Storm Fortress Holds out Rabbitohs

The Melbourne Storm's good record at AAMI Park continues as their uncharacteristic error-filled match saw them victors over the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-10. The home side crowd in to show there support with 15,872 fans in attendance.

Magical set play formed beautifully to see Dane Nielsen open the account to collect the first of two tries for the purple pride. Billy Slater in the action to guide the him over the line. Cameron Smith's kicking duties made difficult throughout the night with attempts from the sideline. First conversion waved away, 11th minute Storm 4-0.

Melbourne Storm capitalised on a Rabbitohs error as they went back to back on the scoreboard with Matt Duffie's name added to the try-scorers sheet. Cooper Cronk crafted a lovely cut put ball to send Duffie through. Smith's conversion sailed over the cross bar to make it 10-0 with 15 minutes elapsed.

When the error count climbs the points against often follow and the Storm were not exception to this. Sam Burgess started the play with a late offload which ended with a simple stroll over try to Chris McQueen come the 29th minute. Youngster Adam Reynolds with the conversion for the Souths, his conversion pushed wide. Storm 10-4.

The error bug found the genius himself in Billy Slater as a mistake cost the home side a try as Souths locked the game at 10-all. Sam Burgess pulled out the try from dummy half as he leapt into the goals and grounded it. Reynolds with an easier attempt from in front after 34 minutes.

The half closed with a stab shot at field goal from Reynolds which only just fell short of the mark. Half time siren sounded around AAMI Park as the score remained 10-all with the Rabbitohs on top with a late charge.

Melbourne Storm entered the second half to the sound of fireworks and that set the explosive theme for the half as they rampaged over the visitors to add three further four-pointers on the board.

Billy Slater, the little master was all talent as he flirted with the touchline as the video referee deemed this effort in the corner legal. Slater with all kinds of genius brought up the Storm's third. Smith with another from the sideline nailed it through the sticks. Storm 16-10, 14 minutes into the second half.

Pressure mounted in the 63th minute as Cooper Cronk slid in to put Nielsen through a hole to claim his second of the match. Wonderful masterclass from the number seven. Storm with the conversion off the boot of Smith extended to 20-10.

The siren was all but ready to sound but the Storm not silenced as the English import popped into space to create an opening for Nielsen to place a leather-perfect kick for Slater to race through and add another four-pointer to his name. Cameron Smith failed to add the extra points, but the home side the victors 24-10.

Back to back wins for the Storm and loses for the Rabbitohs means Round 3 will be key for South Sydney who will be hungry for a victory in 2012. They will travel to Centrebet Stadium to clash with the Panthers whilst the Melbourne side will leave home and head north to face the Gold Coast at Skilled Park.

Match Details
Melbourne Storm 24 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
National Rugby League - Round 2 - Sunday March 11, 2012 7:00pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Gavin Morris
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: Adam Gee and Clayton Sharpe
Crowd: 15,872
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 10 South Sydney Rabbitohs 10 players of the match:
3 Points - Cooper Cronk
2 Points - Dane Nielsen (2 Tries)
1 Point - Billy Slater (2 Tries)

Tries: Billy Slater (2), Dane Nielsen (2), Matt Duffie
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/5)

Tries: Sam Burgess, Chris McQueen
Field Goals: Adam Reynolds (0/1)
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (1/2) Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLmelsou.

You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Good Evening League fans, we welcome you to the final match on this marvellous Sunday. Tonight the Melbourne Storm host the South Sydney Rabbitohs. It's a big contest with Souths looking to make up for the last minute lost to the Roosters on Monday Night. Meanwhile the Storm will aim to go back to back after there win in Canberra over the Raiders.

For team changes, the Melbourne Storm will see Jason Ryles make his Storm debut coming off the bench in number 20. Other than that they will be 1 through 16. However for the visitors, a lot of positional changes with Shaune Corrigan and Eddy Pettybourne starting off the bench as they swap out with Scott Geddes and Fetuli Talanoa.

