Champion cleans up a spilled ball.
71 min: TRY
Justin O'Neill continues his good game scoring again. Great exchange of passing from the Storm there. They certainly can turn it on when they need to. Smith misses the goal so Souths are still in front here with 8 and a half to go.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-14
73 min: Wesser with another great bomb defusal there.
76 min: Billy Slater takes Jason Clark high just as Souths looked like icing this game. Souths with a penalty right on the line here.
77 min: Nathan Merritt misses the chance to win the game as the final bounce of a grubber takes an unpredictable turn and pops over his head. Video ref to decide the outcome from there.
77 min: Video ref decides Merritt knocks it on and the Storm have a 20 metre restart.
78 min: The Storm nearly put on another pearler but the last pass inside from O'Neill was forward. Souths survive with 2 to go.
79 min: John Sutton puts the ball into touch. 1 minute left on the clock. The Storm will have most likely 1 more set to win this.
80 min: Souths win a pretty good game in the end here. Once the Storm went behind they were forced to play creative football and looked great but kept coming up short. Good win for Souths though as there are many contenders that won't get the 2 from the Storm.