The Melbourne Storm have convincingly defeated South Sydney 42-4 to clinch the minor premiership from Manly-Warringah, in front of almost 14,000 fans at Olympic Park tonight.
It looked wobbly at times, the home side noticing how close they were to falling behind and playing some silly desperation footy when the pressure was on, but cool heads ultimately prevailed and they ran roughshod late in the match to account for South Sydney by 38 points.
The Storm started with a 14-point blitz, sheer power and strenth bringing points, firstly through the club stalwart they were to farewell - Matt Geyer. Anthony Quinn and Cameron Smith also added to the tally early in the match. The Rabbitohs managed a freakish try to Nathan Merritt before halftime, but crumbled on the siren as the Storm crossed again and edged closer to the minor premiership.
A two try burst from Billy Slater, who earlier managed a sin bin stint for a professional foul, put the Storm in the box seat and after that point the fickle South Sydney defence was no match for the third-time minor premiers.
The Rabbitohs now look to 2009 with a final-night hiding making it a night to forget - while the Storm will be looking to avoid entering the history books as they face the 8th placed Warriors - 8th has yet to beat first in the McIntyre system's tenure.
Match Details Melbourne Storm 42 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 Round 26 - Monday September 7th, 2008 7:00pm Venue: Olympic Park Referee: Steve Lyons Touch Judges: David Abood, Peter Kirby Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Halftime: Storm 20 Rabbitohs 4 Crowd: 13,875
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary STORM: 1. Billy Slater 18. Brett Anderson 3. Matt Geyer 4. Israel Folau 5. Anthony Quinn 6. Greg Inglis 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jeff Lima 9. Cam Smith (c) 10. Brett White 11. Michael Crocker 14. Jeremy Smith 13. Dallas Johnson Interchange: 12. Ryan Hoffman 15. Adam Blair 16. Sika Manu 17. Antonio Kaufusi RABBITOHS: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Luke Capewell 3. Fetuli Talanoa 4. Beau Champion 5. Jamie Simpson 18. Ben Lowe 7. Chris Sandow 8. Scott Geddes 9. Issac Luke 10. Luke Stuart 11. Shannan McPherson 12. David Fa Like