Not long until the kick off which is expected in around 5 minutes time.
Moments away from kick off, awaiting both teams to take the field. Weather is good here at AAMI Park. A good crowd in attendance.
The Rabbitohs take the field first, followed by the home side the Melbourne Storm.
1 min: We are underway with the second last game of Round 2. Melbourne Storm through the boot of Cameron Smith will get us underway.
1 min: Good opening set from the Rabbitohs, making good metres as they just made it over halfway to complete their set with a kick downfield.
2 min: Beautiful kick off the foot of Cooper Cronk as it was kicked low and deep downfield. It rolls over the touchline to give the Rabbitohs a scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
2 min: The Rabbitohs showing that they are not afraid to spread the ball across the Storm line as they complete their set.
3 min: Not a what you would expect from the Storm, a mistake coming up from them deep in Rabbitohs territory to let off Souths easily.
5 min: Matt Duffie showing his skills to leap high under the bomb to gather it. And the Storm get a penalty in the next play of the ball for South Sydney holding down too long after referee called held. Cam Smith opting for the touch finder which moves the Storm up to halfway to start their set.
6 min: Last tackle for the Storm as they were held up in goal, one more shot at the Rabbitohs line.
7 min: Time off here as Talanoa is feeling the effects of the tackle. But play will continue with Souths getting the ball after the change over.
8 min: Reynolds stabbing it downfield on the 4th tackle to force the Storm to work it from their own line.
9 min: KNOCK ON! A poor play of the ball from Talanoa looked for the quick play but failed to get it away without any control. Storm with the scrum feed on the Rabbitohs 45 metre line.
10 min: John Sutton scrambling out of the line trying to stop the Storm raid but regardless Cronk took Sutton over the sideline to give the Storm back the ball through a scrum feed 10 metres out from the line
11 min: TRY
TRY! Storm
Set play magic. Cam Smith starting it from dummy half spreading it wide to Billy Slater to quick hands out to the wing which sees Dane Nielsen collect the Storm's first here. Cameron Smith with a difficult kicking assignment to start tonight from the sideline and he pushed it wide across goals
Melbourne Storm 4-0
14 min: The storm pushing up with great metres following their try. An error from the Rabbitohs gives the Storm a repeat set on the Souths line.
15 min: TRY
TRY! Storm
Going back to back, an error from the Rabbitohs was costly with Matt Duffie on the end of a nicely placed Cooper Cronk cut out ball. Cam Smith with another difficult kick from the touchline has sailed over this time.
Melbourne Storm 10-0
18 min: The Rabbitohs holding out against the Storm without leaking more points. They will attack deep in their half.
19 min: Rabbitohs looked to end the set with a kick, but it rolled dead for the Storm to get a 20 metre tap.
20 min: IN OPEN SPACE! Matt Duffie goes 80 metres from the 20 metre tap to speed downfield who beat Nathan Peats to run away. However the Storm held back as the ball kicked into goals with a grubber. As a result the Storm get a drop out as the Rabbitohs knock it dead.
21 min: Penalty to South Sydney as Greg Inglis getting up quickly and catching the Storm offside. Rabbitohs with the ball inside the Storm half.
22 min: The Rabbitohs with their first set on the Storm goal line didn't end as planned with a grubber kick bouncing straight up for Kevin Protactor.
23 min: KNOCK ON! Justin O'Neill looking to get a hand on the ball gets a touch and losing it. Souths packing down a scrum for another set inside the Storm half.
24 min: Penalty South Sydney on the Storm line for a hand in the ruck.
25 min: No pressure from the Souths attackers as the Storm simply get out of the in goal area with a catch and run. Quick 20 metre tap for the Storm. Souths had a massive chance to spread it wide but failed to do so.
26 min: Storm getting marched up field for a strip against the Rabbitohs. This occurs as Issac Luke getting into the action now from the bench.
27 min: KNOCK ON! Gareth Widdop could not of dropped it any colder. Looking to spread it wide and cut the ball out and it was dropped. Souths picking it up.
28 min: Penalty to the South Sydney Rabbitohs now. Chance for them to finally post points inside the Storm 20 metre line.
29 min: TRY
TRY! Rabbitohs
It started all with a late offload from Sam Burgress. The ball passed out to the open side. Greg Inglis passing the pass to the unmarked Chris McQueen to stroll over untouched. Youngster Adam Reynolds with the kicking duties tonight and his first attempted has gone wide of the goals.
Melbourne Storm 10-4 32 min: Billy Slater out on his feet after taking the kick, he somehow attempted and offload and gave it straight to South Sydney on the Storm line.
32 min: BANG! Video Referee Decision pending for the Rabbitohs. Sam Burgess launching into the air.
33 min: TRY
TRY! Rabbitohs
Billy Slater will not be happy with himself after he allow Souths to get points. Sam Burgess out of dummy half leaping and swivelling in the air to dive through the line to score. Amazing effort to get over. Reynolds from in front of the post converts.
10 all
35 min: South Sydney making the Storm pay with a great set backing up after the try as they made 88 metres. But it ended with Matt Duffie leaping air to steal it out and take it down.
36 min: Dave Farrell showing pace to bring the ball straight back out for Souths with the quick 20 metre tap.
37 min: Again Rabbitohs keep targeting Matt Duffie who won't drop one under the high ball. Souths have had all the ball in the last few minutes since scoring. But Storm back on the attack working it from their goal line.
Rabbitohs looking for the leading heading to the break, but Reynolds only just missing. Storm with a 20 metre restart as a result.
10 all
39 min: The Storm looking to create something on the siren with a chip and chase but collected by Souths who go for a 10 metre run and brought to ground. And that is half time.
Half time here at AAMI Park. A first half come back as seen the Rabbitohs locked up with the Storm 10-all. It was a great start for the Melbourne side but an error from Billy Slater opened up the line for the Rabbitohs to cross. The ball possession fell with the Rabbitohs late in the half to see them put their mark on this game. It will be a big second half with anyone able to win this one.
40 min: The fireworks welcome back the Storm onto AAMI Park for the second half. South Sydney Kicking off with the Storm receiving the ball.
41 min: It was almost two perfect opening sets for both teams but Billy Slater on their second set start almost losing it as he popped out to Widdop
43 min: Rabbitohs have been making a load of metres up the field during their sets. Issac Luke getting some attention from the trainers as he limps behind in back play. However play continues as South make an error to give the scrum feed to the Storm.
44 min: KNOCK ON! Ryan Hoffman not ready for the inside pass from Cronk and putting down. Making it worse the Rabbitohs get a penalty to march up field.
45 min: Souths Sydney putting the pressure on the Storm line as the errors are creeping into their game. Almost giving another four pointer on their line but called knocked back. Storm work it from their goal line
46 min: Storm with a great kick chase downfield as the Rabbitohs were forced to play at the ball in their goals and run it out and met by the defensive line on the 10 metre line.
48 min: More errors coming into the game with Neilson dropping it now. Souths on the attack as halfback Reynolds looks in a world of trouble being supported by the trainer.
48 min: Video Refere Decision Pending for the Rabbitohs. Big set to end with points, possible try in the corner.
48 min: NO TRY! Talanoa tracking into the corner looking for points but his right knee grounded over the sideline before the ball was planted down.
49 min: Adam Reynolds is back on the field for the Rabbitohs as the Storm win the scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
50 min: KNOCK ON! Another mistake from Hoffman as he was brought to game. Completion rate poor for the Storm only 17/25 sets. Souths get and win the scrum feed on the Storm 40 metre line.
51 min: John Sutton looked for the grubber kick in goal but dived on by the Storm. But now Dane Neilson has split the line and streaked away 50 metres up field.
53 min: Adam Reynolds leaping high into the air to get the ball but losing it on the Storm line. Dave Taylor is down off the field and will be interchanged. Meanwhile on field Storm will have the scrum feed on the Rabbitohs line.
54 min: Billy Slater racing around into the corner. Video Referee Decision pending for the Storm.
54 min: TRY
TRY! Storm
The little master has showed his skills to tip-toe into the corner and plant it down for this 127th career try. Video referee was happy that Slater was inside the touchline. Cam Smith's job not being made easy with the conversions with another from the sideline and this one is a beauty.
Melbourne Storm 16-10
57 min: In it again, Billy Slater magical in the air to take it without error this time for the Storm as they have it just short of the Souths line.
59 min: Rabbitohs right in this as they have a scrum inside their own half
59 min: Not the best way to start the scrum as the Rabbitohs have simply handed it back to the Storm.
61 min: Referee calls a zero tackle with the ball being touched by the Rabbitohs. Storm with a chance inside the Souths half
62 min: Penalty to the Storm on the Rabbitohs line.
63 min: TRY
TRY! Storm
Following the penalty the Storm have put the pressure on with Cooper Cronk sliding and passing out wide to put Dane Nielsen through hole. Still not the easiest kick for Cam Smith but he has again failed to slotted it between the posts.
Melbourne Storm 20-10
66 min: Last for the Rabbitohs and a poor kick downfield and easily collected on the Storm 20 metre
67 min: The Storm feeling the Dragons pain with a penalty for not playing the ball correctly. Rabbitohs attacking 22 metres out from the Storm line.
68 min: KNOCK ON! The englishman getting the head pats for losing the ball but that not helping the Rabbitohs get points. That was a big chance gone begging for them as the Storm win the scrum.
69 min: Talanoa remaining cool under the high ball, he took it well under pressure to start the Rabbitohs on the Storm 20 metre line.
71 min: KNOCK ON! Matt King looking to create something from nothing with a chip and chase. Great idea but Talanoa coming up with it and then dropping it. Storm with the ball on their 30.
71 min: Cooper Cronk with a kick on the 4th tackle to try and send Duffie down the wing but collected by the Rabbitohs on their line.
73 min: Adam Reynolds looking for a hole and stepping to make 15 metres. Rabbitohs opening up the line. Storm looking a little out on there feet there. But end of the set and they have the ball deep in their half.
Crowd figure officially being posted here at AAMI Park of 15,872
76 min: Melbourne with the Scrum feed on their own 30 metre line.
73 min: Adam Reynolds looking for a hole and stepping to make 15 metres. Rabbitohs opening up the line. Storm looking a little out on there feet there. But end of the set and they have the ball deep in their half.
76 min: Forward pass called against Sika Manu. South Sydney need to go 80 metres to get points from this scrum feed.
77 min: Greg Inglis making his presence felt as he breaks into open space to make 30 metres. And they earn a penalty as he was pushed into touch after the held call came from the referee.
78 min: KNOCK ON! Sika Manu coming up with a good hit to close this game as Michael Crocker drops the ball in the contest. Scrum feed to the Storm short of their goal line.
79 min: TRY
TRY! Storm
Gareth Widdop into space passing on the outside to Dane Nielsen who placed a lovely grubber kick into the goals for Billy Slater to collect his second. Cam Smith from beside the posts has failed to convert the try.
Melbourne Storm 24-10
80 min: Full time here at AAMI Park despite some errors the Melbourne Storm have defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 - 10 in front of 15,872.

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